Jun 24, 2014
On Wednesday June 18th, Skyword, along with partners Conductor, Outbrain, and Traackr, held “Content Rising”, an event geared toward enterprise marketers in Boston, MA. The purpose of Content Rising was twofold: first, to raise brand awareness for the event sponsors and second to further educate marketers on the best strategies for content marketing.
While there is much buzz in the media on content marketing techniques and opportunities for brands to leverage content to pull in consumers, many of the marketers in attendance commented that they are still trying to refine their strategies and are not yet fully comfortable with the tactic. Gaining confidence in using a content marketing strategy was a strong theme of the night and also provided the vendors in attendance the opportunity to educate the audience on the best strategies for execution. Here are some of the highlights from the event, as well as a brief overview of the vendors in attendance.
Content Needs Influencers: One of the first speakers of the event was Pierre-Loic Assayag, CEO of Traackr, who discussed the importance of ensuring that content travels through influencers. Marketers who are using content marketing strategies must have strong relationships with influencers within their market to help drive third party content for their brands.
Most influencers are offered compensation in some way or given special access to the brand. Influencer conversations are not there just to enhance a brand’s product, but also to drive consumers to have a discussion of the underlying benefits of a product. For example, environmental auto enthusiasts discuss a new eco-friendly car and what that means for the overall improvement of the planet.
Social Media is a Passive Vehicle: Many marketers may assume that social media is their best strategy for pushing content consumers. However, as many of the presenters brought up in the event — social media is quickly becoming a passive vehicle for content messages. Instead of setting up scheduled Tweets or Facebook posts, marketers really need to see these as channels for engagement. Marketers need to think about posting social content that allows for consumers to respond back.
An example of a well-engaged social media campaign was by South African retailor Urban Hilton Weiner, who allowed shoppers to pay with selfie pictures of themselves in the store. In order to get the deal, customers had to follow Urban Hilton on Twitter and Facebook, then take a selfie wearing the item they wanted to buy and tweet the picture to the brand using a specialized hashtag. The campaign gets shoppers and their friends talking about how great they look in the clothes, what they are buying, and increases brand awareness.
Marketers Need to Make Their Opportunities: One of the most poignant questions of the night came from a B2B marketer who was struggling with developing content for her business, stating there wasn’t much content to be made for her business. According to Tom Gerace, Skyword’s CEO, this comment was one that he often hears from prospective clients. The key Mr. Gerace said, is ensuring that content is not just about the products that is being sold, but also that brands are seen as an important resource for education by the consumer. An example of this is IBM’s Midsize Insider website (powered by Skyword), that offers rich resources on technology to SMB businesses. The Midsize Insider has helped IBM build brand awareness of their product in a B2B market while keeping consumers coming back for both products and education.
Lastly, it is important to note that while the creation of content for marketing to the public can be done via an in-house creative team or agency — the software used for execution is vital. The vendors at Content Rising represent several key steps within the content marketing workflow.
- Conductor’s Web Presence Management platform helps marketers to manage personas and track the content that consumer gravitate towards within a brand’s webpage — from these analytics, marketers are able to push focused, recommended content on their sites. It should also be noted that Conductor also has a solution for SEO and social marketing.
- Outbrain’s focus is geared toward content curation and recommendation. The software allows marketers to recommend content based on reading habits of the consumers. Clients for Outbrain can be found mostly within the news media market vertical.
- The Skyword Platform focuses on the creation of content with a target goal of consumer engagement. As mentioned in the IBM example above, the Skyword Platform generates and tracks content around a consumer’s interests, not just the product.
- Traackr allows for brands to find, track, and report on influencer content. Analytics from Traackr help brands support influencer marketing content and determine strategies for understanding consumer response to influencer groups.
Consumers today have more power than ever when it comes to purchasing goods and services. It is very easy for consumers to disengage with a brand and make their own sales funnel without advertisements. Brands now need to bring consumers back into their circles with quality content — content, marketing strategy is now key to online channel success.
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