Connect with us

MARKETING

How To Create Content That Leads Niche Discussions

Published

on

How To Create Content That Leads Niche Discussions

Executives don’t find thought leadership content all that insightful.

A recent Edelman-LinkedIn study revealed that 71% of decision-makers say half or less than half of the thought leadership content they read or watch gives them valuable insights.

How can your brand’s content fall into the half of content that provides valuable insights? Enter ownable conversations – a more intentional and substantive approach to creating thought leadership content.

Ownable conversations are editorial perspectives that highlight a brand’s unique value and category expertise to its audience. As “big ideas,” they allow a range of expert-driven discussions, industry nuances, and clear perspectives that help to increase market awareness and build brand reputation.

More simply, ownable conversations are typically big ideas within your target industry that develop more detailed discussions, industry nuances, and intentional perspectives.

Ownable conversations are your insurance against generic content. Investing in an ownable conversation can help you to:

  • Steal share of voice from competitors
  • Drive increased traffic to your digital properties
  • Retain and engage your target audience
  • Steer clear of the cycle of creating generic content
  • Establish credibility by highlighting your expertise
  • Prime future customers for your products and services

Ownable conversations are your insurance against generic content, says @lieuthi via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

How to create an ownable conversation

Ownable conversations have some key trademarks:

1. Harness something proprietary

Offer audiences something no other brand can – your proprietary information. This often comes in the form of data insights or original research. A study by BuzzSumo and Mantis Research reveals 94% of responding marketers agree “original research elevates their brand’s authority in the industry.”

94% of marketers say original research elevates their brand’s authority in the industry, according to #research from @BuzzSumo and @MantisResearch, via @lieuthi via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

If you’re in a hyper-competitive category or building a new one, original research is one of the fastest routes to making a good impression and establishing your credibility. Consider turning any type of first-party data (anonymized and aggregated) into content. And if you don’t have access to that data internally, you can easily generate it via surveys.

Example
IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report is a highly anticipated annual report in the IT, technology, or cybersecurity industry — whether you’re an IBM customer or not.

1649154173 624 How To Create Content That Leads Niche Discussions

Why it works: A lot of brands and media cover cybersecurity topics, but few have the breadth of experts IBM has who can put that news into context with thoughtful analysis and real-life applications. Against a backdrop of proprietary data, IBM uncovers what makes cybersecurity exciting for the people behind it and what’s next for the industry while emphasizing the brand’s authority in this space.

2. Exhibit your niche expertise

A CMO Council study finds that only 12% of marketers think their content marketing programs reach the right audiences. One possible reason is that brands are failing to serve the content that B2B professionals need. The more niche your expertise, the better. An ownable conversation asks you to meet your audience’s needs by showcasing what you’re uniquely good at. For example, if you’re in digital advertising, which lane within the topic can you drill down into and claim as your area of expertise?

Example
As exemplified in case studies, the niche for Google’s navigation app Waze is in-car advertising. Via this lane of expertise, the brand illustrates its ability to drive awareness, reach new customers, and increase visits to brick-and-mortar stores.


Why it works: Waze offers a unique option for brands to reach their audience. By occupying this niche corner of the market, Waze highlights its competitive difference in a highly fragmented landscape via executions across a suite of content, including case studies, blog articles, and proprietary insights by category.

3. Be innovative

A global B2B study conducted by Edelman reveals 81% of business executives want provocative insights that challenge their assumptions rather than validation of their thinking. An innovative point of view helps your brand stand out and strengthens brand awareness.

An innovative point of view helps your brand stand out and strengthens brand awareness, says @lieuthi via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Being disruptive should come from a natural place for your brand. Every company has a value proposition, and that value proposition usually has something to do with improving the status quo. Brands should seek to elevate the category rather than merely keep up with the competitors. By doing so, you take a natural leadership position.

Example
GE’s 2017 Balance the Equation campaign was crafted to address the gender imbalance in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) industries.

1649154173 449 How To Create Content That Leads Niche Discussions

Why it works: This GE campaign expertly identified a sweet spot between what was happening culturally (a lack of women in the STEM industry) and GE’s agenda for innovation. While GE had historically been known for innovation in aviation, renewable energy, and other industries, this campaign allowed the brand to emerge as a change-maker and champion of diversity.

