Want to Outsource Your Content Marketing? Here’s What Your Content Partner Needs to Know.

You’ve decided to outsource your content marketing. You’ve hired a trusted partner, such as IDG Strategic Marketing Services, to bring your ideas to life.  To hit the mark with the content we develop—whether that’s videos, white papers, blogs, tweets, or infographics—we need your help at the outset. To give us both the best chance of success on all fronts, be sure to consider these questions before we start the conversation.

What’s the purpose of the content?
What are you trying to promote or achieve? Some forms of content are better suited for certain goals versus others. Here are a few examples:

  • Demonstrate your expertise? Consider a white paper with thought leadership.
  • Show your products in action? Case studies or customer success stories work well—and these can be created in written (PDF), video, or even audio (Podcast) format.
  • Educate audience regarding potential solutions to their challenges? Outline best practices in a blog post, article, or white paper.
  • Explain your philosophy? An executive Q&A is ideal.
  • Promote your product/company/approach/value prop via social media? Think tweets, mini motion videos, or LinkedIn posts.

Where does the content fit in your overall marketing campaign?

  • Let’s say you’ve got an email campaign running, and you want to serve up a “gated” deliverable that lets you capture leads. It’s important to determine the stage of “purchase process funnel” you’re targeting—and then develop a white paper or video that speaks to the audience’s knowledge of the issues, products, solutions, or even your company.
  • You’ve got an existing campaign running, but it needs amplification. Think social media content.
  • You need an evergreen asset to use on your website that illustrates customer success. Testimonials and case studies can take several forms—video, written (PDF), or even an infographic.

Who is the audience?

I cannot underscore this enough. We can’t develop the right content without knowing the intended audience. Why? It’s simple. C-level execs and CIOs have different challenges—and interests—than IT managers or application developers in the trenches. And line of business (LOB) owners or product managers have a very different view of technology (how does it benefit me, my department, or my product?) vs. IT (how are we going to integrate and deploy this technology efficiently?)

What are your goals, and what key performance indicators (KPIs) best define success?
There are plenty of ways to measure content marketing success. Here are a few examples—but keep in mind, this is just a starter list:

  • Number of downloads (white paper or infographic)
  • Number of visits or time spent on page (website or content hub)
  • Number of views (videos)
  • Number of re-tweets or shares (blogs or social media content)
  • Number of unique visitors (website or content hub)

The answers to these questions are key. Yes – we can always make recommendations – we’ve tackled these considerations in hundreds of ways for hundreds of clients. But just like a successful marriage requires equal amounts of effort on both sides of the aisle, so a content marketing partnership requires input from both parties to ensure success.

Let’s continue the conversation. Find me on Twitter @BarbaraRCall1



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