Spredfast CMO Jim Rudden Explains The 3 Cs of Content Marketing
Kerry O'Shea Gorgone is a speaker, writer, attorney and educator. She hosts and produces the weekly Marketing Smarts podcast for MarketingProfs. To contact Kerry about being a guest on Marketing Smarts, send her an email, or you can find her on Twitter (@KerryGorgone), Google+, and on her personal blog. Kerry also teaches new media marketing in the Internet Marketing Master of Science Program at Full Sail University, in Winter Park, Florida.
Whether your company is B2B or B2C, your marketing strategy needs to include content and social. “Content drives B2B marketing,” according to Spredfast CMO Jim Rudden. “Thought leadership, best in class, and how-to content drives engagement and shares. The most compelling content we can provide is content that helps people learn how to do what they want to do.”
Consumers today are as discerning as ever, and connecting with your audience requires an ongoing commitment to producing quality content.
Need to jumpstart your organization’s content marketing? Rudden recommends the 3 Cs: create, conversate and curate.
Plan your content with the needs of your target user in mind. Answer questions. Solve problems. Respond to the needs of your audience. Then, use every piece of content you create. Get ideas for content from your product success teams, customer surveys or forums.
Turn parts of long whitepapers into blog posts. Break long blog posts into bite-sized pieces to use for social media posts. Use survey data to create infographics. Leave nothing to waste.
Inspired by Rebecca Lieb over at Altimeter, Rudden likens this approach to cooking a Thanksgiving turkey: “We enjoy the turkey in the moment, then we enjoy six different variations of it over the next week, then we make a broth out of it, and we have risotto from that turkey a month down the line.”
Also remember that marketers tire of their content long before their audience does (and sometimes before their audience has even seen it). Beware of the tendency to abandon useful content before you’ve gotten all potential value out of it.
“We all have so much great content that we’ve produced in the past that hasn’t made its way out onto the social channels,” explains Rudden,” and if it’s good, and it’s true, and it’s valid, that’s stuff you can put out there again.”
Participating in the social media conversation is no longer optional for brands. “Search is the database of intent,” explains Rudden. “Social is the database of affinity: a way of telling how much this consumer wants to interact with your brand. People on average will follow 10 brands, and interact on a regular basis with 5. That’s a pretty small number. There’s an incredible opportunity to give these people a reason to share your message, engage and do business with you.”
Social media enables you to reach people who aren’t currently thinking about you or your product. Even if they aren’t aware of your brand, they could be connected online to friends who are, which brings you onto their radar earlier in the purchasing process. As Rudden puts it, “blogging pushed us to be there for the conversation, but social compels you to.”
Creating original content that serves your audience is key to success, but so is sharing helpful information from other authoritative sources. “Our view in the B2B world is that your content strategy should be largely driven by a curation mindset,” says Rudden. “You really need to be spending time going to the great sources of information and sharing them with your audience.”
And don’t be afraid to plan your marketing content in advance, even for your social channels. “All your engagement can't be planned out six weeks in advance,” says Rudden, but that doesn't mean that none of it should be.
Want to know more? Listen to Jim’s MarketingProfs interview on the Marketing Smarts podcast.