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How a Silly Content Question Led to Surprisingly Delicious Answers



How a Silly Content Question Led to Surprisingly Delicious Answers

It wasn’t a great question.

But we asked it anyway: “Does it matter if people consume the content, or is it enough for them to notice it?”

To make matters worse, we posed the question to the experts presenting at Content Marketing World 2022. Yeah, the people sharing ideas with content marketers (who presumably want their content consumed).

To our delight, the experts took this less-than-stellar query and returned something even better than we’d hoped – frank contemplations, food for thought, and, sure, plenty of sass.

You don’t just eat with your eyes

Oh lord. Of course, it matters if people consume your content. That’s like asking a chef if it matters if people consume the food or look at it. – Andrew Davis, author and keynote speaker, Monumental Shift

Offer taste testers more than one course

If you’re building brand awareness, the relationship often starts with engineering a dozen micro touchpoints where your content is just enough to stop the scroll or get your audience to look twice. But it’s important that your scroll-stopping content ultimately leads your audience to find out more – and seek out your content to consume.

Then the challenge is: How do you make them return for more content?

Being consistent with your message is key to achieving this and ensuring that there is a clear path your audience can take with your content, from bite-sized snackable content to longer-form, informative pieces. You can achieve this with well-planned content repurposing.

It’s a little like serving up different courses in a meal. Learn how to take your audience from taste tester to content consumer with our guide, How Content Repurposing Makes Your Customer Journey a 7 Course Fine Dining Experience. – Amy Woods, founder and CEO, Content 10x

Don’t be the noticed-but-ignored burger truck

If audiences notice it and then choose not to consume it, chances are there’s an issue with the message, the design, or the targeting. If I’m at a food truck park and I notice the burger truck every single time but actively choose to order food from the Cajun truck, my notice doesn’t matter to the burger people. Same thing if I notice one piece of content but then consume another. – Andrea Fryrear, CEO and co-founder, AgileSherpas

If audiences notice your #content but don’t consume it, there’s a problem with your message, design, or targeting, says @AndreaFryrear via @AnnGynn @CMIContent #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Tempt with aromas, but get them to buy dinner

Is it enough for people to walk by a restaurant and think it smells good? Or do you want them to buy dinner? Ultimately, the more sales you make, the better off you are. However, to continue the analogy, some of those sales may come from people who previously walked by and inhaled a delectable scent.

Simply noticing content involves consuming some of it – perhaps a headline, an image, or a logo. With repeated exposure, a person may decide to dive deeper.

That said, I always aim for notice and consume. If your content is well targeted, you want those targets to engage with it – and respond to it – because that’s what can lead to business. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what most of us want? – Nancy Harhut, CCO, HBT Marketing

Give them more than one bite

Of course, you want your audience to consume your content. That’s the point of content marketing. Content marketing is providing content to the target audience to help them reach professional goals, educate, entertain, or address whatever content needs they might have.

If your content is designed to meet those goals, you want your audience to have a close and intimate relationship with it. We want them to appreciate it and be grateful for it. We want them to depend on it. We want them to be hungry for more.

This will – depending on your goals – induce brand trust, build experts’ personal branding, or simply create a positive association. Unless your content is so bad, you hope nobody will read it in full. – Igor Bielobadek, digital marketing senior manager, Deloitte

Don’t add to clickbait content noise

Look, it’s better to be noticed than not noticed. But of course, consumption matters. The world’s attention is incredibly divided, yes. And it’s hard to get noticed. But vying just to get noticed means that you’re adding to the clickbait, junk-content noise that already prevails.

If all you’re doing is vying for attention, you’re not giving value to your audience. And great relationships are built on value. Think about your own day-to-day – probably thousands of things catch your attention for a few seconds. But they leave your brain the minute you look away. Creating meaningful interactions is the key to forging a great relationship with your audience. You can’t do that with hand waving. – Inbar Yagur, vice president of marketing, GrowthSpace

If all you’re doing is vying for attention, you’re not giving value to your audience, says @Content_Fairy via @AnnGynn @CMIContent #CMWorld Click To Tweet

More awareness equals a bigger audience

I love this question because it calls attention to a timeless marketing principle: AIDA. The first A stands for awareness. (The rest stands for interest, desire, and action.)

