By Maggie Schneider Huston-Oracle on Dec 01, 2015
“Content marketing” was the hot word during OpenWorld in October. We wanted to dive into this topic, so we reached out to our own content marketing expert in the Oracle family: Steve Olenski, Senior Content Strategist with Oracle Marketing Cloud, Forbes contributor and well-respected industry influencer. In the first part of this series, Steve explained the essence of content marketing. Today, he’s telling Maggie Schneider Huston, Senior Content Manager with Oracle Social Cloud, how to implement your content marketing strategy.
Maggie Schneider Huston: How do you create a content marketing strategy? What are the most important KPIs that a B2B company should use?
Steve Olenski: Before you do anything, you need to answer some questions:
Why are you doing content marketing? To engage your customers and prospects? To sell widgets? Maybe.
What is your business plan and how will you measure it? This ties directly into the KPI question. The key KPIs will absolutely vary by company. There is a fantastic infographic here which lays out the key KPIs content marketers need to be aware of: visits, unique visits, social shares, comments, conversion rate and MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads.) But, as I said, KPIs will vary based on your individual goals so it’s very important to establish the plan and goals first.
MSH: As a content creator, sometimes I feel like I’m juggling 10 things at once. How do you organize all of the moving parts?
SO: Lots of coffee. <laughs> Ok, that’s a personal remedy of mine. This is going to sound very cliche-ish but it really comes down to priority. What is the most important thing at that particular moment? You have to make that decision knowing full well that in the next moment it could change. It is a constant vigil, for sure when it comes to content marketing. I’ve got one eye on the present and one eye on the future. Oh, and a third eye on the past to look at our measurement and analytics. That’s why we’re fortunate on the Oracle Content Marketing team to have folks like Jeff Cohen and Chris Moody, along with myself to keep that steady vigil and have all those eyes, literally on everything.
MSH: I’ve got limited resources. I’d love to produce white papers, infographics, blogs, and videos - but I can’t. What types of content do you find most effective?
SO: This is perhaps the most-loaded question… ever.
MSH: <laughs> Well, it’s one that keeps coming up. People want to know what works!
SO: There is simply no right answer to this and never, ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Think about it. When’s the last time you bought a once-size-fits-all piece of clothing and loved and raved about it? Exactly. Just as the key KPIs will vary by company, so too will the types of content that will be effective. It is a matter of, here’s that word again - vigil. Keeping a constant eye on what is working and what is not. You may see one month an e-book perform very well then the next e-book bomb. So do e-books work or not? Well, obviously, you would have dig deeper into why one worked and one didn’t. You cannot make a blanket assumption or draw a blanket conclusion across any given type of content. You have to find what works, then dig and find out why it worked. Then test it again and again.
MSH: Any tips or tricks to share? Common problems, and how to overcome them?
SO: As far as tips and tricks go… I could write a 5,000 word manifesto when it comes to tips but in the interest of time and for fear of boring everyone to tears, I would add that content marketing is, to me, all about “being there.” And what I mean by that is being there where your customers and prospects are, and then in turn delivering them content that is relevant to them - not you. A common problem I see is brands producing content that, while it may look cool and trendy, has zero relevance to their audience. In other words, they’re doing it for themselves. Another problem is one I touched on the last time I spoke with you, Maggie, which I refer to as the Not Always Selling (N.A.S.) Doctrine. Do not try and sell something via every piece of content you produce - please. I beg of you. Tell stories. Tug on heartstrings. But be genuine at all turns.
To keep up with Steve, follow him on Twitter.