It has been said that while traditional marketing talks at people, content marketing talks with them. Here, Newton PR principal Ken Newton explains the consultancy’s REACH strategy that helps focus content marketing actions on achieving business goals.
This is the era in which content – or engagement – marketing has truly come of age for generating growth in business-to-business as well as consumer facing sectors. For many, the business blog is becoming the engine room for driving engagement with customers and stakeholders, and ultimately leveraging sales.
Content marketing is defined as ‘the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with objective of driving profitable customer action.’¹
Create a REACH strategy
The key takeout from a recent major B2B content marketing survey² was, ‘B2B marketers who have a documented content marketing strategy get better results.’ Newton Public Relations helps businesses to do just that by using five steps, summarised by the word REACH.
1 Radical mission – Envision where you want your business to be in the next one, two or three years. It’s time to think beyond the current turmoil and lingering survivalist thinking of the recession. Define not only the numbers, but your compelling offer to customers, and picture who you ideally want to be doing business with and how you want to be doing it.
2 Engagement plan – Create a plan of engagement with customers and stakeholders that will build your profile as an expert in your field. Decide where your content ‘home base’ will be. This is increasingly the business blog, as it allows you to interact with customers in a more personable way than before. Develop an engagement grid, with target timing for blog posts and other content.
3 Action – This may seem obvious, but if you want to succeed in reaching your goals, you need to take action. Don’t wait to craft the perfect plan or the ultimate measurement system: put the plan into effect and count the results. Let’s get beyond the ploughing season and sow some seeds – the online content pieces – that will bear fruit.
4 Capture – Decide on your metrics and where you will record what you measure, whether it’s using a CRM system or simple spreadsheets and reports. Email apps, blog platforms and social media have built-in metrics which can help you identify which content outputs are working best, while Google Analytics can help track the effectiveness of each marketing activity.
5 Hone – Adjust your strategy and tactics, particularly in the light of what you learn at the capture stage. Effective content marketing requires a sustained, deliberate approach over time, with fine-tuning along the way, as the key to reaping the benefits.
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Those that embark on – or continue – the B2B content marketing journey now have an opportunity to gain a strong competitive edge.