While it’s great for your super fans to consume your content, there’s greater value in more people in your target audience noticing it, provided that it reinforces the main thing about your brand. This keeps your brand top of mind, which leads to higher sales conversions in the long run. – Bernie Borges, vice president global content marketing, iQor

Do you want their minds?

Like all good content questions, the answer is “it depends.” If you’re going for brand awareness, noticing content is enough. If you want to change hearts and minds, content must be consumed and engaged with.

But if your goal is to sell, even if the content is only consumed at a surface level (i.e., skim-read or watched to 25%) but still converts, does it really matter? To a content creator, yes. To the business, probably not. – Gina Balarin, director and content queen, Verballistics

Notice, then consume

As someone who has over 80 tabs open at all times, I can assure you that if I’ve noticed good content, I’ll consume it. I also DM myself on Twitter and IG, save TikToks, etc.

Catching the eye is great, but the ROI of content marketing comes when folks read and engage with your content. – Jenn VandeZande, editor-in-chief, SAP Customer Experience

Catching the eye is great, but #ContentMarketing ROI comes when folks read and engage, says @JennVZande via @AnnGynn @CMIContent #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Sow content seeds

In January, I noticed a garden seed company sharing information about container gardens. When I was ready to plan my container garden in March, I went back to the company to learn more about the right plants for my growing zone and container size. When I planted the garden in May, I went back again to purchase materials. People need the right information at the right time.

Often people notice a source that offers helpful, insightful content and are more likely to remember the brand and the type of information they share. When a need arises, people can go back to that brand for educational information and purchase details. – Penny Gralewski, senior director, product and portfolio marketing, DataRobot

Know the stop on the journey

If you are looking to create brand awareness or ad recall, it might be enough for people to notice it without taking any action. If you are targeting people early in the customer journey when awareness is your major goal, they may not act on your content, and that is OK. If you target users further down the funnel or have a goal that involves the user doing something with your content (clicking, sharing, etc.), then just noticing it will not help you reach your goals. – Andi Robinson, global digital content marketing, Corteva Agriscience

If you’re targeting people early in their customer journey, they may not act on your #Content, and that’s OK, says @HijinxMarketing via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Make a dent or generate leads

It depends entirely on your foundational goals. If you’re simply trying to build awareness of your existence, then people noticing your presence – preferably on a repeated basis – may be enough to make a dent.

But if you’re trying to generate leads, built trust, or create loyalty, you need true engagement.

Think about how-to content that helps solve a customer’s problem or need, for example. If that customer simply sees it, well, that’s a good start. But if they consume the content, then come back for more, you’re on the way to creating trust and loyalty. – Chris Blose, founder, Chris Blose Content

Go down the attention funnel

We often talk about the sales funnel. Here, I’ll introduce the concept of the “attention funnel.” While we’d always prefer that users consume and deeply appreciate our content, let’s think about it in terms of the stages of a funnel.

At the top of the funnel, we want people to simply notice our content or notice our brand. The bottom of the funnel is where they consume it deeply and share it with friends. In these terms, having users notice your content can be thought of as the beginning of a wonderful, full-funnel relationship. – Dennis Shiao, founder, Attention Retention

Having users notice your #content can be the beginning of a wonderful full-funnel relationship, says @DShiao via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Not face value

Content is not a façade. We create it to be consumed (read, watched, clicked). If it’s just to be at face value, we can just create a couple of pretty pictures and be done with it. – Michael Weiss, vice president of consulting services and solutions, Creative Circle

Think about the audience’s why

I don’t see this as a binary. It might not be necessary for a person to consume a piece of content at a specific moment.

Instead, I think about the “why” underpinning this. In the instance of someone noticing a piece of content but not consuming it, why is that? Was that the objective in the first place? Did the theme not resonate? Is the environment a mismatch? Was something off-putting about the content that caused the person to scroll past? Was the person just busy and couldn’t devote the time?

