The Silicon Valley Brand Forum (led by our very own Kevin Heney) was held October 22, 2013 at the Google campus in Mountain View, CA. The theme of this Forum was Aligning Content Strategy with Brand Strategy, a very hot topic right now.
In the prior post, I talked about how Quaker oats and other consumer brands totally had this content marketing thing nailed long before we called it that. They delivered valuable content (good recipes) that subtly encouraged the purchase/increased use of their product.
After spending a morning with marketing thought leaders at the beautiful Google campus, there were several valuable takeaways:
- Thomas Ranese, Director of the new Google Brand Studio talked about the essential elements of the Google brand and how digital ads are challenging – how can we deliver interesting content in this format?
- Ben Calder and Ben Tomkins of Intel Free Press talked about the fine line between brand journalism and sponsored content.
- Jon Miller of Marketo advised marketers to break up the content according to the buying cycle (early, mid and late-stage) to target it better. Early content will focus on education about the industry, mid-stage will be more about checklist and comparison guides and late stage content will be very focused on the company specifically (traditional collateral such as datasheets, case studies, etc.).
- Craig Rosenberg of TOPO had a great idea on how to quickly and easily create a blog post. Instead of asking them to guest blog, pick a topic and ask people to contribute 2-3 sentences on that topic. You’ll have your blog done in a flash and they get nice attributions from it.
- Erin Robbins O’Brien of Ginzametrics reported a 380% increase in free trials and 120% increase in conversions since doing their FoundFridays program (30 minute interview with a thought leader in the industry, recorded via a Google Hangout, then pushed out to YouTube, several SlideShares and blog posts are created from the interview and numerous social media posts).
- Matt Cohen of OneSpot recommended that marketers do a monthly/quarterly content audit and determine (from CTR, touches/downloads, etc.) to figure out which content is most effective and do more of those. For example, one very popular blog post they did on a Remington blog on how to replicate Tina Fey’s Oscar hair led to a now very popular series on celebrity hairstyles.
Overall, there seemed to be a big focus on a piece of advice we give clients on being smart about content marketing: Choose a core idea/theme and create several pieces from one core idea/theme. That way you can produce a variety of content pieces from that one line of thinking.
One final parting thought — one of the panelists reported that this is the first year that social will be the largest source of traffic for websites. So make your content as yummy and as shareable as an oatmeal raisin cookie and you’ll be well on your way to success!
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