Content that works contently.com Contently Methodology MAY 10, 2016
2 Webinar Host Joe Lazauskas Editor-in-Chief, Contently @joelazauskas
3 Webinar Host Rebecca Lieb Strategic Advisor and Research Analyst @lieblink
4 Webinar Host Ari Kepnes Lead Content Strategist, Contently @arikepnes
Content Methodology: A Best Practices Report
6 I. Content Methodology: A Definition Content methodology is a process to continuously improve the effectiveness of a company’s content across the enterprise. A content methodology exists when an organization establishes specific, well-defined objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) for content marketing, and embraces a culture of constantly learning and iterating through each round of publishing.
7 Content Methodology: A Definition Content methodology focuses on three key components: create Create the most effective content possible based on available data. connect Engage with target audiences in the channels and media formats where they spend time. optimize Consistently optimize the content creation and connection processes based on performance against clearly defined KPIs.
8 II. Why a Content Methodology Is Needed Seventy percent of marketers are planning on creating more content this year than last. Yet roughly two-thirds of marketers create content without any documented strategy, and over half don’t know what a successful content program looks like.
9 Why a Content Methodology Is Needed Without clear objectives, measurement is irrelevant. And it’s impossible to know whether content has made any impact whatsoever.
10 Why a Content Methodology Is Needed a. An Increasingly Competitive Content Landscape To compete, organizations must adopt an always-on approach to building relationships with their audience—and improving those relationships each day.
11 Why a Content Methodology Is Needed b. Channel and Media Proliferation Time spent with digital media: • 49 percent increase over the last two years • 90 percent increase on mobile Organizations must understand: • The digital spaces where their target audiences consume content • The content formats, topics, and contributors that will resonate with those audiences
12 Why a Content Methodology Is Needed c. Opportunities for Continuous Improvement Advancements in content marketing technology now enable organizations to rapidly optimize their content creation and distribution.
13 III. A Culture of Content A culture of content creates a virtuous cycle in which content powers all divisions of the enterprise, which, in turn, power a brand’s storytelling efforts. This virtuous circle is only possible when the company works to build a culture that values and evangelizes content.
14 A Culture of Content A. Create a Common Purpose: Marriott M Live ” This is a tool for everybody to use in the building. It’s customer-first thinking. DAVID BEEBE, MARRIOTT’S VICE PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL CREATIVE AND CONTENT MARKETING
15 A Culture of Content B. Engage Senior Leadership: Electrolux At Electrolux, CMO MaryKay Kopf creates task forces of team members from across departments and regions of the world to unite around content.
16 A Culture of Content C. Establish Content Leadership and Governance: Chase To rally content support, Chase crafted a system of governance and standards, built a team of content creators, and established an editorial board. ” We needed to prove that content can improve marketing’s effectiveness. BRIAN BECKER, CHASE’S HEAD OF CONTENT
17 A Culture of Content D. Foster Collaboration: Coca-Cola The newsroom for Coca-Cola’s corporate online magazine, Coca-Cola Journey, gathers weekly to evaluate content based on a blended content score, and has a monthly call with Coca-Cola’s 19 international markets, each of which has its own version of the Journey site.
18 A Culture of Content E. Encourage Creativity and Risk-Taking: Marriott ” We don’t want to see any ‘Welcome to the JW Marriott, here’s your keycard,’ and then a closeup of the logo. None of that. DAVID BEEBE, MARRIOTT’S VICE PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL CREATIVE AND CONTENT MARKETING
19 IV. Components of a Content Methodology
20 Components of a Content Methodology The Flywheel One of the most important and innovative mechanical advances is the flywheel, a device used to store and conserve energy, and a critical component of everything from the steam locomotives of the early 1800s to NASA spacecrafts today. Remarkably powerful and efficient, the flywheel needs an initial torque to push it forward and get it going. Once in motion, it’s able to build and store more and more energy through each cycle, increasing its total output and effectiveness over time.
21 Components of a Content Methodology The Flywheel A. Define objectives and KPIs. B. Conduct audience definition and channel analysis. C. Identify market opportunity. D. Evaluate internal processes and resources.
22 Components of a Content Methodology A. Define Objectives and KPIs Without clear objectives and KPIs, content success cannot be championed and a content program cannot improve or evolve over time. Advanced organizations go beyond standard industry metrics (pageviews, leads, likes) and hone in on metrics that measure relationship building and match to larger business goals, such as customer experience.
