The Relationships You Must Commit to for Content Marketing Success

With just one statistic, Joe Pulizzi delivered a stark wake-up call to this year’s Content Marketing World attendees.

“When we asked global enterprise marketers how committed they are to their content marketing approach, 20 percent said they’re fully committed,” said Joe during Day 1’s welcome address.

Only 20 percent.

To the other 80 percent who are partially committed, he had the following recommendation: Be all in or get all out. There is no halfway.

The theme of commitment continued to pop up in other speakers’ sessions throughout the day.

For instance, Lars Silberbauer, Global Senior Director of Social Media & Video at LEGO, took the stage after Joe’s address and showed us what complete commitment to content marketing looks like.

It’s not necessarily about content or technology, he explained in his keynote. It’s about building relationships — and that comes down to people.

Commit to customers.

You can’t force a relationship with prospective and current customers by creating content solely for the sake of your brand. Relationships are mutual.

In addition to creating really high-quality content, explained Lars, a major focus for LEGO is user-generated content.

Users create 20 times more content than what the LEGO brand creates. “This is where we can really make a difference. If we can orchestrate, set the scene for engagement, that is where it really makes a ton of difference.”

Take inspiration from LEGO’s formula for success. The gold standard (or gold brick) of customer relationships centers around audience’s social needs, creates value, and listens + adjusts to needs in real-time.

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Commit to colleagues.

In Content Strategy: Clarity, Constraints, and Common Sense, Kristina Halvorson, CEO of Brain Traffic, warned marketers against focusing so much of our attention on innovation.

Customers want a consistent experience across every interaction with your brand. To deliver that consistency, you need buy-in from team members in marketing and other departments.

Haphazardly rushing your content efforts so you can be the first to do something or the most prolific in your industry will quickly damage those relationships with colleagues.

You need a content strategy that is the sum of your business goals, user needs and brand values. With strategy in hand, your brand can work together to prioritize your content’s substance, structure, workflow and governance.

Commit to influencers.

Ask Shareology author Bryan Kramer and he’ll tell you it’s not about business-to-business or business-to-consumer. It’s #H2H, or human-to-human.

As more brands clue into this reality, influencer marketing programs will become much more commonplace. If you’re considering launching an influencer marketing program, you have to – you guessed it – commit.

Influencer marketing is not one and done. It’s long-term — built on relationships, trust and a fair exchange of value.

In fact, Bryan recommended, your influencer marketing should first focus on influencers’ needs. You need to understand what you can give (and give and give) to get. Once you have that answer, you can turn your attention to your influencer marketing program’s initiatives and roadmap.

Commit to other content creators.

There are two kinds of people on the Internet, said Orbit Media co-founder Andy Crestodina during his keynote address. Creators and ‘lurkers’ (i.e. readers/viewers/listeners).

And according to the 1% rule of Internet culture, lurkers comprise 99% of online users.

Although creators only make up 1%, they are a vocal and vital part of your industry’s community. Developing relationships with your fellow content creators can’t be overlooked.

“An ally in creation is an ally in promotion,” said Andy.

A few ways you can begin building relationships with these creators, while also creating new content for your audience, include:

  • Asking for contributor quotes
  • Featuring them in an expert roundup
  • Conducting deep dive interviews

Take your commitment one step further by contributing to a mastermind group.

What would happen to your marketing, Andy asked, if you met with like-minded, noncompetitive marketers once per month via Skype, Slack, etc. and discussed the following questions:

  • What are you doing that we can promote?
  • What are you writing that we can collaborate on?
  • What are you doing to be more productive?
  • Do I know anyone that you want to meet?

The answer: A lot can happen. Mastermind groups open up opportunities for new content ideas, promotion, and relationships.

Commit to the media.

In a recent report by Outsell, Inc., 81% of senior marketers said that earned media was more effective than paid. That doesn’t mean you should completely give up on paid media; however, it does mean a more integrated, multichannel approach is needed. One that includes earned media.

During The New Kid on the Block is Back, Cision and PR Newswire’s Senior Vice President of Marketing Ken Wincko discussed earned media’s re-emergence as a tool for content marketers.

Pitching, press releases and other “traditional” PR tactics can – and should – be used to amplify your content’s reach. And although monitoring, targeting, and engaging with the media requires an ongoing commitment, the results go beyond media pickup.

We’re talking more views, more downloads, more conversions and more revenue.

If that sounds like a commitment you want to make, we can help. Learn how to stand out when vying for reporters’ attention by downloading Cision’s 71 Ways to Get Media Coverage. This free tip sheet will give you tactics for securing earned media now and in the future.

As for me, I’m committed to finding out what Day 2 of Content Marketing World has to bring!

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