Now that most industrial marketers are deploying a content management strategy, they’ve also discovered how much work it is to produce and publish content. There’s also the question of what type of content you should put out there.
Content types fit into one of three general categories. Thought leadership content that your company produces. Curated content that others produce and you share with your audience. And promotional content that focuses on your own products and services. Each type has its place in your content mix. There are no rigid rules about the mix, but we think a balance and appropriate breakdown looks something like this:
- 30 percent thought leadership content
- 50 percent curated content
- 20 percent promotional content.
Thought Leadership Content
Thought leadership is original content produced by your internal team. It’s usually educational in nature. It’s always relevant to your audience. Thought leadership is powerful stuff because it:
- Demonstrates your expertise in specific areas
- Showcases your opinion and point of view on issues
- Builds customer and market perceptions of your brand
Thought leadership content is also the hardest to produce. It requires the most resources in terms of generating ideas, writing, illustrating and more. It requires the most time and money. But you need to produce thought leadership as part of your content marketing strategy, and if only thirty percent of your content is thought leadership, you should be able to handle the effort especially if you repurpose your content in multiple formats. For example, a white paper can be the basis for a blog post or a product demo can evolve into a YouTube video.
To curate means to pull together, organize, sift through and select for presentation. Curating content from other sources and sharing it with your audience offers a number of benefits:
- Requires fewer resources on your part to pull together
- Faster to get it out because you don’t need to produce it
- Gives your audience other perspectives
- Also builds thought leadership because of what you choose to share and how you share it
If you’ve ever retweeted and commented on a link in Twitter, or shared an article on Facebook and added your commentary, then you’ve curated content. You’ve also gone one step further by adding context for your audience with your comment on what you’re sharing. That little extra—a comment added to the share—can help put your own spin on curated content.
You can easily discover content to curate. Follow other industry leaders and industry news sites. Track relevant hashtags on Twitter. Use Google Alerts to be notified when specific keywords appear in the news. Evaluate what you find and then share with your own audience what you consider to be the most useful and relevant content. If 50 percent of your content is curated, you’re letting others do a lot of the heavy lifting for you—and you’re working smarter.
Because you share thought leadership and curated content you “earn” the right with your audience to publish promotional content. And by keeping the mix at 20 percent of your overall content, you are unlikely to anger your readers for occasionally tooting your own horn. They’re following you for a reason: they’re interested in what you have to say.
You need promotional content mixed in because you need ways to talk about new and updated products, or enhanced and expanded services. You need to get your target audience interested in what you sell. You need to make offers, generate engagement opportunities and keep your sales and marketing teams excited. And you can do all of this through content marketing, as long as you keep the percentage down.
Even promotional content can offer value. If you know your audience’s desires well, you can make your promotional content more targeted and increase the likelihood it will be accepted.
Where, What and How Often to Share
You have three basic choices on where to share content: your social media channels, corporate website or blog and e-newsletters. That’s a start. You may want to look at webinars, online events, banner advertising, press releases and third-party list rental to help promote your content to a wider audience.
What to share includes your own or third-party curated articles, blog posts, white papers, eBooks, presentations, videos, infographics and more.
How often should you share? As often as you can as long as your audience continues wanting to hear from you. If you find comments, likes and shares increasing on your content, you’ve got your audience’s interest. If people are dropping off, you’re sharing too much or what you’re sharing isn’t relevant. Find out what’s right for you.
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How do you find the right balance for your content marketing? What tips or strategies would you pass along to your peers in industrial marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.