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25 Incredible Reasons to Outsource PPC

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Considering whether to outsource PPC or keep it in-house?

If you’ve got a business that you are trying to grow online, then you should consider PPC SEM. It’s probably the most efficient way of driving targeted traffic to your products or services online.

Though it takes testing, adjusting and optimization, PPC can help you go from no sales online to scaling up rapidly with a well optimized and well managed PPC campaign.

That’s why you should make it a goal to jump in the game and optimize your SEM for 2019. The quickest and most cost efficient way to do that is to outsource PPC.

What is PPC?

PPC, or pay-per-click, marketing is a type of online advertising that allows a marketer to only pay the bid cost of a certain keyword when their ad is clicked on by end-users.

It’s the task of the marketer is to bid on the highest converting keywords at the lowest possible cost to maximize profitability of their campaigns.

PPC campaigns are used for different marketing objectives for each marketer.

Campaign goals include:

There are many factors that must be considered, worked through, managed and optimized in order to be successful with a low-cost and high profitability PPC campaign. That’s why it’s a great idea to outsource PPC to an expert in this field.

There are many different disciplines in the world of online marketing today.

Hiring a generalist in online marketing is not a good idea when looking for a PPC expert. Just because a person has experience with SEO, Amazon sales, blogging, e-mail marketing, copywriting, digital graphic design, website development or some other field, it does not mean that they would be any good at PPC advertising.

Networks

There are many different PPC ad networks you can use to launch and conduct your PPC campaigns.

Google Adwords

Outsource PPC

Launched back in 2000, Google Adwords is the biggest PPC network of them all. Google still has the largest number of users, which means endless traffic and keywords that you can bid on.

There are millions of third-party websites that display Google ads in every single niche out there. Like they say about New York City, if you can make it with Google Adwords, you can make it anywhere.

But here’s a good question for you: What happens when you get banned or declined from Google AdSense?

You need another alternative to outsource PPC!

Bidvertiser

This platform, though far less known than Google, works similarly to Google.

Bidvertiser shows ads that you create to third-party sites in a plethora of different niches. When visitors to these sites click on the ads, the site owner and Bidvertiser get paid and you, the marketer, get charged per click.

Facebook Ads Manager

Another popular option for PPC advertising is Facebook. With billions of users all over the globe, it’s safe to say they’ve got enough traffic for you to tap into.

But the good news is there are many, many more options as well. Do a little more research to find more networks that are available for PPC advertising.

Aspects of PPC Ad Management

outsource ppc in 2019

There are multiple aspects of a successful ad campaign that must be set up properly, managed, tested and finally, optimized for long-term success.

When you outsource PPC, you increase the chances of getting all of this done the right way by contracting an expert who does this work daily.

Your account must be set up correctly, campaigns and ad groups must be selected, keywords must be selected, you have to choose an audience, ad copy must be written, product listings must be created, device targeting selected, location targeting selected, and ad delivery schedule and budget must be selected and much more.

You need someone who has experience working through all aspects of this endeavor across many different industries, business phases, budgets, goals and more.

25 Factors to Consider Before You Outsource PPC

1 Cost of PPC Expertise

There is a high cost of hiring a full-time PPC expert as opposed to outsourcing PPC campaigns.

You can easily make expensive mistakes with PPC campaigns. When you outsource PPC, you increase your chances of maximizing profitability and minimizing expensive mistakes because you can easily find an expert who is open to freelancing rather than demanding an employment contract.

2 Advanced Tools and Resources at Your Fingertips

Adwords (now Google Ads), Facebook Ads Manager and Bing Ads Manager integrate with third party tools. These tools are needed for advanced campaign management.

Advanced tools can help with various parts of your campaign such as bid management, keyword research, analytics, and more. When you outsource PPC, you can simply ask a candidate which tools they use to simplify, streamline and advance the work of PPC optimization.

3 Bid Management

Managing PPC bids is a huge part of the investment management of your PPC campaigns. The bidding component requires a lot of time but also a lot of experience and knowledge. It can get very complex and nuanced.

When you outsource PPC to an expert, they may have access to advanced tools that simplify the work of management.

4 Stay on the Cutting Edge

When you bring a PPC expert on staff, you may inadvertently take them out of the market where they are learning and growing more rapidly. You also may not be able to afford the cost of continuing education, conferences, certifications and courses they may need to keep growing.