Frequency and quality impressions are also important metrics to consider, and engagement is a medium- to long-term strategy. There is no right or wrong answer here. Instead, it’s critical to consider the context and nuances of a particular brand, campaign, or organization. – Michael Bordieri, senior content solutions consultant, LinkedIn

Be a content marketer, not a brand marketer

Getting notice or attention is the aim of the brand marketer, but the content marketer is looking for deeper engagement. When people consume the content, it indicates we are actually meeting the informational need of our audience, not just trying to draw attention to ourselves. – Ali Orlando Wert, director of content strategy, Qlik

Make it sticky

Content takes on myriad forms, so it depends on your goal. If your audience desires a quick fix, then perishable content might make the most sense. But if you’re trying to drive home value, you want sticky, memorable, educational content and, if applicable, entertain the user. That’s how you gain mindshare and foster recall. – Karen McFarlane, chief marketing officer, LetterShop

If you’re trying to drive home value, you want sticky, memorable, educational #Content that entertains, says @KarenMcFarlaine via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Go for binge and share

If you think deeply about why you’re doing what you’re doing, then the answer to this question is obvious. If you commit every day to be on a search-and-destroy mission to finding out the best way to create memorable and meaningful content that meets your customers’ exact needs at every moment, then there’s no chance they’ll just notice it.

You’ve made it for them to devour. It’s stuff that they want to binge and share with their friends mid-binge at 1 in the morning. Wait, who does that? “Hey, Rhonda, did you see that blog post from that brand?” seems farfetched. But if you’ve done your job, fans will seek you out, thank you for it, and share willingly and openly. You’ll have tons of Rhondas. – Jon Burkhart, founder, TBC Global Limited

Not everything needs a click

If the goal is brand awareness, you can meet it without a click. Just seeing the email in the inbox or the post in the social stream creates some brand awareness. No one has ever clicked on an outdoor billboard, but those have marketing outcomes, right?

That’s more common for B2C brands where you need to be visible to lots of people (low-value, high-volume content). But for B2B brands where you sell something more expensive (high-value, low-volume content), brand awareness is insufficient. You need leads. You need the content to get clicked and consumed. You need trust. – Andy Crestodina, co-founder and chief marketing officer, Orbit Media Studios

In B2B, brand awareness is insufficient. Brands need leads. You need the #Content to get clicked, says @Crestodina via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Neither noticing nor consuming matters

It’s the next step that matters, and that’s the only one worth measuring: The audience has to share it. Remember, shares are about ego. People share your content because they get credit for it by default.

Your job is to make them look cool/knowledgeable as a result. Like in college, when someone brought you a new record? And then you shared it? And then you got the props for being the tastemaker? It’s exactly like that.

Pro tip: Effective content all comes down to emotion. Rule No. 1: Don’t be boring. Rule No. 2: Make them react. To buy, click or share, I have to feel. Emotion is the driver. Content that triggers emotion beats the hamburglars outta everything else. – Kate Bradley Chernis, co-founder and CEO, Lately

Get to the goals

Noticing it is the first goal. Consuming content is the next goal. Converting from content is the ultimate goal. – Michael Brenner, CEO, Marketing Insider Group

Education requires consumption

If the goal is awareness, being noticed may be enough. If your goal is to educate or engage with your audience, they probably need to consume it. – Ruth Carter, evil genius, Geek Law Firm

Noticing is consuming

Isn’t noticing it consuming it at a basic level? – Meg Coffey, managing director, Coffey & Tea

They’re not your audience

If the audience doesn’t consume the content, they are not, in fact, your audience. – Joe Pulizzi, founder, The Tilt

If the audience doesn’t consume your #content, they are not, in fact, your audience, says @JoePulizzi via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Consumption habits are changing

Noticing it is important. Consumption habits are changing, and we may need to update what consumption means. – Kathy Klotz-Guest, founder, Keeping it Human

Define what consumption means to your brand

If your goal is to increase brand awareness or push inaccurate/negative search results off page one, it might be enough for people to simply notice your content first as they scroll.

But define consumption for your brand. Does that mean clicks from Google search results? Email sign-ups? Direction requests? How will you know if your content was successful? What matters is if what people do, matches your definition of success. – Haley Collins, director of operations and content, GPO

Become a trusted source

Content marketing is an incredible way to gain credibility and build trust with buyers, but those benefits don’t come from catchy headlines alone. By creating content that helps your prospect find an answer, solve a problem, or sharpen their skills, you’ll build loyalty and be the trusted source they return to when it is time to make a purchase. – Wendy Covey, CEO and co-founder, TREW Marketing

Consumption creates more metrics

It depends on the content’s purpose: Is its job simply to increase awareness? Or do you expect it to change minds, educate, drive demand, or reduce customer support calls? Also, it’s harder to track and measure the impact of content that your audience doesn’t actually engage with. – Carmen Hill, principal strategist and writer, Chill Content

