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The CMO's Content Marketing Report Card: 5 Steps to Operationalize a Content Marketing Program that Drives Business

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The CMO's Content Marketing Report Card: 5 Steps to Operationalize a Content Marketing Program that Drives Business

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How CMOs can spark profit-generating conversations with technology decision makers by operationalizing content marketing.

Includes a 5-step self assessment, report card, and 10-step action plan for creating, deploying, and optimizing a content marketing program at scale.

How CMOs can spark profit-generating conversations with technology decision makers by operationalizing content marketing.

Includes a 5-step self assessment, report card, and 10-step action plan for creating, deploying, and optimizing a content marketing program at scale.

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The CMO's Content Marketing Report Card: 5 Steps to Operationalize a Content Marketing Program that Drives Business

  1. 1. 1©2014 Skyword How CMOs can spark profit-generating conversations with technology decision makers by operationalizing content marketing Caitlin Roberson — VP, West
  2. 2. 2©2014 Skyword I wanted this… … But I clicked here, because I hadn’t heard about this. And I DEFINITELY didn’t care about this. Forbes Once upon a time…
  3. 3. 3©2014 Skyword What is content marketing? Marketing is identifying or creating a market for your product or service. Content marketing is building this community using content. – Brian Honigman
  4. 4. 4©2014 Skyword
  5. 5. 5©2014 Skyword Are you ready to move forward?Are you ready to move forward?The game’s changed.
  6. 6. 6©2014 Skyword We used to control how information is delivered.
  7. 7. 7©2014 Skyword Now buyers do.
  8. 8. 8©2014 Skyword It’s become harder to stand out.
  9. 9. 9©2014 Skyword Enter, content marketing.
  10. 10. 10©2014 Skyword 93 76 94 These numbers tell a story:
  11. 11. 11©2014 Skyword 93 76 Percent of B2B marketers who use content marketing. Percent of CMOs who will increase 2015 content marketing spend. Percent of purchase path governed by content. Sources: Content Marketing Institute, CMO Council, Digiday 94
  12. 12. 12©2014 Skyword ROI reported by IBM for 2014. 390% Return reported by an SMB for 2014. 2X Sources: Skyword And these may explain why brands are scrambling for a piece of the content marketing pie.
  13. 13. 13©2014 Skyword Content is important.
  14. 14. 14©2014 Skyword Especially for SaaS companies, where the recurring revenue model has primed customer expectations.
  15. 15. 15©2014 Skyword “There’s no excuse for not understanding your metrics, for not providing great customer service, for not understanding the role of customer success, for not doing intelligent lifecycle marketing, for not doing great content marketing… What was hard and innovative 5 years ago is #TableStakes now.” — Christoph Janz, Point Nine Capital (on Twitter)
  16. 16. 16©2014 Skyword “Content marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools startups can employ. Blogs are powerful drivers of awareness and creators of purchasing intent which ultimately lead to new customers, new employees or other new opportunities. “This is doubly true as buyers are educating themselves before contacting sales teams to a far greater extent than ever.” — Tomasz Tunguz, Redpoint Ventures
  17. 17. 17©2014 Skyword And yet …
  18. 18. 18©2014 Skyword Executives are panicking, esp about budgets + tech. Half of CMOs report worrying about managing the intersection of marketing + tech in 2015…
  19. 19. 19©2014 Skyword They need to figure it out: Their budgets will out-size CIO budgets in 2017.
  20. 20. 20©2014 Skyword • Less than half (35%) of content marketers document their strategy, which shows many don’t understand this process is a simple, repeatable science — yet. A few things are going on:
  21. 21. 21©2014 Skyword • Less than half (35%) of content marketers document their strategy, which shows many don’t understand this process is a simple, repeatable science — yet. • Marketing teams struggle to find and retain qualified talent. A few things are going on:
  22. 22. 22©2014 Skyword • Less than half (35%) of content marketers document their strategy, which shows many don’t understand this process is a simple, repeatable science — yet. • Marketing teams struggle to find and retain qualified talent. • Most marketers haven’t closed the data loop to prove content’s business value. A few things are going on:
  23. 23. 23©2014 Skyword Source: Gartner, IBM CMO Study 2015 It’s a lot.
  24. 24. 24©2014 Skyword But, there is hope…
  25. 25. 25©2014 Skyword But, there is hope… 5 Steps: Deliver ROI with Your Content
  26. 26. 26©2014 Skyword Your Content Marketing Report Card 5 categories 30 points possible for each 150 points total
  27. 27. 27©2014 Skyword© Skyword 2015 ‹#› 1) Magnetize your message.