When you simply outsource PPC, you increase the likelihood of getting someone who is on the cutting edge of the evolutionary nature of online marketing. The more advanced candidates will keep themselves up-to-date on the latest within the world of PPC.

5 Time Efficiency

ppc ad campaign

When you hire a PPC expert, other people in your company will likely be involved to some degree or another with their efforts. At the very least, the senior marketing director and you, the CEO.

Sure, there will be some time investment even if you outsource PPC.

However, you will likely be able to control costs more easily by outsourcing the task as opposed to taking it in-house.

6 Faster Results

At the end of the day, your goal is to increase leads and sales a lot faster than you have been experiencing to this point, right?

Well, when you outsource PPC, you’re going to be able to quickly get your campaign up and running as opposed to starting the hiring process of making job posts, interviewing candidates, narrowing down your list of candidates, choosing the right person, and getting them on board with all of the rest of your office.

All of that with the risk of finding out once they’re actually doing the work, that they’re not a good fit!

7 Stay Focused

PPC advertising and management is very powerful for delivering targeted traffic to your landing pages and offers.

Yet, as it is with most things in business, PPC campaign management is complex, not simple. It may look easy enough that the onset, but to really win an excel in this game, there is a lot of technical knowledge and experience that must be effectively applied and implemented.

8 Avoid Beginner Mistakes

Certainly, now that you are older, you think riding a bike is elementary. Still, when you were learning it as a kid, likely, you made a ton of mistakes and fell a lot. This probably caused a lot of cuts and bruises that hurt as you learned.

The point here is that everything that you’re not an expert in requires the same process of making beginner mistakes that cause pain. Pain here often means you losing money and time that you may not be able to afford losing!

9 Overspending on PPC

Outsource PPC overspending

Most people who take PPC in-house end up spending a lot more money on their campaigns and on employing staff needed to do the work that you could have avoided if you had just outsourced PPC.

10 Deep Knowledge Base

When you take on PPC in-house, you immediately limit the level of services that you’re going to get for your company.

The PPC professional you hire may have experience with setting up campaigns and analytics, but not necessarily with A/B testing, phone tracking, designing landing pages, writing great sales copy, and more.

When you outsource PPC, you can contract a crew that work cohesively to do this work on a daily basis.

11 Devil in the Details

Just as it is with most fields, there are many subtleties and nuances involved with PPC management.

As they say, “The devil is in the details.” It’s in the details of PPC management where the game is won.

If you hire someone who’s not on top of all of the details due to lack of experience, you could end up with lackluster results that waste your valuable time and money.

12 Tracking PPC Campaigns Require Expertise

Facebook Ads PPC campaign tracking

Monitoring analytics of your Facebook and Google ad words campaigns are important because they tell you where you’re winning and where you’re losing.

Tags will need to be applied to your campaigns by installing HTML tracking code on your website. You can also track leads and sales from phone calls with additional set up.

If you know where your sales and leads are coming from, then you can invest more there and cut what’s not working.

13 Stick to What YOU Do Best

When you do PPC in-house, you pick up a whole lot of additional burden — a complication that won’t necessarily pay off.

Many people get so bogged down into the details of trying to set campaigns up properly and make them work that they neglect their core business.

When this happens, you start to lose your business, and a downward spiral begins.

14 Dedicated Expert

Instead of trying to split your time to work with a new PPC in-house professional, you’d be better served by contracting the services of a person or a group of contractors that specialize in PPC campaign management.

Contracting the work to a dedicated experts will pay off for you a lot faster than keeping this in-house.

15 Huge Learning Curve

Outsource PPC learning curve

You may question whether or not you should hire a marketing freelancer who has learned how to do PPC themselves through a digital course or training program.

The logic is sound.

However, in reality, with so many companies competing for the same keywords in every niche imaginable online, it’s not easy to beat them out at an affordable cost when you don’t have a seasoned professional who knows the ins and outs of PPC management.

16 Mastermind Effect

If you have read the classic book, “Think and Grow Rich,” you know the importance of the concept of the mastermind.

When you collaborate with experts who gather to solve the problems of your business then you grow faster and more efficiently.

