The Non-Profit Center in Boston was rocking on Thursday, January 28th, as the overflow crowd relished tips from three leading content marketers and networked with fellow content aficionados. The audience gained valuable “lessons from the pros,” a diverse group comprised of Justin Steinman, CMO of GE Health Care IT, Gene Begin, VP of Marketing at Wheaton College, and Donna Shaw, VP of Products at Crescendo Marketing.
Each of the speakers offered a valuable blend of strategic insights combined with practical tips for increasing the impact of content marketing programs. While each had a unique approach, they shared many similar philosophies as well. Here are the key takeaways:
- Justin reiterated that “content is king”
- All of the speakers covered various aspects of the content marketing process, with Justin showing the steps from understanding the customer behavior through to closing the sale
- Some content marketers are drivers who specialize in measurable tools like lead gen, retargeting and SEM, while builders add value with foundational elements such as blogging, media relations and SEO – Justin
- Justin recommended turning one customer into a rock star to create multiple pieces of content
- His concise lessons included “content should always add value,” and “avoid random acts of marketing.”
- Gene advised to start with content objectives, then move to strategies before tactics
- He also noted that it’s important to make content strategy core to your content marketing.
- Gene reminded the audience to curate as well as create – squeeze as much juice out of existing content as possible
- Social sharing is critical, said Gene, describing its importance relative to earned media content and advocacy marketing, generating new ideas, and driving word of mouth, which has gained a new forum in social media
- Focus on the farmer, not the equipment (Gene, channeling John Deere)
- Content marketing is a commitment, not a campaign (Donna, quoting Jon Buscall of Moondog Media)
- Donna opined that today’s marketers have to do a lot more with a lot less
- She also emphasized that marketing alignment with sales is critical.
- Donna explained that despite the big current focus on SEO, don’t forget to optimize your content for readability and engagement as well
- Donna presented an easy-to-grasp content lifecycle
- All these experts agree on the importance of measurement in content success.