B2B marketing as media: Six ways to think like an editor
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B2B marketers in great numbers have jumped on the content marketing bandwagon and embraced the idea that marketing needs to be more like media. We have to focus on providing "readers" and "viewers" (i.e., customers, prospects, and other stakeholders) with interesting and useful material on a regular basis as the starting point for creating and sustaining interest in our products and solutions. The big problem, of course, is actually doing it: consistently producing material that our hoped-for audiences actually care about enough to read, listen, view, and, ideally, comment upon and share more widely. As documented in last year's MarketingProfs and Junta42 study, "producing engaging content" tops the list of challenges for content marketing; "producing enough content" is second. Despite the onslaught of "four simple ways" for this and "12 surefire tips" for that, it's just not that easy!
There is no end of advice around content marketing and marketing as media, but much of it seems simply to highlight general direction and attributes: Be helpful, solve problems, use a human voice, tell stories, re-purpose or "re-imagine" existing content, and so on.
This is all well and good, but it doesn't get you very far in terms of what to do tomorrow and next week and throughout the year. What kinds of content should you actually create? How can you become one of those few trusted sources that your customers rely on amid their ridiculously busy schedules? How can you truly think and produce like an editor of a must-read publication?
(Bob Shier is right: It's not about thinking like a publisher. Publishers focus on the business side of media; editors are the ones that worry every day about content, tone, and reader/listener/viewer engagement.)
From an editorial perspective, let me suggest six specific types of content that your customers will indeed want to read, listen to, and view.
I know the six types of content here don't fall neatly into lead generation campaigns or phases of the buying cycle. That type of mapping is certainly important, but the first challenge is simply getting your intended customers to pay attention and gain trust that you're a useful source of industry information. If you can get this done, everything else becomes a whole lot easier.
Do you agree? How are you thinking like an editor? What types of content work best in your world?
Photo credit: greatestpeopleever
Could not agree more with this blog. Indeed in an era where traditional marketing has given way to social media marketing, content generation and content management becomes very crucial. Marketers indeed need to think like editors to make sure the readers not just start reading their content but are unable to resisit reading it till the end!