You get this mastermind effect when you hire the services of a professional PPC contractor as opposed to trying to train an in-house worker who does not have a PPC background.

17 Multiple PPC Platforms to Consider

The other thing that you need to consider here is that there are multiple PPC platforms which should be considered.

So if you hire a in-house PPC professional, likely, they are not an expert at multiple platforms. Likely, they are an expert in one of the many platforms upon which you should be running PPC campaigns.

Hiring freelance PPC managers gets you who you need for all the platforms you need without all the costs.

18 Can’t Afford The Best Talent

PPC management team

If you can’t afford to hire a full in-house group for your PPC ad campaigns then your best bet is to just outsource PPC.

You can easily spend $120,000 to hire just one PPC professional, let alone a whole department.

19 Greater Access to Excellence

When you outsource PPC, you get access to a pool of talent that is staying on top of best practices in the field of PPC across a broad variety of channels.

You can’t expect your in-house crew to be able to compete with a dedicated PPC ad agency or expert with 10 years of experience.

20 Office Drama

Frankly, more people on your in-house team means more potential for office drama.

Make your life a lot simpler by simply outsourcing PPC and keeping your in-house team lean and mean.

21 Feel Like Competitors Are Ahead of You

Outsource PPC competitors

If you feel like competitors are moving ahead of you when you look at their web presence, you see the number of new clients they’re bringing on or you catch wind of how much new product they’re selling, they’re PPC expert help could be the difference.

You can quickly move up the field if you outsource PPC.

22 Want a Multi-Channel Strategy

In order to continue to scale your business, you need to consider running PPC campaigns on not just one but on multiple platforms.

This means you will need the help of experts in those various platforms.

The easiest way to get this help is to contract out the work to experts in those various platforms as opposed to attempting to keep it in-house and training your in-house talent.

23 Advanced Strategy

Outsource PPC advanced strategy

After you get your PPC campaign set up and start seeing success, you want to turn things up a notch and move towards more advanced strategies.

These strategies can lead to lower cost of your ad spend while increasing sales.

It’s going to be the experts who were staying on top of trends in PPC that will help you implement these.

24 Broader Perspective

Internal staff tend to get tunnel vision and lose sight of the various possibilities that you have with PPC campaign management.

When you hire an outsourced professional or group of professionals, you are working with someone who is exposed to many different trends that expand their minds to other possibilities.

25 Management

When you have to manage PPC professionals that are in-house, then your resources and attention is diverted away from running other critical aspects of your business.

When you outsource PPC, you allow yourself to work with talent that is self-managed. They will likely just report to you on things that need to take place and share data analytics.

Final Thoughts

Right now is a perfect time to get started with PPC advertising to grow your business.

You can start by searching here for freelance PPC experts who can help reach your goals.

List out the platforms and campaigns that you need and send in a request for the people you need to run your efforts.

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How to choose a content marketing automation platform

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How to choose a content marketing automation platform



A 1917 poster says in bold capital letters: “I WANT YOU FOR THE U.S. ARMY,” along with the famous image of Uncle Sam pointing at the viewer.

In 1917, most advertising was blunt and direct, but in the following 100+ years, consumers have become desensitized to typical marketing strategies. As a result, companies have turned to new forms of marketing to reach their audience.

One of these forms of marketing is content marketing: an indirect type of advertising that delivers blog posts, podcasts, and other forms of content to indirectly market a brand to consumers. Today, businesses can automate many aspects of content marketing, and choosing the right platform for content marketing automation unlocks new efficiencies and return on investment for companies.

Key takeaways:

  • Content marketing is a powerful way to reach customers by providing value through content.
  • Automation makes content marketing efficient and convenient.
  • Optimizely can help you take your content management to the next level.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a new strategy for reaching potential customers by delivering content they want to consume. Content marketing improves the brand’s image by providing useful or entertaining content which builds goodwill and brand recognition among potential customers.

Content marketing takes many forms: podcasts, digital video, webinars, articles, infographics and more. Creating and delivering quality content is difficult because it must deliver on multiple levels: it must be useful, entertaining and informative, but it must also inspire confidence and credibility. In other words, quality content marketing must be both good content and marketing material.