By pledging to put 20,000 women in STEM jobs by 2020, the campaign’s unifying message of #BalanceTheEquation increased GE’s share of conversation, as evidenced by several earned media mentions, heightening the brand’s reputation and increasing its appeal as an employer of choice.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

Ownable conversations take time

Like any investment in content, ownable conversations take time to build traction. I see three distinct phases – how long each takes is based on your budget and resources.

Ownable conversations take time to build traction. How long? That’s based on budget and resources, says @lieuthi via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Phase 1: Establish the conversation

Identify ownable conversations by locating the gaps in thought leadership content across the customer journey (vertical-specific trends, consumer insights, etc.) and within your category. Create editorial content to show your coverage of these key areas and drive an organic share of voice.

Phase 2: Hone your niche

Find the content within each ownable conversation that drives the highest traffic to your domain and the highest engagement (e.g., time on page, engagement rate). Explore how you can go deeper on those topics and carve out an even more specific corner of the market.

Phase 3: Grow your impact

Extend your reach, build brand salience, and amplify your messages through rich, multi-channel content experiences and campaigns, reaffirming your brand as a leader in your industry landscape and the authority in the category.

Let your content own the conversation

As marketers and content creators, it should be our mission to create the most value we can for our audiences and our brands. But we fail when delivering B2B thought leadership content that doesn’t offer value to decision-makers. We can win the conversation only when we create ownable conversations by elevating our content to meet audiences where they are, with the information they need.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute




Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

MARKETING

Marketing Team Reorgs: Why So Many and How To Survive

Published

on

Marketing Team Reorgs: Why So Many and How To Survive

How long has it been since your marketing team got restructured? 

Wearing our magic mind-reading hat, we’d guess it was within the last two years. 

Impressed by the guess? Don’t be.  

Research from Marketing Week’s 2024 Career and Salary Survey finds that almost half of marketing teams restructured in the last 12 months. (And the other half probably did it the previous year.) 

Why do marketing teams restructure so often? Is this a new thing? Is it just something that comes with marketing? What does it all mean for now and the future? 

CMI chief strategy advisor Robert Rose offers his take in this video and the summary below. 

Marketing means frequent change 

Marketing Week’s 2024 Career and Salary Survey finds 46.5% of marketing teams restructured in the last year — a 5-percentage point increase over 2023 when 41.4% of teams changed their structure. 

But that’s markedly less than the 56.5% of marketing teams that restructured in 2022, which most likely reflected the impact of remote work, the fallout of the pandemic, and other digital marketing trends. 

Maybe the real story isn’t, “Holy smokes, 46% of businesses restructured their marketing last year.” The real story may be, “Holy smokes, only 46% of businesses restructured their marketing.” 

Put simply, marketing teams are now in the business of changing frequently. 

It raises two questions.  

First, why does marketing experience this change? You don’t see this happening in other parts of the business. Accounting teams rarely get restructured (usually only if something dramatic happens in the organization). The same goes for legal or operations. Does marketing change too frequently? Or do other functions in business not change enough? 

Second, you may ask, “Wait a minute, we haven’t reorganized our marketing teams in some time. Are we behind? Are we missing out? What are they organizing into? Or you may fall at the other end of the spectrum and ask, “Are we changing too fast? Do companies that don’t change so often do better? 

OK, that’s more than one question, but the second question boils down to this: Should you restructure your marketing organization? 

Reorganizing marketing 

Centralization emerged as the theme coming out of the pandemic. Gartner reports (registration required) a distinct move to a fully centralized model for marketing over the last few years: “(R)esponsibilities across the marketing organization have shifted. Marketing’s sole responsibilities for marketing operations, marketing strategy, and marketing-led innovation have increased.”  

According to a Gartner study, marketing assuming sole responsibility for marketing operations, marketing innovation, brand management, and digital rose by double-digit percentage points in 2022 compared to the previous year.  

What does all that mean for today in plainer language? 

Because teams are siloed, it’s increasingly tougher to create a collaborative environment. And marketing and content creation processes are complex (there are lots of people doing more small parts to creative, content, channel management, and measurement). So it’s a lot harder these days to get stuff done if you’re not working as one big, joined-up team. 

Honestly, it comes down to this question: How do you better communicate and coordinate your content? That’s innovation in modern marketing — an idea and content factory operating in a coordinated, consistent, and collaborative way. 

