Certainly, many of the sessions at the 2011 Content Marketing World conference in Cleveland focused on the critical importance of creating content that increases brand awareness. But that's just the starting point. Managing content within a business-to-business organization presents its own set of challenges—from Web sites and blogs to social media arms and e-mail.
Gary Spangler, marketing manager for DuPont, said that if 10 years ago content was king, then today it's the "whole deck of cards"—and how you manage your content is just as important as the content itself. At DuPont, Spangler said the term "Web site" has been replaced by "Web properties."
“Your Web site is a critical part of social strategy—you can’t have things on your site that are a year old and try and drive people to it,” said Spangler. “Our Web site is as much a part of social media marketing as the social sites are.”
Confidence in Real-Time Social Media
To help fill organizational gaps in content creation and management, DuPont uses Web editorial boards to plan topics, compile an editorial calendar and plan social activities. As a customer service arm, social media can function very similarly to having a company’s subject-matter experts answer the phone and respond to a customer’s question. “If we’re comfortable with having our experts answer the phone, we believe there should also be real-time social media responses from these same experts,” said Spangler.
Arnie Kuenn, CEO of Vertical Measures, a search and social content agency, suggested—at a bare minimum—to brainstorm for keywords and phrases your customers use when searching by using Google’s keyword suggestions, which serve as free market research. Using Q&A sites like Quora and LinkedIn can also help discover the questions your target customers are asking and to help determine what their needs are. Then, think about how you can answer these questions with your content, Kuenn said.
Kuenn emphasized the importance of using SEO tactics, and suggested visiting OpenSiteExplorer.org, which will reveal your most linked-back-to content—and your competitors', if you look for it. He said 32% of short-tail searches (a short-form search inquiry) will click on the first result, and only 5% will click on the second result, proving the importance of aligning content with keywords your target audience might search.
Michael Procopio, social media strategist for HP, said it's essential to investigate your customers’ digital habits. “You can write amazing editorial content, but if no one can find it, then what's the point?” Procopio said.
He has seen a 33% increase in readership of blog posts that have been tweeted compared to those that haven’t. To help keep an organization’s Twitter feed consistent in tone and frequency of posts, Procopio suggested using a tweet sheet—a compilation of sample tweets that enables in-house bloggers and content producers to quickly follow an agreed-upon organizational tweet style.