Why would a company spend its marketing dollars on content marketing instead of more direct forms of advertising? There are several reasons content marketing is a good choice for companies:

  • Content marketing improves organic reach by delivering content that customers want to consume. This can range from entertainment like TikTok videos or online quizzes to more serious informative content like how-to guides and video conferences.
  • Content marketing inspires confidence in your brand by establishing your company as an expert and key player in your industry.
  • Content marketing improves goodwill by delivering personable, relatable content that meets customers where they’re at. Rather than trying to make customers interested in your company directly, content marketing capitalizes on the things your customer is already interested in.

image source

 

How to automate content marketing

AI can’t host a podcast or present a webinar (at least not yet), but automation plays an important role in content marketing.

Social media

Social media is one of the largest opportunities for marketers. Social media is the second largest market within the world of digital advertising, second only to search marketing. Content marketing is uniquely poised to cover both categories as it can optimize content for organic search results and social media sharing.

This is where automation comes into the picture: automation can’t take over your social media presence for you, but it can take on some of the most tedious and error-prone aspects of your digital presence. Some key ways you can automate your social media content marketing are by scheduling posts, connecting various social media platforms to publish content on multiple platforms at once, regularly sharing your content, automatically promoting content and more.

Recently, AI has taken significant steps forward in Natural Language Processing (NLP), which makes AI chatbots a powerful way to connect with users on social media platforms (as well as on your platform).

 

Email marketing

A fan of the television show Arrested Development would finish the phrase “The money is in the…” with “banana stand,” but experienced marketers know that the right answer is “the money is in the list.”

This popular phrase refers to the fact that email marketing is one of the most important aspects of a marketing plan, and a longer list of quality leads is one of the most reliable ways to grow sales. Email newsletters are one of the most popular forms of content marketing but sending email after email is a tedious and treacherous process as it creates limitless opportunities for human error.

Automation revolutionizes email marketing by automatically sending emails. With a customer relationship management platform, email automation can automatically send emails based on milestones and timelines and personalize emails based on the customer’s name and history. This level of personalization is difficult for small businesses and impossible for large ones, but with automation, it’s straightforward and convenient.

image source

 

Tracking performance 

One of the keys to marketing automation is tracking marketing communication performance. Marketers should be performing A/B testing to see which campaigns perform the best and merit further expansion, but tangibly measuring the outcome of these tests is difficult without the right tools.

Automation helps companies track the performance of their content marketing by collecting data from various platforms, bringing it all into one convenient place and providing metrics about the traffic and conversions coming from each piece of content. 

Features of the right content marketing platform

Harnessing the value of these powerful automation options requires a quality content marketing platform. The right platform should include some qualities that maximize its usefulness.

  • Flexibility. One of the essential functions of automation is the ability to share content on multiple platforms simultaneously. While this is already a powerful option, it becomes more powerful with a headless API that empowers you to deliver content on various platforms.
  • Personalization. 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions, and 76% become frustrated when companies don’t personalize their communications. The right content marketing platform makes personalization second nature with robust personalization tools that go beyond copy-and-pasting names. Content marketing platforms like Optimizely target personalized digital experiences to dynamic customer segments.
  • Capacity. Your business has unique needs, and your content platform shouldn’t hold you back. Rather than making your job harder, the right content marketing platform makes your job easier by offering a wide range of options and high-capacity storage for all your needs.

When it comes to content management, Optimizely is an industry leader. Optimizely’s advanced tools range from A/B testing, e-commerce support and headless digital experience management.

To learn how Optimizely can help you harness the power of automation and revolutionize your content marketing, request a meeting today to start the next chapter of your marketing journey.


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Skills to Look for in a Freelance Software Developer

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Skills to Look for in a Freelance Software Developer

According to Statista, the number of software developers around the globe is expected to increase to 28.7 million by 2024.

Freelance software developers benefit companies because of the ease and speed with which they can be onboarded and used as project-specific resources. This blog will answer the most asked concerns about using contract services.

Benefits of Hiring Freelance Software Developers

When hiring a freelancer, your first expectation is impeccable skills and expertise, followed closely by cost savings, or vice versa. Here are the most popular reasons why companies choose to hire freelance talent.

Cost-efficiency

Full-time employees cost an organisation a salary, as well as added investments in training, equipment, perks, overheads of utilities and rented space, and benefits such as healthcare and social security.

