On Wednesday, March 19th, Aquent sponsored an AMA webcast entitled, Content Marketing: How to Sustain It, Find Success, and Scale, which was presented by Jay Acunzo, former senior content manager at HubSpot and erstwhile Googler.
Jay’s presentation took a deep dive into the strategic mindset that must support content marketing and the processes companies should use to set up a sustainable, successful content marketing strategy. His presentation provided an overview of the basic concepts for creating said strategy as well as a blueprint (the same one HubSpot uses) to guide content team development and campaign planning.
Jay’s presentation was broken down into two sections: Why Content? and How to Execute.
To kick it off, Jay put the content marketing function into context. He stressed that content marketing needs to be more about brain power – being strategic, thoughtful, and careful – than about coffee, that is, pumping out as much “stuff” as possible without really knowing what will work or generate the desired results.
Even more importantly, Jay emphasized that content marketing must follow the strategic mindset of “making stuff people want,” instead of the old marketing mindset of “making people want stuff.”
After getting everyone to think a little more deeply about content marketing and their own company goals, Jay pointed out that in today’s modern marketing landscape, consumers have all the power and they will choose what to consume. In other words, content is an active choice and that is why it is critical to focus on making stuff people want.
How to Execute
Jay went on to outline HubSpot’s current content strategy, which includes:
5-8 blog posts/day
4-6 premium resources/month
1.5M views, 250K subscribers
50K monthly leads
Jay explained that while this approach is one they have been executing for a while (he stressed that a content marketing initiative often doesn’t yield a huge return until about 90 days into execution), there is a basic formula they use based on two guiding principles:
Keep it Simple - Keeping it simple refers to using short bits of information with great teasers that really grab an audience. Sometimes tidbits and little sips of information can be more effective than a thoughtful, in-depth piece.
Helpful vs. Thought Leadership - You need to strike a gentle balance between keeping it simple, being helpful, and providing thought leadership that will stand the test of time and reach the intended audience when they need it most at specific points in the sales cycle.
People, Personas, Process
In the second half of the execution section, Jay reviewed people, personas, and process, explaining that each of these contribute to the overall success of a content marketing initiative. Without a great team, fully understanding the audience and their driving forces, and a functional workflow, content will not be as effective.
The most helpful portion of his presentation came when Jay displayed a side-by-side view outlining a content team workflow and the campaign playbook, which serves as the overall blueprint for aligning every aspect of a content marketing initiative.
To wrap it up, Jay left us with these final thoughts:
- Data measures what’s known and guides your intuition
- Infrastructure enables speed
- Invest in tools and reporting capabilities
- Buyer personas will help you create content that resonates
- Layer creativity into the repeatable playbook
- Intuition expands knowledge; encourages risk-taking
- Invest in people
For more information on content marketing and execution, watch the entire presentation.
Image Source: richard winchell