Noticing is good enough for stopping scrollers

Every content item and type has a unique goal. If the goal of the content is consumption and engagement, yes, it matters. If the goal is, for example, to stop a scrolling passer-by and drive amplification, the scroll depth and reader patterns aren’t as important. Only the most magical content items in magical situations will achieve multi-goal realities. – Jeff Coyle, co-founder, CSO, MarketMuse

Stay no to junk

With shrunken attention spans, it’s unrealistic to expect consumers to read every single word on a piece of content. However, consumers are smart. They expect quality content and know when they’re reading junk. It’s vital for brands to keep up high-quality standards when it comes to content – no matter where it’s posted. From social media to blog posts, serve up top-tier content and consumers will respond with clicks and conversions.  – Brittany Graff, senior director of marketing, Painting with a Twist

Focus on the bigger picture

Noticing it will get you some ROI. The focus definitely should be on getting folks to consume your content for a true transactional relationship to begin. – Chris Ducker, founder,

Change it to get the consumption

Consumption matters. Engagement matters. Engagement builds dialog, which builds trust, which drives relationships. If people are not consuming and engaging with your content, consider how you can alter it to spark the kind of education, inspiration, and conversion needed to drive business performance. – Mark Emond, president, Demand Spring

Liberty, Liberty, Liberty

If you can communicate an idea about your brand in an image or passing headline, noticing can be enough. I don’t pay attention to Liberty Mutual commercials, but I can sing that damn jingle in my sleep. And I at least know what they do, so if I’m ever in need of insurance – “Liberty, Liberty, Liberty … Liberty.” – Jason Falls, senior influence strategist, Cornett

Make it worthy of consumption

One of the biggest problems we face is the amount of content that’s produced every day. It’s easy to get lost in the deluge of blog posts, podcasts, infographics, and videos that come out every minute. If your content isn’t good enough to be consumed, it’s not providing value to anyone and is a waste of your time. Start looking for ways to make less content and make better content. – Brian Piper, director of content strategy and assessment, University of Rochester

End random acts of content

If you’re creating content, but no one is reading it, you’re wasting your efforts. My mantra (and our consultancy’s tagline) is “no more random acts of content.” Everything should be created with your audience’s needs in mind – the challenges they face, their most frequent questions, and the ways you can help them excel in their lives. Unless you’re creating something with a specific audience need in mind, you’re just adding to the noise and wasting your content marketing budget. – Erika Heald, founder, lead consultant, Erika Heald Marketing Consulting

If you’re creating #content but no one’s reading it, you’re wasting your efforts, says @SFerika via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

It’s quantity vs. quality

Our mission as marketers is to make sure people will consume our content. However, I see many managers quite worried about quantity. If your brand is niche focused, its audience will naturally be proportional to the market size. So, don’t expect your brand to be popular outside the boundaries of your target. – Cassio Politi, founder, Tracto Content Marketing

Action requires consumption

If the goal of the content is brand awareness, then I suppose noticing it may be an OK outcome. But if no one is actually consuming it, and taking action as a result of it, then you probably need a more focused content strategy. – Paul Roetzer, CEO, Marketing AI Institute

Get them to know you

It is not enough for people to notice your content. They have to consume it. Noticing that you have content doesn’t help them. They aren’t getting to know, like, or trust you if they just see that you’re making content. They have to spend time-consuming it for it to benefit either of you. – Tim Schmoyer, founder/CEO, Video Creators

Who cares?

I guess it comes down to: Does it matter for me or them? Stats, numbers, clicks, and likes might be enough for budget justification. But to effect real change, your audience needs to consume your content.

Recently, I started sharing a tip a day from my book 101 Ways to Rock LinkedIn – bite-sized pieces. I’m not asking for a huge time commitment from my audience. People just seeing and liking and sharing my posts might help build my credibility. It does nothing for them unless they invest the two to five minutes to read/watch the content and then take action. In the end, I’m in my business to help other people succeed. I feel consuming the content is key. – Viveka von Rosen, chief visibility officer, Vengreso

Scanners are audiences too

I want people to scan the content. I want them to notice it, click on it, and scan it to see what they like and any takeaways. For those scanning audiences, I like to include downloadable content (often in deck format) and shorter form versions of long-form blogs so they can easily repurpose the deck for internal presentations. (This is important for mid-market and larger audiences.) So, the audience doesn’t need to consume it all. They do need to do more than just notice it. – Tracey Wallace, director of content strategy, Klaviyo

Why create it if no one reads it?