Freelancers work remotely using personal resources; businesses reduce investments without losing quality.

Reduced Risk

Businesses reduce financial risk by working with freelancers on an hourly, monthly, or project basis. Setting a clearly worded contract that the freelance software developer agrees to and signs, mitigates financial risk and clearly stipulates ownership of intellectual property.

Expertise

Freelancers with niche expertise such as software development company in London, provide companies with the best talents for their projects. Hiring freelancers for different projects allows businesses to match the varying demands of each project, streamlines workflows and ensures productivity.

Global Talent

Businesses choose professional freelancers expecting them to complete any given task with minimum input from the organization. You can access talent from across the globe on platforms such as UpWork, People Per Hour, Fiverr, and Toptal, amongst others. Client reviews on such portals help in assessing proficiency and expertise.

Work Quality

A freelancer is as good as her or his portfolio. Successful freelancers achieve credibility by building long-term relationships and providing consistent quality. Freelancer work depends on referrals and good reviews, hence a potential contract employee’s work portfolio, and reviews showcase their abilities.

Skills of A High-Quality Freelance Software Developer

The first criterion for hiring a developer for your project is knowing what skill sets are needed. List your project specifications to customise your search and determine the expertise required for the project. Freelance developers may work on web development (front-end, back-end, or full-stack developers) or mobile application development.

Front-end freelance developers

Front-end software developers design websites and web applications and manage the graphical interface of websites. They use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and technologies like Foundation, AngularJS, Bootstrap, Backbone, DOM, and EmberJS to create layouts and graphics.

Back-end freelance developers

Back-end developers handle server-side processes such as website security, speed, databases, servers, application logic, and APIs. Back-end developers are typically skilled in Java, Python, and PHP, as well as SQL, Git, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Full-stack freelance developers

Full-stack freelance developers handle both the front and back ends of the website. They are responsible for everything from project planning to website coding. Front-end frameworks include HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and backends employ NodeJS, ExpressJS, Django, Flask, and C++. Full stack programmers manage database systems (such as SQL SERVER, MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and Oracle Database), version control, and web hosting.

Mobile app developers

Mobile app developers develop, create, and test mobile applications for iOS and Android operating systems. Mobile app developers have programming language skills such as NodeJS, PHP, Python, or Ruby on Rails. They must also be proficient in back-end frameworks, database management and security, and hardware interaction. They need expertise in UI/UX design, security, and the Internet of things (IoT) for mobile devices.

How to Locate the Best Freelancers  Online

Talent portals such as Upwork, People Per Hour, and Fiverr showcase many talented freelance software developers. Here are steps on how to hire talent from an online opportunity marketplace.

Set a Hiring Budget

Look for similar job postings to learn what are the current hourly rates for the work you require. Define a reasonable budget. Beware that a freelance software developer may have higher hourly rates than regular employees.  

Clearly Define Project Requirements

Freelancers can be effective resources when you provide clear details about your project requirements. Be sure to mention the following

  • Allocated Budget
  • Payment terms
  • Project start and end dates
  • Clear job descriptions
  • Project expectations

Shortlist and Assess Freelance Software Developers

Top software developers typically work harder and achieve results because client reviews are essential to their ongoing success. The details you post make it easier for them to determine if they fit your requirements. Once you begin receiving qualified responses, choose according to their ratings and reviews, your interview process, and any sample project to build software and check their skills.

Six Factors to Consider when Hiring Freelance Sofware Developers

Hiring a freelancer revolves around their technical skills, certifications and education, attitude towards work, and ability to deliver results. Here are some crucial pointers to help you find the most appropriate fit for your project.

Technical Expertise

Freelancers must be able to handle the technical requirements of the project. They should be well-versed in software stacks, coding, development and task management software, version control tools, and deployment processes. Freelance software developers may charge more for specific technical abilities such as mobile app development, web development, or project rescues.

Experience

Freelancers who have worked on similar projects will have come across pain points and solutions. Any relevant experience enhances their expertise for your project and boosts their ability to strategise toward productive outcomes. Note that a freelancer’s experience typically increases their pay rate.

