Content Marketing World 2013 was a success! Here are the top five takeaways from day two, through the B2B lens.
If you haven’t yet had a chance, take a peek at my key takeaways and insights from day one at Content Marketing World. If you’re all caught up, terrific. Here are my top five takeaways from Wednesday’s sessions, through the B2B lens, as always:
1. Content measurement is difficult. Not only that, but you can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to content measurement, because content should behave differently depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. Which leads me to…
2. What are you trying to accomplish with that piece of content? Many B2B organizations struggle to understand content performance because they have no shared understanding about the purpose of different types of content. Thus, they have no lens through which to interpret performance –other than the demand creation lens. This means that really great thought leadership or sales enablement content ends up looking like a flop on the dashboard.
3. Just like raising children, it “takes a village” to create really great B2B content. Content production experts often sit in communications or shared service groups. Subject matter experts sit in product, industry, solution or segment marketing. Buyer behavior experts sit in sales or demand-gen marketing groups. Most of the advice dished out at Content Marketing World makes the dangerous assumption that all content creators are empowered with everything they need to pump out great content. It’s important to remember that – particularly in large, complex B2B organizations – this is often not the case and that a major obstacle on the path to content greatness is the lack of functional interlock and collaboration.
4. Although we need to bring the person (or persona) back into marketing, we also need to acknowledge that today we reach people mostly through machines. Yes, we need to write for people. But first we need to write for machines. If we don’t get it through the machines, the people almost never see our fantastic content. Whether it’s for a prospect searching for a topic on the Web or a sales rep searching for content on the portal, great content never sees the light of day unless it’s created and archived in a way that our content machines like and understand.
5. The content technology landscape has exploded, but it’s still pretty irrational. There’s a lot of overlap in functionality, and the lack of well-defined categories makes it difficult for everyone (including analysts) to bucket and compare these vendors in a meaningful way. Not only that, but most technologies are evolving faster than the industry can keep pace with. The proliferation of these tools – many of which claim B2B relevance but fail to deliver – leaves many B2B marketers asking, “Which tools do I really need?” To this, I reply, “What does your toolkit look like? Are you getting full value from your technologies?” In the case of technology – and content – more is not always better. A pared-down, more focused effort often yields greater results.