This has been a whirlwind week for the G3 Communications family!
Our sister publication, Demand Gen Report, had its annual Content2Conversion Conference in New York City, spotlighting demand generation thought leaders and marketing gurus who shared their marketing best practices.
Content marketing, as you could guess, was a hot topic at the show. So as we watched the sessions, we couldn’t help but wonder: What could folks in the B2C world apply to their businesses? The RTP editors share their thoughts below:
Debbie Hauss, Editor-in-Chief: Some great insights around content marketing were shared during the C2C event. Some takeaways from a panel featuring executives from SAP, McGraw Hill and Goldman Sachs included: 1) Stay true to your brand; 2) Tell a good story; and 3) Be transparent (don’t try to hide the fact that you are sponsoring a piece of content). I also liked the phrase: “Turn public relations into personal relations.” Another session, focused on “Challenger Marketing,” highlighted the importance of using content to help potential customers through the sales cycle as they learn, define needs, assess options and (finally) make decisions.
Alicia Fiorletta, Senior Editor: There are two key content marketing concepts that I think retailers can easily apply: 1) Understand the value of curation; and 2) Embrace conversation marketing. Content curation is becoming more essential, especially as consumers increase usage of Instagram. Retailers can encourage shoppers to share images of themselves interacting with the brand, and then use those photos as assets to a marketing campaign! Conversation marketing also is becoming more paramount, as consumers, in a way, have become jaded to marketing speak. Instead of focusing why your brand is so great, tell consumers what they’ll get out of engaging and buying from your company.
Kim Zimmermann, Managing Editor: Two key takeaways from C2C for retailer marketers: the need for transparency and measurability in content. Ted Smyth, Executive VP of Corporate Affairs for McGraw Hill Financial, summed it up with his comment, “the masses are not asses.” Be clear when your company is sponsoring a piece of content. And while it is easiest to look at the first piece of content that a buyer engaged with, you need to look at patterns of consumption and multiple pieces of content when trying to determine the content that converts.
Glenn Taylor, Associate Editor: Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, facilitated a thought-provoking session regarding influencer content at #C2C14. The concept is that marketers are pushing too much content out to the point where it becomes difficult to stand out. Therefore, content needs to be limited, sent to less people (primarily thought leaders of an industry) and goal oriented so that it can be tailored for maximum impact among consumers. It would be up to the thought leaders, or “influencers” with massive credibility, to share this content to their followers. With the retail industry relying so much on brand loyalty, influencer content sharing could specifically benefit companies running unique campaigns.
Brian Anderson, Associate Editor: While there were a lot of content marketing thought leaders at C2C this year, one best practice that stuck out with me the most is that content is created to not only convert, but promote conversation. Leveraging content in order to get buyers to engage companies in thoughtful discussion provides more data about that prospective buyer, which can then be used in various other aspects of the company’s day-to-day routine – whether it’s planning new campaigns or brainstorming ways to enhance a solution.