It matters if people consume it. If they only notice it, then why was it created in the first place? My favorite metric to reveal is the engagement on gated e-books. For example, why are we creating long guides that take months to create if no one reads them? If a form is filled out, but no one downloads the guide or reads it all the way through, how much could you have saved in resources?

As a creator, I want my content to inspire people, help them, and engage them – I don’t just want them to fill out a form or see it in passing. – Amy Higgins, senior director, content marketing, Twilio

Imperfect question but thoughtful insight

If we’d asked this as a multiple-choice question, the most chosen answer would’ve been: “It depends.” Some people held strong feelings about getting people to consume content. But no one thought noticing alone was enough.

So, after asking a potentially stupid question and reading all the thoughtful responses, here’s my answer: Don’t create content just to get noticed. But getting noticed can be an important step to having it consumed, remembered, or shared.

What do you say? Please share in the comments.


Join us at Content Marketing World 2022 for new ideas to drive your business, fuel your inspiration, and speed up your career. Register today and use promo code BLOG100 to save $100.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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Five questions for our new CMO, Shafqat Islam



Five questions for our new CMO, Shafqat Islam

Alex Atzberger: Now that you’ve stepped into the CMO role, what are you looking forward to?   

Shafqat Islam: It’s amazing to take on this role at both a category creator and leader. How many brands can be a leader in almost every category–think Experimentation and CMS–that we play in?  

And we have so much to look forward to and build on. We have an exceptional team of marketing leaders and practitioners. They are fiercely intelligent, optimistic, and care deeply about what our products can *do* for our customers. Not just for the people who will encounter the marketing, retail, and product experiences that we support, but for the people who build them. As somebody who has both built products and been deeply immersed in marketing, I love the perspective that our team has.  

Alex Atzberger: What makes Optimizely unique?   

Shafqat Islam: First off, we’re category creators in experimentation and content management, both CMS and CMP. Marketers know this, and analysts know it, as something like 7 major analyst reports will tell you.  

Martech is a crowded field, so it’s true that there are a lot of firms whose territory overlaps with some of ours. But show me another company that can handle the entire content lifecycle like we can. Or show me another company that can do both feature flagging and experimentation.  

We also have a legendary legacy in the martech world. Before I joined, I knew that A/B testing and Optimizely were synonymous, and that the company’s roots go all the way back to the origins of the practice. And that’s something that is like common folklore in marketing and technology.  

And more than anything, the 1500 people who work here are world-class. 

Alex Atzberger: Being a CMO talking to other CMOs and marketing leaders is an advantage. You know the customer. But you’ve also built tech products. How does that affect your work now?  

Shafqat Islam: I’ve spent the majority of my adult life building products for marketers. So I’ve been lucky to spend so much time talking to CMOs and marketers in almost every type of company all over the world. As the founder/CEO of Welcome, my approach was to solve marketer challenges by building products. But now as CMO, I get to use the products we build.  

We’re practitioners of all of our own solutions, so in addition to the natural empathy I have for marketers, I am also close to the job’s unique challenges every day. There’s nothing like that to keep you sharp and keep you close to the customer.  

As a product builder, I knew we must always speak to business outcomes. But as CMO, I love that we aren’t just talking about the solutions – we’re living them, too.  

Because I was an entrepreneur for so long, I also bring another unique view – my willingness to take smart risks. I love to try things, even if (especially if?) the results are sometimes surprising. When it comes to experimentation, there are no failures, only learnings. 

Alex Atzberger: What are the biggest challenges you’re hearing from our customers, current and future?  

Shafqat Islam: Growth, especially given how tough it is out there for so many industries. The stakes are very high when it comes to creating experiences that will win and retain customers. That’s what all of our customers–especially the retail heavyweights-are thinking about.  

And marketing and technology leaders need to do this with leaner budgets. Efficiency matters a lot right now, and that means not only reducing the costs you can see, like the price tag attached to software, but also the costs you can’t see right away, like how much time and money it takes to manage a set of solutions. With that said, in tough times, I think the strongest brands can not just survive but also thrive. I also think when others are fearful, that may be the time to invest aggressively. 

