I was invited to speak at an undergraduate content marketing class. Rather them giving a presentation, I asked the students to submit questions. I created a customized deck to address as many questions as possible in one hour.
Here are some questions from the class:
- Gina- Do you feel content marketing is for all businesses? What about small vs large enterprise?
- Jake – What is your advice on the best ways to use content marketing within professional sports organizations?
- Claudia- Do you have any advice for explaining the importance of implementing content marketing strategies to higher-ups in business?
- Julia- What is your advice for professionals that are looking to expand their career in digital and content marketing?
- Jamie- So you were a CPA before, what extra “benefits” has that brought to your career?
Q1: Do you feel content marketing is for all businesses? What about small vs large enterprise?
Gina, the answer is yes! Let’s define content and content marketing first. Content is
Content marketing is
Oh, BTW, here are 50 different definitions of content marketing in case you are curious.
Content marketing is about being helpful, educational, entertaining and challenging your customer. This should eventually also facilitating buying. If you are sharing content to do any of that, you are in the content marketing business.
Let’s check out various websites from REI, Salesforce to a small ski school teaching baby boomers how to ski moguls. Most of these sites peak the customers’ interests by providing something useful and beneficial. They are working from the angle of “learning” and “educational”.
Q2: What is your advice on the best ways to use content marketing within professional sports organizations?
Jake, content is super-critical for any sport. Since you have players and merchandise, you can generate a lot of content such as player practice, pre-game, and post-game footage, as well as streaming of actual games and matches. You can have player community involvement information, press interviews etc. There is no shortage of content in sports marketing.
The challenges are, how to:
- Display and share content through a sports team’s vast communications channels.
- Balance the original (brands) content with user-generated content
- Integrate content to broader paid marketing campaigns and press efforts
- Be quick, timely and deliver personalized content
Content marketing can’t work alone, especially in sports marketing. It needs to be seamlessly integrated into all media efforts. Sports marketing is about engaging players and fans, especially during game time. It’s more about sharing content quick, fast, timely and fun. Images and videos usually work well in sports marketing.
Q3: Do you have any advice for explaining the importance of implementing content marketing strategies to higher-ups in business?
Yes, Claudia. I even wrote a blog post about it. Check out this blog post! The reality is that it’s hard to measure the ROI of content. To get started, here are the key elements to consider:
- Understand content promotional channels in your company
- Create “From Content to Lead” or “From Content to Sales” mapping
- Initiate a discussion with your marketing peers to help them understand the benefits of content
- Offer to co-own their marketing metrics
- Help them to do their jobs better with your expertise
The best way to quantify the effectiveness of content is in the context of marketing channels utilized. To unleash the value of content, you need to co-own outbound marketing metrics with your marketing peers.
Q4: What is your advice for professionals that are looking to expand their career in digital and content marketing?
Understand how digital marketing front-end and back-end work. It’s easy to understand how different marketing channels work together, from paid to earn media and hybrids. However, it’s important to comprehend the back-end of all marketing efforts: how all different platforms, tools, and technologies work together and how they talk to each other. If you understand the back-end, you can see easily how the dots are connected. When you see how everything is related, you will have a holistic view of the company’s marketing efforts.
You will learn something from any marketing and non-marketing job. Learn as much as you can in any job you take, especially the jobs you don’t like.
In modern marketing, technology moves so fast that you need to learn, unlearn and relearn. It’s very exciting and overwhelming.
Q5: So you were a CPA before, what extra “benefits” has that brought to your career?
Jamie, this is a left-brain vs right-brain question. The finance and accounting background prepared me to manage “Marketing” like a business. I was able to carry conversations with management, product teams and finance/accounting to provide updates from their perspectives. Rather than talking about the opening rates of an e-mail campaign or likes and shares on social media, I made an effort to tie that to leads and sales.
Therefore, I am not naturally attuned to the creative side of marketing such as the creative concept development, story-telling, copywriting. I have to make an intentional effort to develop my right-brain thinking.
I had a great time talking to all the students. Some of them even reached out to me via LinkedIn. It’s wonderful to see content marketing being offered as part of the communications program. It’s never too early to discuss content’s role in marketing communications.