Content Marketing on the Cheap: Columnist Offers 30 Low Cost Ideas

“If you ever want to really annoy a marketer, tell them that content is low cost marketing,” Sasha Zinevych wrote recently on the content marketing blog business2communit.com. “While the thought isn’t entirely false, content certainly isn’t cheap.”

Nevertheless, Zinevych then embarks on a journey to share 30 low-cost ideas with content marketers that will let them make an impact right away – even on a shoestring budget. Here are the first five:

1. Interview A Customer. Conducting a 30-minute interview with a customer provides a sizeable chunk of low-cost content that can be re-purposed into a wide range of features including case studies, blog articles and buyer persona profiles. But make sure to get the customer’s permission first.
2. Answer Questions. Anyone who frequents social media or blogs has seen questions posed by readers. Make a content marketing splash by answering those questions and publishing the response.
3. Welcome Guest Posters. There potentially is a vast, untapped content resource to be gained by welcoming guest contributors to your site. But develop and publish guidelines before opening the virtual doors to any and all comers.
4. ‘Slideshare’. Your company produces tons of Powerpoint documents for internal and industry sharing — why not repurpose these content resources for your site? Identify slides and presentations that can be easily edited and updated, then upload them to Slideshare to gain maximum visibility.
5. Conduct A Poll. If cost and personnel prevent you from launching a study or penning a major white paper, try doing a quick poll on Facebook or LinkedIn. Once you have the results, it’s relatively easy to report the results in your blog.

G2Market Inside Scoop: Kicking off a content marketing initiative can feel intimidating at the start, and that has caused many companies to delay kicking off such programs until they have all their ducks in a row. That’s a mistake because lost time can seldom be recovered. But content marketers equally must guard against initiatives that at best are not ready for prime time and at worst have the potential to damage the brand. As Zinevych points out, there can be high value in these low-cost strategies.

(To check out Zinevych’s other 25 tips visit http://www.business2community.com/content-marketing/30-low-cost-ideas-for-content-marketing-on-a-shoestring-budget-0506276).

 

- Susan Aluise
Sr. Editor, G2Market

ComBlu Releases Second eBook on Content Marketing

Although the “golden age” of content marketing remains a way off, brands are working hard to apply more discipline and structure to building both strategy and operations. In an effort to highlight some of those lessons on content discipline and the impact on brands, ComBlu has developed a new eBook, “The Alchemy of Content: A Formula for Overcoming 4 Major Content Pain Points”.

ComBlu, a full-service social business, engagement and content marketing firm, penned the book as a companion piece to the firm’s 2011 Content Supply Chain eBook, which laid out a strategic framework for forecasting content needs, managing production and publication and measuring its impact on business goals.

“ComBlu has had dozens of significant conversations with brands about the content marketing discipline in general and has implemented numerous content supply chain and content marketing programs for a wide variety of clients,” commented Kathy Baughman, a principal at ComBlu and author of the new eBook. “Our work in this area helped us identify multiple major pain points companies face when dealing with content strategy and the execution of content marketing programs.”

This new book focuses on the four key pain points that brands face when embarking on a content marketing strategy:

  • Pain Point One: Content development and distribution: how to organize resources to establish an effective and efficient process.
  • Pain Point Two: Content creation: how to effectively “feed the content beast” with content that resonates.
  • Pain Point Three: Content cadence: how to get the publication cycle right.
  • Pain Point Four: Content ROI: how to make sure content is working hard enough for the investment made.

“These challenges and the learning we gained helping companies overcome them presented us the perfect opportunity to develop another thought leadership piece on the topic,” Baughman explained. “The Alchemy of Content delves deep into these four pain points and presents a method for attacking and taming each one. The book will offer content marketers valuable insights and information, regardless of industry.”

G2Market Inside Scoop: In today’s marketing environment, most companies and agencies recognize that content is an essential component to success. That said, there are few easy answers on how to develop a solid strategy that consistently creates fresh, valuable and targeted content. This new ebook is an interesting follow-up because it addresses the impact of each of these common “pain points” on the brand and is, itself, an effective example of content marketing.

(This new eBook can be downloaded for free by visiting http://www.comblu.com.)

Social Media and Digital Agencies Will Vanish Within 10 Years, New Grads Say

A pan-European survey of 2,000 marketing students reveals that more than 80% of the current generation of marketers think stand alone social media and digital marketing agencies will disappear within 10 years as the channel becomes a discipline for all marketers

The current crop of graduates now embarking on a career in advertising and marketing doesn’t believe that they are ‘digital natives’. Rather, they believe it is the generation 10 years younger than they are who will be the true masters of digital media.

These are some of the findings from a new report published last week by the MediaSchool Group. Titled the ‘Next Generation of Marcoms’, the report contains a survey of more than 2,000 students aged between 20 and 25 years old studying Advertising, Marketing Communications, Design, PR and Events.
Students in the UK, France, Spain and Belgium were questioned on five different themes covering: ‘Digital and the Next Generation’, ‘The Future of Marcoms’, ‘Career’ ‘Ethics’ and ‘Inspiration’.

The results reveal a generation convinced that social media is something applicable across all marketing functions. Close to 90% said social media was channel that all marketing practitioners should use and that it was not a ‘stand-alone’ discipline. However 70% either agreed or strongly agreed that 20-25 year olds today are not digital natives – and that the generation ten years younger than them represents the ‘true digital natives’.

