take a closer look
This presentation from
the Content Marketing
Institute provides a
snapshot of the state
of content marketing in North America,
about budgets, benchmarks and tactics.
campsite become the home base—
your hub—around which all other
activity centers (Twitter, Facebook,
Instagram and so on). You can always
add to that hub later. But master one
tactic or channel first.
CW: Which companies do you think
are doing the best work in content
AH: This is a tough question. There are
a lot of companies doing it right, but
I’ll avoid talking about the ones with
huge budgets and global brand recognition, like Red Bull, Nike, Starbucks
At the other end of that scale, I like
what my friend Joe Chernov is doing
at Kinvey, a Boston-based technology
company that aims to make it stupid-easy for developers and enterprises to
set up and operate a back-end for their
mobile, tablet and web apps in the
cloud. Joe creates content that does all
of the things I’m talking about: consistently creating inspired content with
clear utility and empathy for the needs
of the customer—the developer Kinvey wants to reach. His content is
brand-agnostic—in other words, it’s
clearly produced by Kinvey, but it’s
not about the company; it’s about the
customer. And it’s driving business.
Joe told me recently that at the end of
Q4 (the quarter Kinvey began content
marketing), only 1.5 percent of new
Kinvey accounts first converted on a
piece of content. By the end of Q1,
that number rose to 20 percent. By the
end of Q2 it had more than doubled
to over 40 percent. Said another way,
more than 40 percent of everyone who
opens a Kinvey account first converts
on a content offer.
CW: Where do content marketing
efforts go wrong?
AH: The biggest mistake is making
your marketing about you. This
sounds weird, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t
your marketing focus on your products and services? Not exactly. Your
marketing should focus on what your
products and services do for your
customers. The former is corporate-centric; the latter is customer-centric.
Take yourself out of your marketing
and put your customer at the heart of
it. In other words, make your customer—not your company—the hero
of your story.
CW: What do you see as the next big
thing for companies creating content?
AH: I could talk about all the cool
content things I’m seeing—the rise
of micro-content platforms like
Vine and Snapchat and Instagram
video, the importance of visual content like Slideshare and Instagram
and Pinterest. But honestly, I don’t
think companies should prepare
for the next big thing. I’m more concerned about helping companies use
the tactics and channels we already
have really, really well and in fun,
inventive, interesting ways. Get your
strategy right. Adopt extreme customer empathy. Get inspired. Be useful. And from there, create marketing
your customers will thank you for.