Cost

Experience and expertise increase a freelancer’s worth, but their services must provide value for your money. Knowing current hourly or project rates ensures that you are connecting with the right candidates. Freelancers that accept less payment may be new to the market and want to create a client base. Or, are choosing to supplement their income with multiple projects, which may reduce their work quality.

Professionalism

Education and certifications improve a freelancer’s pay scale, but they do not signal a freelancer’s abilities. The easiest way to gauge work ethic is from social proof such as client endorsements and their portfolio. A professional freelance software developer will openly share these details, with their client’s approval, of course.

Reliability

A reliable freelancer will have a long-standing client base, developed by consistent efforts and proven results. The more repeat customers a freelancer has, the better the chances of them being dependable. The following actions demonstrate the integrity of any freelance work and can be testified by customer reviews.

  • Following instructions
  • Regular updates
  • Quickly responding to queries
  • Willingly accepting critique
  • Meeting deadlines consistently

Location

One of the best features of acquiring freelance talent is access to global resources. Ensure that your communication skills match. Also, check that the culture and holidays in the freelancer’s location do not conflict with project development. Location can also affect fees, where freelancers in the USA charge the highest as compared to their Asian counterparts.

Conclusion

Finding and hiring the right freelance software developers is easy when you have the necessary checklists in place. Software development work is complex, make sure you are vetting your candidates carefully to get the best fit for your project. Good luck!

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State of Content Marketing in 2023

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State of Content Marketing in 2023

I just pressed send on the manuscript for my book to be released in September. It’s called Content Marketing Strategy (snappy, eh?), and Kogan Page will publish it.

Last week, marketing professor Philip Kotler wrote the foreword. I won’t spoil it, but he mentioned the need for a strategic approach to owned media.

He writes, “(T)he company doesn’t carry an account of showing these marketing assets and their value. As a result, the company cannot show the CEO and company board members a return on owned assets or content.”

Luckily, my upcoming book shows exactly how to do that. Funny how that works out.

In any event, all this struck me that now is an opportune time to look at where the beloved practice of content marketing stands today.

First, let’s go back to 1999 when Kotler published Kotler On Marketing, one of his more than 70 books. The latter 1990s – a time of tumultuous change – fueled most of the thinking for the book. But he knew that it was merely the beginning.

Kotler concluded the book with a section called “Transformational Marketing.”  In the next decade, he wrote, “marketing will be re-engineered from A to Z. Marketing will need to rethink fundamentally the processes by which they identify, communicate, and deliver customer value.”

Well, it’s taken over two decades, but it’s finally happening.

Consumers have changed, but marketing operations are just starting to

In case you didn’t notice, almost every marketing conference these days starts with the same four or five requisite slides:

  • Digital technologies, such as search and social media, empower consumers today.
  • Consumers research, engage, buy, and stay loyal to brands in ways that have fundamentally changed.
  • First-party data and privacy are of the utmost importance.
  • Artificial intelligence begins to threaten the idea of the usefulness of search and pressure companies to deliver better and more personalized experiences.

You get it. Consumer expectations in the age of the social, mobile, and AI-driven web are different than they were.

However, the continuing challenge in 2023 is that content and/or marketing operations in enterprise companies are only beginning to evolve. Most marketing departments have remained as they were when Kotler wrote his book — they still work from mid- to late-20th century hierarchies, strategies, and processes.

Most marketing departments still work with mid- to late-20th-century hierarchies, strategies, and processes, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Content marketing isn’t new, but a content marketing strategy is

For hundreds of years, businesses have used content to affect some kind of profitable outcome. But the reality is this: Whether it was John Deere’s The Furrow from the 1800s, Michelin’s guide to car maintenance in the early 1900s, or even Hasbro’s GI-Joe partnership with Marvel in the 1980s, content was not — and is not for the most part now — a scalable, repeatable practice within the function of marketing. In short, companies almost always treat content marketing as a project, not a process.

That fundamental change will finally take hold in 2023. It could happen because of the digital disruption and ease by which you can now publish and distribute content to aggregate your own audiences. It could happen through the natural evolution that the ultimate outcome – more than the marketing – matters more.

As we roll through 2023 and beyond, content — and the exponentially increasing quantities of it produced by every organization — deeply affects not just your marketing strategy, but your business strategy. Content in marketing is now bigger than simply content marketing, and it should be dealt with as a component of that business strategy throughout the enterprise.