  28. 28. 28©2014 Skyword Like any engaging conversation, a successful content marketing program factors in: And filters topics aligned with your Brand People you’re trying to influence Topics they love
  29. 29. 29©2014 Skyword Today’s tech executive must power innovation + mobility w an infrastructure that’s scalable + secure. Source: “The Human CIO”, IBM Start by understanding your decision maker.
  30. 30. 30©2014 Skyword Then, activate empathy networks, with a storytelling approach.
  31. 31. 31©2014 Skyword Brands have always sold by telling stories.
  32. 32. 32©2014 Skyword How did you learn not to “cry wolf”?
  33. 33. 33©2014 Skyword • Why change? • Why change now? • Why change now with [your brand]? Storytelling creates a buying vision when it answers these questions:
  34. 34. 34©2014 Skyword • Lead with third-party stats • End with proof points The Exoskeleton of a Buying Vision Tools: • Social listening • Competitive landscape analysis • Trends research
  35. 35. 35©2014 Skyword 1 + 1 = 5 The enterprise incubator Collaboration happens when people create something better together than alone. To unleash that potential, people must connect. This is especially true for enterprise Sales, Marketing and IT teams. To few are cashing in on pooling their talents. Still, as change accelerates, and knowledge gets more specialized, businesses will only win by co-innovating. Let’s create a publication that spotlights how real-life enterprise professionals are doing big things, TOGETHER.
  36. 36. 36©2014 Skyword 36© 2014 Skyword Inc, Confidential. All rights reserved. It’s not just about athletics. It’s about life skills. Performance for the future
  37. 37. 37©2014 Skyword 1) How well do you know who you’re talking to, and what s/he care about? 2) How consistent does your team conduct social listening and trends research? 3) Do you lead with ideas and innovation, to make information sticky? Do you own the conversation? Rate yourself: 1-10 points per question
  38. 38. 38©2014 Skyword© Skyword 2015 ‹#› 2) Risk-proof your strategy.
  39. 39. 39©2014 Skyword 8 seconds.
  40. 40. 40©2014 Skyword Kentico August 2013 10 : 10
  41. 41. 41©2014 Skyword 3X 2X X Content Ratio This is why content needs to span the entire funnel.
  42. 42. 42©2014 Skyword Content : Dating Progressive levels of commitment + branded details
  43. 43. 43©2014 Skyword Produce and leverage multiple content types in the customer journey including: Articles, eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, and videos. Impactful stories are told in multiple content types + formats…
  44. 44. 44©2014 Skyword A E C Nwareness • Re-active storytelling • Audience- driven • Trending topics ducation • eBooks • Infographics • Customer stories • Long-form asset support onversion • Video • Innovator spotlights • Events • Webinars urture • Email campaigns • Innovator spotlights • Customer stories Aligning directly to audience(s) + individual decision-making processes.
  45. 45. 45©2014 Skyword A E C Nducation • eBooks • Infographics • Customer stories • Long-form asset support onversion • Video • Innovator spotlights • Events • Webinars urture • Email campaigns • Innovator spotlights • Customer stories Most B2B tech brands are currently doing THIS alright:
  46. 46. 46©2014 Skyword A E C Nwareness • Re-active storytelling • Audience- driven • Trending topics ducation • eBooks • Infographics • Customer stories • Long-form asset support onversion • Video • Innovator spotlights • Events • Webinars urture • Email campaigns • Innovator spotlights • Customer stories But they MISS driving audience demand with top-of-funnel content:
  47. 47. 47©2014 Skyword Regular listening and conversation analysis of social networks Collaborative monthly topics planning among key stakeholders Analysis of search trends, volumes, and consumer demand Skyword conducts regular analysis of search and social consumer trends to identify content opportunities. In addition, monthly topic planning aligns all content efforts to broader marketing efforts and content production. Recap: You do this by analyzing social conversations + search trends…
  48. 48. 48©2014 Skyword 0 10,000 20,000 30,000 40,000 50,000 60,000 70,000 80,000 May June July August September October November December January February March April May June July August September Irregular publishing/low volumes Consistent monthly publishing/increased volumes Actual Skyword client data, monthly page views, in the consumer technology industry. With the flexibility to publish regularly, scaling up or down as needed.
  49. 49. 49©2014 Skyword 1) Searchable 2) Snackable 3) Shareable At all times, content must be three things:
  50. 50. 50©2014 Skyword Consistency is key Break-through requires 3 to 7 repetitions.
  51. 51. 51©2014 Skyword
  52. 52. 52©2014 Skyword Source: Sysomos research, IBM CMO study Above all, Sales & Marketing values two things: 1. Thought leadership that’s validated by third-party research 2. Fact-based assessments of products + services Know your personas’ content consumption habits.