Eighty-five percent of respondents either agreed, or strongly agreed, that social media and digital agencies would not be stand alone specialists by 2023; they held that by then, these initiatives either will be integrated with other marcoms agencies or morph into full-service firms themselves.

Other findings include: 77% believe Facebook is the most important social media tool a brand can use to communicate to this generation, and only 40% agreed with a recent statement by Sir Martin Sorrell that Twitter was not an advertising medium.

G2Market Inside Scoop: This survey illustrates an emerging mindset among the new crop of marketing graduates: a view that today’s standalone social media agencies will give way to a landscape dominated by content marketing and so-called “PR Thinking”. This is a logical evolution and one that is visible today as a growing number of PR and advertising agencies step up the pace of incorporating digital marketing specialists into their operations at a rapid pace. This is a paradigm shift with legs: over the next decade, expect advertising and PR agencies to acquire a robust, real-time capability to operate across all media channels.

(For more information visit http://www.publicisgroupe.com.)

 

<p style=”text-align: right;” dir=”ltr”>-Susan Aluise
<strong><span style=”color: black;”>Sr. Editor, </span><a href=”http://g2market.com/”>G2Market</a></strong></p>

Event Marketer Magazine, Marketing and Design Agencies Launch Mobile Content App for the Experiential Industry

Event Marketer magazine, George P. Johnson marketing agency and its sister design and technology agency JUXT recently launched EM Mobile, a content application for the global experiential industry. The app was launched at the Event Marketing Summit in Chicago.

Initially released for Apple iOS devices, EM Mobile is a new kind of content-rich app designed to be a daily tool in the marketer’s arsenal, the companies say. EM Mobile brings brand leaders real-time updates on the latest best practices, case studies and general coverage of the event industry, all created and fed by Event Marketer magazine.

EM Mobile gives marketers around the world instant access to trends, insights and best practices on how consumer and business-to-business brands are engaging their audiences and driving deeper relationships using events and experiential marketing. For EM Mobile, JUXT created a totally unique and innovative user experience to provide readers with an elegant, seamless way to explore and engage with content, enable advanced customization, and foster easy, single-touch social sharing of articles, photos and videos.

EM Mobile is initially launching on a wide range of iOS devices, including the iPhone, iPad and iPad Mini. Some of the advanced user experience and technology elements include:

 Innovative “blinds” navigation makes finding and experiencing articles, videos and photos a snap
 Real-time updates provide content 24/7
 Customization allows users to receive specific types of articles and content feeds
 Push notification alerts users to new relevant content immediately
 Integration with all major social platforms enables instant sharing and commentary

G2Market Inside Scoop: Given the strong trends toward mobility in the content marketing arena, it was only a matter of time before content marketers themselves would find an “app for that”. Beyond that, this is yet another sign that the digital mobile content revolution is alive, well and embracing mobility. Bill Fleig, VP Client Services at JUXT, put it well: “With digital these days, it’s important to provide an experience that is new and fresh in order to differentiate one’s offering. But that unique experience can never come at the expense of clarity and graceful use. Bringing content and data to life requires a precise balance of beauty and practicality. We think the app nails it.”

(The EM Mobile app is available as a free download to phone and tablet devices from Apple’s App Store via this link – http://bit.ly/100m8Lp or by searching for “EM Mobile” within iTunes.

 

- Jack Bradman
Sr. Client Partner, G2Market

B2B Small Business Marketers Allocate More Budget for Content Marketing than Enterprise Peers

OutbrainSmall business marketers create more content in-house than their peers at larger companies, and use more social media platforms to distribute content, according to a new report from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI).

The report, sponsored by Outbrain, shows that North American business-to-business (B2B) with 10-99 employees allocate more budget to content marketing, plan to spend more on content marketing over the next 12 months, and outsource content creation less frequently than their B2B enterprise peers. A whopping 57 percent of B2B small business marketers say they will increase their content marketing budgets over the next 12 months, compared with 46 percent of their enterprise peers.

“B2B small business marketers say their biggest content marketing challenge is producing enough content. Nearly 60 percent create content in-house only, so internal resources may be spread thin,” says Joe Pulizzi , founder of Content Marketing Institute and co-author of Managing Content Marketing. “Perhaps we’ll see these challenges change next year, as B2B small business marketers allocate more budget to content marketing.”

The report also shows that North American B2B small business marketers:
 Use an average of 12 content marketing tactics, whereas their B2B enterprise peers use an average of 16
 Use an average of five social media platforms to distribute content, whereas their enterprise peers use an average of four
 Create more content in-house, with just 39 percent saying they outsource content creation, compared with 65 percent of enterprise marketers who outsource
 Allocate 31 percent of their total marketing budget to content marketing, whereas their enterprise peers allocate 24 percent

G2Market Inside Scoop: Small and medium businesses can reap significant benefits from content marketing, but this recent research suggests that most organizations are spreading themselves too thin by creating the majority of their content in-house. At a time when most SMBs’ in-house marketing resources already are spread too thin, adding the responsibility for continually creating fresh, high-value content can result in burnout. Strategic outsourcing of content can be a big value-add for large and small organizations alike.

(For more information visit the Content Marketing Institute, http://contentmarketinginstitute.com.)

- Jack Bradman
Sr. Client Partner, G2Market