And in the background of all this, there is still the ever-expanding list of customer touchpoints. This is simultaneously an exciting challenge for marketers and an exciting opportunity. More data means more effective storytelling– if you can use it right.

I also hear marketers when they say there’s a need for a shared space for collaboration among us. The role of the marketer is expansive, and it’s only getting more complicated. Building a community where we can come together and appreciate our shared goals is difficult, but I’m optimistic that we’re moving in the right direction.  

Alex Atzberger: What is next in our space? What will marketing and technology leaders be talking about six months from now?  

Shafqat Islam: Looking around now, it’s clear that 2023 will be the year that AI-generated content goes mainstream. We’re just starting to see the uses and the consequences of this. There’s already buzz about ChatGPT and its capabilities, and platforms are already making space to integrate AI functionality into their offerings. It could be an exciting way for users to become better equipped to create and share high-quality content.  

Customers also have gotten very used to personalization. Every screen they see daily is personalized, whether it’s their Netflix account or social feeds. So, when I see a site that isn’t personalized, I kind of scratch my head and wonder, why? With personalization now the norm, expectations for digital creators are sky-high.

Read the official press release.

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What to Consider When Choosing a Brand Ambassador for Your Social Media Campaign



What to Consider When Choosing a Brand Ambassador for Your Social Media Campaign

Want to maximize the potential of your social media campaign? Then you must ensure to choose the right brand ambassador for the job. Having a good ambassador will increase your social media reach and boost sales. But, selecting the best ambassador can be tricky.

This guide will show you the key steps to consider when selecting the perfect brand ambassador for your social media campaign. From assessing their influence to ensuring their content matches your brand’s mission. This guide will give you the insights you need to make the right decision.

Understanding the role of a brand ambassador

A brand ambassador acts as a company representative, promoting the brand’s products to a specific audience. They are selected for their influence and ability to communicate the brand’s message. Their primary goal is to increase brand awareness and engagement with the audience.

To achieve this, an ambassador shares the brand’s message and builds connections with the target audience. They help to establish trust and credibility for the brand by personally endorsing it through their own experiences. Also, they provide valuable feedback to the company, allowing for product improvements.

Tips for choosing the right ambassador for your social media campaign

1) Assess the credibility and influence of potential ambassadors.

One of the first steps is to ensure they have a very active social media presence. Make sure they have many followers and a high engagement rate. Check the number of followers they have and the type of posts they share. This will give you a good idea of the content they generate and let you know if they are a good fit for your campaign.

Make sure their posts are relevant and appropriate for your brand. If their content is not a good fit, you may want to reconsider hiring them for your campaign. This is important if your brand has a particular message you wish to convey to your audience. If their content is not in line with your brand’s values, it could have a negative effect on your brand’s image.

2) Analyze the compatibility between the ambassador’s content and your brand’s mission.

It’s common to think that a famous ambassador would be a good fit for your campaign. But if their content is not in line with your brand, they are not an option. You may want to go further and check the interaction between their posts and followers. If the interaction is very high and followers actively participate, this is a good indicator of the quality of the ambassador. This will show how much impact the ambassador has among their followers. The interaction of the followers with the ambassador’s posts is important, as it is a good way for them to get to know your brand better.

3) Make sure the ambassador is present on the right social networks.

If your brand uses more than one type of social media, you should ensure the ambassador is present on them. You can choose an ambassador who is active on most of the major social networks. But, you must ensure they have an appropriate presence on each platform.

For example, it may not be a good idea to select an ambassador who is primarily active on Instagram for a Facebook-centric campaign. Remember that followers on each platform are different, and it’s important to reach your desired audience. If the ambassador you choose is present on the right social media platform, it will be easier for them to reach your audience.

4) Set expectations and establish the terms of the partnership.

Once you have selected an ambassador and they have agreed to collaborate with your brand, set the terms of the collaboration. Set clear expectations and tell the ambassador precisely what you want them to do. This includes specifying the type of content that should be posted. It is also important to outline the kind of connection that should be fostered between their followers and your company.

Also, be sure to establish payment terms and any other essential partnership details. For example, if you want the ambassador to promote your brand at a specific event, let them know so they can prepare.

5) Consider brand ambassadors who have experience participating in events.

A brand ambassador with experience working at events and comfortable interacting with customers can be a valuable asset to your campaign. They will be able to promote your brand and products at events and help to build a positive image for your company.