  53. 53. 53©2014 Skyword “When it comes to content, I’m one of four (of five) CIOs who prefers information that’s: • News-driven • Relevant to my industry • No more than 150 words” Source: Sysomos research, IBM CMO study Like these, of today’s C-level IT executive:
  54. 54. 54©2014 Skyword Cloud Storage and Sharing Secrets Mobility Innovation Collaboration Ensuring Secure, Scalable Infrastructure BYOD Trends Astonishing Productivity Hacks The Best Travel Tips Pursuing Work- Life Balance Inspiring Entrepreneurs in Teams Equipping the Virtual Workforce Powering Face- to-Face Connections Communication Secrets Management & Leadership Spotlights Sparking Productivity Select recurring content themes + sample topics.
  55. 55. 55©2014 Skyword Monday Listicle In-Depth ‘How-To’ Feature Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Set a starting publishing cadence, to test. Innovator Spotlight News with Analysis Tips & Tricks
  56. 56. 56©2014 Skyword Know the difference: Non-branded, branded and lightly-branded publishing destinationsCreate a conversion strategy.
  57. 57. 57©2014 Skyword2/11/2015 5757©2014 Skyword Case Study IBM Security For IBM Security, it’s not about selling services— it’s about sharing news and analysis for information security professionals. • Create central information hub to connect both IT and security professionals • Become the voice of information security through thought leadership content • Empower IBM internal subject matter experts and external influencers to blog on behalf of IBM • Show business value of content marketing within a division of a large enterprise organization
  58. 58. 58©2014 Skyword 58©2014 Skyword Case Study IBM Security • Launched SecurityIntelligence.com and increased traffic 494% in the first year • On-boarded 150 internal and external contributors to drive content production for the website • 1 in 10 site visits turn into business engagements • 3.5% of site visits turn into marketing responses • 15,000 marketing responses with average cost of $25 • $19 million in sales opportunities for IBM • $1.2 million in savings, compared to content curation and other media spend • 390% ROI in 2014
  59. 59. 59©2014 Skyword Understand the difference: Non-branded, branded, lightly branded
  60. 60. 60©2014 Skyword  Content should be one click away  If it looks like a landing page, buyers will bounce An important note:
  61. 61. 61©2014 Skyword 1) Does your strategy reflect formalized personas and buyer content consumption preferences? 2) How effectively does your conversion strategy fill pipeline? (Is your funnel ratio working?) 3) Do you publish on an owned destination? How strategic is your brand? Rate yourself: 1-10 points per question
  62. 62. 62©2014 Skyword© Skyword 2015 ‹#› 3) Build a balanced content team.
  63. 63. 63©2014 Skyword What brain capital exists in-house?
  64. 64. 64©2014 Skyword What about your company’s partners? Consider:  Partners  Resellers  Customers  Referral sources  Former employees  Venture backers  Board members
  65. 65. 65©2014 Skyword Known influencers will up-level your results, as well.
  66. 66. 66©2014 Skyword A diverse contributor team incentivizes sharing.
  67. 67. 67©2014 Skyword (Most C-levels depend on middle management for fresh ideas + execution) So, consider two-tiers: executive, mid-level contributors.
  68. 68. 68©2014 Skyword But how do you find contributors?
  69. 69. 69©2014 Skyword How do you verify their qualifications?
  70. 70. 70©2014 Skyword How do you assess true talent?
  71. 71. 71©2014 Skyword2/11/2015 7171©2014 Skyword Case Study IBM Midsize Insider For IBM, it’s more than IT solutions — it’s about helping midsize IT professionals think differently in the work they do every day. • After developing a reputation for being a costly solution for midsize businesses, IBM had to extend its offerings beyond its core solutions to break this mold. • IBM recruited a highly relevant team of authors from the midsize-business and IT worlds. • These contributors regularly publish news-oriented and advice-giving stories that inform IBM’s target audience about the trends taking place in the industry.
  72. 72. 72©2014 Skyword 72©2014 Skyword IBM Midsize Insider Results IBM’s Midsize Insider program achieved the following results to date: • IBM Wins 2013 Digiday Award for Best Content Marketing Program • Acceptance into Google News • 4,500+ professionally crafted, search-optimized articles • 30+ writer relationships • 365MM+ social impressions generated • 890,000+ page views • 85,000+ social engagements • 2.4% CTR from MidsizeInsider.com to IBM.com Solutions Pages
  73. 73. 73©2014 Skyword 1) How well do you evangelize in-house subject matter expertise? 2) How strategically do you ‘share the microphone’? 3) Is your contributor group sufficiently diverse? Are you leveraging influencer networks + knowledge? Rate yourself: 1-10 points per question
  74. 74. 74©2014 Skyword© Skyword 2015 ‹#› 4) Streamline a scalable workflow.
  75. 75. 75©2014 Skyword Once you find your contributors, how you approach them matters.
  76. 76. 76©2014 Skyword So does training.
