Branded Content vs Content Brand
That?s a loaded question, indeed. As a company that considers itself a ?content brand,? I naturally would recommend that shift. However, not all organizations are ready to make that shift yet. Unfortunately, most marketers? heads are filled with helium. We tend to let our brains float up-funnel when calculating how to solve sales and marketing challenges. Most marketing professionals are guilty of this and content marketers are no exception.
If an organization can?t get its branded content (mid to bottom-funnel content) right how are they going to get its top-funnel content right, too? They?re not. And if they do, becoming a ?content brand? is a waste of time, energy and money if there?s no performing mid to bottom-funnel content to truly close the loop between Sales and Marketing. It becomes a giant Inside Sales bottleneck. In this scenario, marketing conversion rates would likely be through the roof, but the sales conversion rates would be miniscule at best.
Organizations should only shift to a ?content brand? model if it has a firm grasp on its funnel, buyer personas, lifetime value of customers, and the customers? journey.
Your favourite content generation/marketing tools
Aside from the obvious content broadcasting channels, like social media and email, we use a tool that most likely don?t ? a CRM. Since 95% of the content that we publish on a daily basis is created by people outside of our organization, a CRM is critical for us to keep track of, monitor, communicate with and send reports to our over 200 unique content contributors on a regular basis. Without our HubSpot CRM we wouldn?t be able to manage so many unique contributors.
#1 Social media channel for content marketing
That?s hard to answer because many of the social-behemoths are just now developing tomorrow?s tools to maximize their value as content marketing distribution platforms. Many of us are well aware of Facebook?s new ?Instant Articles? feature. In its current form it likely doesn?t have much use for content marketers. However, this will likely change in the near future.
Just a few weeks ago, both Twitter and Google announced a partnership to create their version of Facebook?s Instant Articles. It?s not developed yet, but it?s coming. Lastly, after a conversation with a LinkedIn employee recently, we should expect its response to both Facebook?s Instant Articles, and Twitter and Google?s partnership soon.
How this battle plays out will be largely determined by which brand can provide the most value to publishers and content marketers at the fairest price. The most innovative will win and I can?t wait to watch it unfold.
Long detailed vs short snackable content
I don?t consider this a battle. There?s a place for both. In fact, they can, and should, complement each other. As brands, we need to understand our buyers? personas, their journey, and the problems we can help them solve along the way. Some will need short-form content, while others will need long-form. Our channels of distribution will help dictate some of this, too. The brand that serves both of these needs has a better chance of growing revenue incrementally than the brand that chooses just one.
The future of the Content-SEO pair
"SEO and content marketing are still not one and the same. However, they?re much more similar to each other today than what they were last decade. In this future the content itself may not necessarily be the driving force behind organic search success. However, how the content is presented and consumed would be.
This way of thinking didn?t just grow out of thin air. Google has hinted at this for a while now and is building an infrastructure to support it."