Find a brand ambassador who is professional and comfortable in a high-energy environment. This will ensure they can effectively represent your brand and engage with customers at events. Hire an event staffing agency to ensure the event runs smoothly and let brand ambassadors focus on promoting the brand and connecting with the audience.

6) Complete the selection and onboarding process

Make sure you select an available ambassador with the right skills for your campaign. Verify that the ambassador’s availability matches your campaign schedule.

It’s a good idea to start interacting with the ambassador on social media. It will help you establish a strong relationship, making promoting your brand more accessible. Show the audience that they have rallied behind your brand and thank them for their support.

7) Follow-up and evaluation of the ambassador’s success

Once the campaign is over, follow up with the ambassador to test its success. Ask the ambassador if your promotion has been effective and get their feedback on the campaign. This is an excellent way to improve your campaign the next time you run it. It will also help you identify areas where you can improve your social media strategy.

You can test the success of your social media campaign by looking at three main factors: reach, engagement, and conversions. By considering these factors, you can determine the success of your social media campaign. Also, you can identify any areas that need improvement.


Brands use brand ambassadors to increase engagement and sales of their products. An ambassador has a large following and regularly interacts with your audience. When selecting an ambassador, consider factors such as their social media presence and the ability to communicate your brand’s message. Taking the time to choose the proper brand ambassador will ensure the success of your social media campaign.

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Content Operations Framework: How To Build One



Content Operations Framework: How To Build One

More and more marketers of all ilk – inbound, outbound, social, digital, content, brand – are asked to add content operations to their list of responsibilities.

You must get your arms around:

  • Who is involved (and, I mean, every who) in content creation
  • How content is created
  • What content is created by whom
  • Where content is conceived, created, and stored
  • When and how long it takes for content to happen
  • Why content is created (the driving forces behind content creation)
  • What kinds of content does the audience want
  • How to build a framework to bring order and structure to all of this

The evolving expectations mean content marketers can no longer focus only on the output of their efforts. They must now also consider, construct, implement, and administer the framework for content operations within their organizations.

#Content marketers can no longer focus solely on the output. It’s time to add content ops to the mix, says @CathyMcKnight via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

What exactly are content operations?

Content operations are the big-picture view of everything content-related within your organization, from strategy to creation, governance to effectiveness measurement, and ideation to content management. All too frequently at the companies – large and small – we consult with at The Content Advisory, content operations are left to evolve/happen in an organic fashion.

Teams say formal content operations aren’t necessary because “things are working just fine.”

Translation: Nobody wants the task of getting everyone aligned. No one wants to deal with multiple teams’ rationale for why the way they do things is the right/best/only way to do it. So, content teams just go on saying everything is fine.

News flash – it’s not.

It’s not just about who does what when with content.

Done right, content operations enable efficacy and efficiency of processes, people, technologies, and cost. Content ops are essential for strategic planning, creation, management, and analysis for all content types across all channels (paid, earned, owned) and across the enterprise from ideation to archive.

A formal, documented, enforced content operation framework powers and empowers a brand’s ability to deliver the best possible customer experiences throughout the audiences’ journeys.

A documented, enforced #ContentOperations framework powers a brand’s ability to deliver the best possible experiences, says @CathyMcKnight via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

It doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds.

What holds many content, administrative, and marketing teams back from embracing a formal content operations strategy and framework is one of the biggest, most challenging questions for anything new: “Where do we start?”

Here’s some help in high-level, easy-to-follow steps.

1. Articulate the purpose of content

Purpose is why the team does what it does. It’s the raison d’etre and inspiration for everything that follows. In terms of content, it drives all content efforts and should be the first question asked every time content is created or updated. Think of it as the guiding star for all content efforts.

In Start With Why, author Simon Sinek says it succinctly: “All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year.”

All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year, says @SimonSinek via @CathyMcKnight and @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

2. Define the content mission

Once the purpose of the teams’ content efforts is clear (and approved), it’s time to define your content mission. Is your content’s mission to attract recruits? Build brand advocacy? Deepen relationships with customers? Do you have buy-in from the organization, particularly the C-suite? This is not about identifying what assets will be created.

Can you talk about your mission with clarity? Have you created a unique voice or value proposition? Does it align with or directly support a higher, corporate-level objective and/or message? Hint: It should.

Answering all those questions solidifies your content mission.


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3. Set and monitor a few core objectives and key results

Once your content mission is in place, it is time to set out how to determine success.