#Content in marketing is bigger than #ContentMarketing. Treat it as a component of the business strategy, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

In 2023, the No. 1 focus of my consulting and advisory practice these days: help companies transform content into a repeatable, scalable, and measurable function that drives value through a multi-channel strategy. It’s bigger than publishing a blog, creating a lead-generating resource center, or sending an email newsletter. Today’s content marketing team is being absorbed into marketing because marketing and its various operations are fundamentally transforming into a content-producing machine.

It is not good enough to produce content “like a media company would.” The goal must be to operate as a media company does. Your job is not to change content to fit new marketing goals. Rather, your job in 2023 is to change marketing to fit the new business content goals.

Your job in 2023 is to change #marketing to fit the new business #content goals, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

The unaware builds a case for the aware

The term “content marketing” continues to evolve. Even today, I run across those who still call it “brand publishing,” “custom content,” or “inbound marketing.”

My take matches with what Kotler described in 1999. I always thought the term “content marketing” would become part of “marketing” more broadly. In 2023, that happened. So, returning to the lexiconic debates of 2013, 2014, or 2015 doesn’t seem terribly productive. Content marketing is just good marketing, and marketing is just good content marketing.

That said, two kinds of companies do well at the broader view of content marketing. Some of them, such as Cleveland Clinic, Red Bull, Arrow Electronics, HubSpot, and REI, have purposely devised content marketing strategies as differentiating approaches to their marketing. They are succeeding.

Others, like Amazon, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, and Peloton, backed into a smart content marketing strategy. But executives at those companies probably don’t recognize it as such. If asked (and some have been), they would say acquiring or launching a media company operation was just a smart business strategy to diversify their ability to reach their consumers consistently.

They’re right, of course. Many have yet to read books about content marketing, been influenced by the Content Marketing Institute, or even recognize content marketing as a separate approach (as far as I know). And they are also succeeding.

Consider this proof: As I write this article, six companies have a market capitalization of more than $1 trillion. Four of the six wholly or partially use the business model of media creation to further marketing and business strategies. Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, and Amazon are all, in part, media companies that also sell products and services.

Why would you not avail yourself of that same model?

The future looks cloudy and bright

As for the overall state of enterprise content marketing, it’s in transition, as all marketing is. As a focused project-based approach, working in ad-hoc ways across a business, content marketing appears to have proven its worth. Hundreds of entries every year to the Content Marketing Awards feature myriad case studies using content marketing techniques in strategic ways to profitably affect business results.

And yet, it remains to be seen whether you can make content marketing a scalable, repeatable, measurable function within marketing.

As to what the discipline’s future holds? At last year’s Content Marketing World, one of my favorite events, the Executive Forum gathered senior leaders from brands succeeding with content marketing. As we talked about the future, one participant said: “The only certainty is change. I can’t tell you where or when, but I do know there will be change, and this is the principle we build on now.”

As for my take, Kotler’s idea of transforming the marketing function seems to have gotten lost along the digital road traveled by marketers. In so many cases, marketing – and especially content – remains just an on-demand service function within the business. Its sole job is to produce ever more voluminous amounts of content that describe the value of the brand (or its products or services) so that sales can sell more efficiently, customer support can serve more effectively, and all manner of customer interfaces are more beneficial to both sides.

However, and maybe because I need to rationalize now that my book is finished, I passionately believe it’s finally time for marketing to reclaim its ability to create value — not just reflect it in the polished shine of your traditional products and services.

Almost 27 years ago today, Microsoft founder Bill Gates wrote an essay called Content is King. In it, he said that “(C)ontent is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”

It certainly was one of his more prescient moments. Nearly three decades later, his words have proven true. The essay title has become the rallying cry for thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs who now make their living on creating, managing, optimizing, and measuring content on the internet. (A Google search for “content is king” nets more than 1.7 million results.)

But it’s the last line of his essay that I find the most visionary: “(T)hose who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products – a marketplace of content.”

That’s what content marketing is for me in 2023. It’s just marketing – optimizing the value of ideas, experiences, and products in a marketplace of content.

Time to get to work.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

Get Robert’s take on content marketing industry news in just five minutes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries

Watch previous episodes or read the lightly edited transcripts.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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