23 Components of a Content Methodology A. Define Objectives and KPIs: Chase Brand health: visitors, attention time, engagements, cost per engagement Revenue generation: product leads, sign-ups
24 Components of a Content Methodology B. Define Audience and Key Channels Content breakdown by funnel: PAIN/PASSION POINTS FUNNEL STAGE EXAMPLES • Dreams of owning a home, but unsure of whether it’s the right time. • “Top 10 Mistakes Newlyweds Make” • “How to Set a New Year’s Resolution You’ll Achieve” awareness • “Flowchart: Should I Rent or Buy?” • “7 Signs You’re Ready to Buy a Home” consideration • Wants to buy a home, but doesn’t know what to look for in a mortgage. • “How to Tell a Good Mortgage from a Bad One” • Mortgage calculator • “5 Tricks for Saving on Your Mortgage” acquisition • Has a home in mind and ready to buy a mortgage, but concerned about specific features. • iPad offer • Employee mortgage pricing • Mortgage brochure
25 Components of a Content Methodology C. Identify Market Opportunity and Channel Strategy “What kind of content should we create?” is a question that plagues most organizations when trying to launch a content operation for the first time. Those that are most successful follow a few key guidelines: Find the white space in your market. Where are opportunities? What are competitors doing—or not doing—in their marketing initiatives? What customer pain points can you help address? Answers to these questions help identify content opportunities. Develop a voice, tone, and perspective that’s original. Even for a well-covered topic, determine the areas in which you can add value. “Me-too” content has little value. Avoid adding to the noise. 1 4 Use tools like BuzzSumo to discover what content formats and lengths are shared the most, and where they are shared. Define which topics your audience discusses most. Identify which strategies are working best for other publishers and brands, and consider how to emulate them. 5 Build up to a Big Idea. Regardless of content type, all GE content corresponds to the brand message around “Ecomagination.” IBM’s idea is “Smarter Planet.” What’s the concept your brand, product, company, and service can own and be identified with? 2 Identify keywords with the greatest search volume but the lowest competition. 6 Identify the intersection of topics your brand can own—be it entertainment content, educational and informative content, or utility content—and what your audience seeks. 3
26 Components of a Content Methodology Find the white space in your market 20% 37% 42% 6% 5% 69% 10% 10% Competitor A Competitior B Competitor C Competitior D Publisher A Publisher B Publisher C Publisher D Share of Voice Across Social Networks Share of Voice Across Social Networks
27 Components of a Content Methodology Build up a ‘Big Idea’/Mission “We must challenge startup founders to push their companies to become the business that would put them out of business. To us, thought leadership is about differentiation. We strive to share unique perspectives and proprietary data to cut through the echo-chamber of ‘business resources.’”
28 Components of a Content Methodology Identify the topics you can own and your audience seeks 4% 5% 14% 22% 6% 8% 9% 11% 48% 10% 14% 25% 17% Apps/Tech Solutions Creativity Entrepreneurs Morning Routines Procrastination Well-being Workspace/Environment 8% Number of Shares Across Social Networks Number of Pieces Produced 14K pieces of content analyzed 13.7M total shares 959 average shares per piece of content
29 Components of a Content Methodology Identify the topics you can own and your audience seeks 4% 11% 26% 34% 2% 5% 50% 67% Budgeting Tips Mortgages Personal Loans Student Loans Number of Shares Across Social Networks Number of Pieces Produced 7K pieces of content analyzed in the past year 643M total shares 90 average shares per content piece
30 Components of a Content Methodology Develop a voice, tone, and perspective Conversational Optimistic Helpful Inspiring • Transparent, honest, and authentic — never preachy or overly corporate. • Always helpful and optimistic, never negative, judgmental, or irreverent. • Clear and uncomplicated, but still conversational and compelling. • Knowledgable, but nurturing and advice-driven. • Innovative and cutting-edge; never contrived or repetitious.
31 Components of a Content Methodology Uncover formats and lengths shared most 10,000 9,203 9,000 Average Number of Shares (YTD) 7,725 7,293 7,500 6,439 5,000 2,500 'How' Post Video 'Why' Post List Infographic Content Format 13K pieces of content analyzed in the past year 93M total shares 6.43K average shares per content piece
32 Components of a Content Methodology Identify keywords with the greatest search volume and lowest competition Scotiabank 16k Competitor B Competitor C Competitor A 900 500 5000 Volume of Organic Search Keywords
33 Components of a Content Methodology D. Evaluate Existing Processes and Resources
34 Components of a Content Methodology D. Evaluate Existing Processes and Resources: Coca-Cola While Coca-Cola creates much of its brand-centric content in-house, it also turns to freelancers (via Contently) to tell a wide range of other stories. ” We’ve really tried to carve out a beat system with our Contently writers. It’s nice to know who we can go to for certain stories. JAY MOYE, COCA-COLA JOURNEY’S EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
35 V. Create a Content Plan To get a content methodology into action, organizations need to formulate a content plan that will propel their initial publishing efforts. This plan spans the first 90 days, and allows an organization to track what works best and to optimize accordingly.
36 Create a Content Plan The Content Plan
37 Create a Content Plan A. Inputs
38 Create a Content Plan B. Content A content creation plan should include: • Content creation categories and subcategories • The share of content production allocated to each • The formats and frequency of that content • Production budget allocated to each
39 Create a Content Plan B. Content In turn, this content should be spread across an editorial calendar.
40 Create a Content Plan C. Channels • A channel plan should detail the way the content that an organization produces will be distributed across its owned and paid properties. Content Hub Guides, infographics, multi-source blog posts, interviews, event coverage, videos • Public relations, corporate communications, sales enablement, and recruiting can all be integrated to outline how each department can leverage content. Email Social Media Paid Distribution • Headline distribution (A/B test 10 to 15 headline and image combinations per piece across Outbrain, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) • Paid promotion of well-performing native social content • Paid search and display • Top-performing content featured monthly, weekly, or daily depending on content maturity and frequency • Activation across channels where audience spends time (Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc.) • Combination of link sharing and native social content (Instagram, Facebook video, photos, etc.) • Optimized for impressions, clicks, shares, referral traffic, lead source, etc., depending on content goal
41 Create a Content Plan D. Contributors Map out all content contributors, the topics and formats of the content they create, and the rate they are paid.
42 Create a Content Plan E. Workflow and Approval Determine the flow of approval within your organization. As a best practice, have a single content leader who has final approval over all content published.
43 VI. Testing and Optimization
44 Testing and Optimization The 90-Day Test As content is published, evaluate: A. The performance of content based on topic or format. B. The channels on which readers engage with content most deeply. C. The contributors delivering the strongest results.
45 Testing and Optimization A. Content As a best practice, compare: Content production data (number of stories published) vs. content performance data (KPIs).
46 Testing and Optimization B. Channels Examine which channels drive the greatest content results. Prioritize future content distribution resources accordingly.
47 Testing and Optimization C. Contributors Nurture and highlight the contributors who resonate best.
48 Testing and Optimization The Flywheel