Let me give you an example. All 25 companies we worked with last year experienced restructuring fatigue. They were not eager creative, operations, analytics, media, and digital tech teams champing at the bit for more new roles, responsibilities, and operational changes. They were still trying to settle into the last restructuring.  

What worked was fine-tuning a mostly centralized model into a fully centralized operational model. It wasn’t a full restructuring, just a nudge to keep going. 

In most of those situations, the Gartner data rang true. Marketing has shifted to get a tighter and closer set of disparate teams working together to collaborate, produce, and measure more efficiently and effectively.  

As Gartner said in true Gartner-speak fashion: “Marginal losses of sole responsibility (in favor of shared and collaborative) were also reported across capabilities essential for digitally oriented growth, including digital media, digital commerce, and CX.” 

Companies gave up the idea of marketing owning one part of the customer experience, content type, or channel. Instead, they moved into more collaborative sharing of the customer experience, content type, or channel.  

Rethinking the marketing reorg 

This evolution can be productive. 

Almost 10 years ago, Carla Johnson and I wrote about this in our book Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing. We talked about the idea of building to change: 

“Tomorrow’s marketing and communications teams succeed by learning to adapt — and by deploying systems of engagement that facilitate adaptation. By constantly building to change, the marketing department builds to succeed.” 

We surmised the marketing team of the future wouldn’t be asking what it was changing into but why it was changing. Marketing today is at the tipping point of that. 

The fact that half of all marketing teams restructure and change every two years might not be a reaction to shifting markets. It may just be how you should think of marketingas something fluid that you build and change into whatever it needs to be tomorrow, not something you must tear down and restructure every few years.  

The strength in that view comes not in knowing you need to change or what you will change into. The strength comes from the ability and capacity to do whatever marketing should. 

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:  

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute 

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

MARKETING

Boost Your Traffic in Google Discover

Published

on

Boost Your Traffic in Google Discover

2. Understand topical authority: Keywords vs. entities

Google has been talking about topical authority for a long time, and in Discover, it is completely relevant. Traditional SEO includes the use of keywords to position your web pages for a specific search, but the content strategy in Discover should be based on entities, i.e., concepts, characters, places, topics… everything that a Knowledge Panel can have. It is necessary to know in which topics Google considers we have more authority and relevance in order to talk about them.

3. Avoid clickbait in titles

“Use page titles that capture the essence of the content, but in a non-clickbait fashion.” This is the opening sentence that describes how headlines should be in Google’s documentation. I always say that it is not about using clickbait but a bit of creativity from the journalist. Generating a good H1 is also part of the job of content creation.

Google also adds:

“Avoid tactics to artificially inflate engagement by using misleading or exaggerated details in preview content (title, snippets, or images) to increase appeal, or by withholding crucial information required to understand what the content is about.”

“Avoid tactics that manipulate appeal by catering to morbid curiosity, titillation, or outrage.

Provide content that’s timely for current interests, tells a story well, or provides unique insights.”

Do you think this information fits with what you see every day on Google Discover? I would reckon there were many sites that did not comply with this and received a lot of traffic from Discover.

With the last core updates in 2023, Google was extremely hard on news sites and some niches with content focused on Discover, directly affecting E-E-A-T. The impact was so severe that many publishers shared drastic drops in Search Console with expert Lily Ray, who wrote an article with data from more than 150 publishers.

4. Images are important

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. If you look at your Discover feed, you’ll see most of the images catch your attention. They are detailed shots of delicious food, close-ups of a person’s face showing emotions, or even images where the character in question does not appear, such as “the new manicure that will be a trend in 2024,” persuading you to click.

Google’s documentation recommends adding “high-quality images in your content, especially large images that are more likely to generate visits from Discover” and notes important technical requirements such as images needing to be “at least 1200 px wide and enabled by the max-image-preview:large setting.” You may also have found that media outlets create their own collages in order to have images that stand out from competitors.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

MARKETING

Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

Published

on

Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

One of the most important parts of having a website is making sure your audience can find your site (and find what they’re looking for).

The good news is that Google Search Essentials, formerly called Google Webmaster Guidelines, simplifies the process of optimizing your site for search performance.

(more…)

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

Trending

Follow by Email
RSS