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Content has been and always will be king, and in our heyday of social media everyone is a publisher. The democratization and fragmentation of media and content has created both opportunities and challenges for brands and companies. There are fantastic emerging platforms that empower content marketing, but there is still a need to stand out, cut through the clutter, and...feed the beast (I will explain).
Tools like Hubspot empower marketers to engage customers with the right content at the right time. Content in context is the most powerful, mapping back to a customer’s journey with a brand. You don’t need to be a creative genius nor a technology guru, as platforms like Hubspot make it easy for marketers to craft their own campaigns. With some self-guided training, the uninitiated can easily manage the platform. We’ve seen this happen in other areas, like CRM or salesforce automation, where a company like Saleforce.com revolutionizes the platform and makes it accessible to the end users.
"To “feed the beast”, a comprehensive mix of content suppliers must be identified and activated"
Inbound marketing is driven by data to provide content in context. Highly advanced and specific audience segmentation is possible, allowing for more personalized content experience. This where most inbound marketing campaigns begin to flounder…feeding the beast. A robust content marketing program requires lots of content. Marketers need to tap traditional publishers, freelancers, co-workers, and other SME’s to produce all of the content required. To feed the beast, a comprehensive mix of content suppliers must be identified and activated. Having an experienced writer / editor help SME’s create content is highly recommended, as that role is a key facilitator in executing the content strategy.
When considering implementing inbound marketing, I advise clients to consider the following four P’s:
1. People – Define the roles required to activate and sustain inbound marketing. It will be a mix of operational, creative, and marketing executives. Be sure to have all the key stakeholders identified and aligned on the vision before starting.
2. Process – How will you enable content marketing? What is the editorial calendar of timeless and timely content you’d like to produce? How does it flow into channels?
3. Plan – Develop the project plan to launch AND sustain your inbound marketing efforts. What content is the perfect intersection between your brand and your customer to create the engagement you desire.
4. Platform – Once you have completed the above steps in preparation of launching Inbound marketing, you’ll be able to define the types of functionality required in a marketing automation platform to achieve your vision.
Last words of advice, try to keep things as simple as possible. It’s easy to get drawn into the potential power of a platform. Test and learn, and then ramp up accordingly.