A Recipe to Win the Content Marketing Bake-Off

The second recommendation from our Tech Heads research 2014, a survey of CIOs around content consumption and buying behaviours, is: create valuable content. We looked at the first recommendation in a previous post. This is the next in the series.

What is valuable content? Cool looking? Well written? Expensive? Tasty?

It got us thinking…

The survey data tells us that at the information gathering stage of a buying process, tech buyers like to keep things brief – under 300 words. To give you an idea of how tight that is, we are already at 100 words by the end of this paragraph…and we’ve not even started yet!

We believe that the ingredients to create valuable content require:

  • Solid understanding of the audience
  • Credible knowledge of the topic
  • Appropriate content structure, format and creativity

What to do with these ingredients? Most vendor content talks by and large about the vendor. Most vendor content is low value. It’s like going on a date with someone who talks about themselves all night. Boring.

On this basis, content creators should consider the following principles:

Is the content relevant and informative?

You need to know the audience and topic well to get this right.

What is the context and setting?

  • How is the content connected to other things?
    • Why this?
    • Why now?
    • Why you?

What is the goal, or desired outcome?

  • Where is this headed?
  • What do you want people to do or feel about this content?
  • (NB if your answer here is “we want them to download it”, you’re not thinking hard enough.)

You can spend a lot of resources in the wrong place if your output fails on some of the criteria above. In addition to ingredients and principles, we can establish value by measurement – that’s judgement time – Hollywood style.

Measuring content is relatively simple. At a HubSpot event we attended last month in Boston, CTO and HubSpot founder (@dharmesh) noted a piece of content HubSpot created years ago about establishing a company culture. You can see it here on SlideShare

It has 1.4million views! Working on that basis of 10p a view, that deck is valued currently at £140,000!

On this basis, whilst value is never guaranteed, it can be measured by what happens to content once it goes public:

  • Is it popular?
  • Is it shared?
  • Is it creating leads?

You won’t know this until you’ve created and published the content, but you can learn from what works in order to include the same attributes in the all the information you share.

For all those time-poor information gatherers out there, thanks for reading on. Here’s the summary!

Bake off meets content marketing

Get Ready. Set. Bake!!

If you think your content requires a new approach, why not contact us about our content marketing diagnostic?

The next tip we will look at in this series of 5 from our Tech Heads 2014 recommendations is: Planning the Funnel. See you soon!