Content assets are called assets for a reason; they possess real value and contribute to the profitability of your business. Accordingly, you need to measure their efficacy. One of the best ways is to set OKRs – objectives and key results. OKRs are an effective goal-setting and leadership tool for communicating objectives and milestones to achieve them.

OKRs typically identify the objective – an overall business goal to achieve – and three to five key quantifiable, objective, measurable outcomes. Finally, establish checkpoints to ensure the ultimate objective is reached.

Let’s say you set an objective to implement an enterprise content calendar and collaboration tool. Key results to track might include:

  • Documenting user and technical requirements
  • Researching, demonstrating, and selecting a tool
  • Implementing and rolling out the tool.

You would keep tabs on elements/initiatives, such as securing budget and approvals, defining requirements, working through procurement, and so on.

One more thing: Make sure OKRs are verifiable by defining the source and metric that will provide the quantifiable, measurable result.

Make sure objectives and key results are verifiable by defining source and metric, says @CathyMcKnight via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

4. Organize your content operations team

With the OKRs set, you need people to get the work done. What does the structure look like? Who reports to whom?

Will you use a centralized command-and-control approach, a decentralized but-supported structure, or something in between? The team structure and organization must work within the construct and culture of the larger organization.

Here’s a sample organizational chart we at TCA developed for a Fortune 50 firm. At the top is the content function before it diverges into two paths – one for brand communications and one for a content center of excellence.

Under brand communications is each brand or line of business followed by these jointly connected teams: content – marcom, social/digital content development and management, center of excellence content – creative leader, center of excellence PR/media relations, customer relationship management, and social advertising.

Under the content center of excellence is the director of content strategy, manager of content traffic, projects, and planning, digital asset operations manager, audience manager, social channel and content specialist, creative manager, content performance and agility specialist, and program specialist.

Click to enlarge

5. Formalize a governance model

No matter how the operational framework is built, you need a governance model. Governance ensures your content operations follow agreed-upon goals, objectives, and standards.

Get a senior-management advocate – ideally someone from the C-suite – to preside over setting up your governance structure. That’s the only way to get recognition and budget.

To stay connected to the organization and its content needs, you should have an editorial advisory group – also called an editorial board, content committee, or keeper of the content keys. This group should include representatives from all the functional groups in the business that use the content as well as those intricately involved in delivering the content. The group should provide input and oversight and act as touchpoints to the rest of the organization.

Pointing to Simon Sinek again for wisdom here: “Passion alone can’t cut it. For passion to survive, it needs structure. A why without how has little probability of success.”

6. Create efficient processes and workflows

Adherence to the governance model requires a line of sight into all content processes.

How is content generated from start to finish? You may find 27 ways of doing it today. Ideally, your goal would be to have the majority (70% or more) of your content – infographic, advertisement, speech for the CEO, etc. – created the same or in a similar way.

You may need to do some leg work to understand how many ways content is created and published today, including:

  • Who is involved (internal and external resources)
  • How progress is tracked
  • Who the doers and approvers are
  • What happens to the content after it’s completed

Once documented, you can streamline and align these processes into a core workflow, with allowances for outlier and ad-hoc content needs and requests.

This example of a simple approval process for social content (developed for a global, multi-brand CPG company) includes three tiers. The first tier covers the process for a social content request. Tier two shows the process for producing and scheduling the content, and tier three shows the storage and success measurement for that content:

Click to enlarge

7. Deploy the best-fit technology stack

How many tools are you using? Many organizations grow through acquisitions, so they inherit duplicate or overlapping functionality within their content stacks. There might be two or three content management systems (CMS) and several marketing automation platforms.

Do a technology audit, eliminate redundancies, and simplify where possible. Use the inherent capabilities within the content stack to automate where you can. For example, if you run a campaign on the first Monday of every month, deploy technology to automate that process.

The technology to support your content operations framework doesn’t have to be fancy. An Excel spreadsheet is an acceptable starting place and can be one of your most important tools.

The goal is to simplify how content happens. What that looks like can vary greatly between organizations or even between teams within an organization.

Adopting a robust content operations framework requires cultural, technological, and organizational changes. It requires sponsorship from the very top of the organization and adherence to corporate goals at all levels of the organization.

None of it is easy – but the payoff is more than worth it.

Updated from a November 2021 post.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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