  77. 77. 77©2014 Skyword Give your team the ability to manage an interactive editorial calendar...
  78. 78. 78©2014 Skyword To streamline editorial workflow,
  79. 79. 79©2014 Skyword To store and compare content versions,
  80. 80. 80©2014 Skyword To automate content review and delivery,
  81. 81. 81©2014 Skyword To lock in SEO best practices, to get content found, and…
  82. 82. 82©2014 Skyword To augment content with social.
  83. 83. 83©2014 Skyword Recruit Subject matter experts Journalists, Videographers Refine Train on standards, voice Measur e Develop calend ar Assign Measure Optimize & Publish Ensure global scale.
  84. 84. 84©2014 Skyword2/11/2015 8484©2014 Skyword Case Study Priceless Cities For MasterCard, It’s not about issuing credit cards—It’s about connecting with a global audience around their passions and love for their cities • Built a website geared toward a global audience that profiles the amazing cultural events taking place in the world’s most-beautiful cities • Connected with local writers and videographers to produce authentic written and video content about each city • United global cities around citizens’ love and pride for their communities.
  85. 85. 85©2014 Skyword 85©2014 Skyword Priceless Cities Results Expanded from pilot study in one city to global campaigns, that are slated to include five continents: • USA: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami • Canada: Toronto • Europe: London, Munich, Moscow • Asia: Dubai • South America: The Caribbean, Brazil * Each program features local teams of contributors and editors, creating content for local markets
  86. 86. 86©2014 Skyword 1) What’s your process for finding and training qualified talent? 2) How well have you formalized brand voice, guidelines? 3) Are you managing a defined workflow process all in one place? Can your model can scale with company growth? Rate yourself: 1-10 points per question
  87. 87. 87©2014 Skyword© Skyword 2015 ‹#› 5) Close the feedback loop.
  88. 88. 88©2014 Skyword Retaining motivated contributors is as important as reporting.  Millennials – Promotion-seeking – Likes flexibility, freedom and accolades  Generation X – Prioritizes time w family  Baby Boomers – Warm to teaching opportunities (impact) – Thinking about retirement
  89. 89. 89©2014 Skyword Gamify the process for contributors. ?!
  90. 90. 90©2014 Skyword Create a reward loop. ?!  Intra-company announcements  Public recognition  SPIFs  Bonuses, MBOs  Suggested tweets with @mentions  Roving trophies
  91. 91. 91©2014 Skyword Drill into content’s impact on profit.  Report on anonymous + known leads viewing the most pages on your site  Receive MA email alerts about which companies view your site  Enable salespeople to monitor leads’ email + web activity on your CRM  Create URL links in MA platform  Append URL parameters to links w/in content + social to gain insight into information in hidden fields.
  92. 92. 92©2014 Skyword “My team directly influenced 27% of booked business in Q3 with our content.” — Patricia Travaline VP Marketing, Skyword Know your ROI.
  93. 93. 93©2014 Skyword 1) Have you identified and communicated which KPIs matter most? 2) How connected is your team with your results? 3) What’s your process for comparing — and optimizing — performance across topics, channels, and contributors? Do you measure what matters? Rate yourself: 1-10 points per question
  94. 94. 94©2014 Skyword So, how does your team score?
  95. 95. 95©2014 Skyword Are you ready to move forward?Are you ready to move forward?• Crawl: 10-30 points • Walk: 40-60 points • Run: 70-90 points • Sprint: 100-120 points • Win: 130-150 points Your Results
  96. 96. 96©2014 Skyword Are you thinking like a CMO in 2017?
  97. 97. 97©2014 Skyword 1) Start with a big idea, based on competitive research. Deploy a storytelling approach that’s sticky. 2) Map content themes to progressive buyer interests. Formalize your conversion strategy. Delight your customer with varied content types. 3) Incorporate and automate social, SEO, and back linking rules. 4) Always lead with fresh ideas. Make your content searchable, snack-able, shareable. 5) Publish on an owned property — as often as you want buyers on your site. 6) Build a well-rounded contributor team. Empower internal SMEs and partners. Share the authorship microphone. 7) Motivate contributors to stay invested. 8) Invest in a content workflow that can scale with global projections. 9) Close the feedback loop. Define and test KPIs. Measure consistently. Tweak. 10)Produce profit reports. Uplevel your place at the revenue table. 10-Step Checklist
  98. 98. 98©2014 Skyword Caitlin Roberson — VP, West Email: croberson@skyword.com cell: 650.799.9917

Hinweis der Redaktion


  • We, as marketers, strive to get our brand to stand out, connect with an audience, and get into their purchase consideration set. But it’s getting harder to tell your story with modern media
  • Today’s marketing story begins with a moment of unbalance. The game’s changed, and it has left us off kilter.
  • For the past 50 years, media (newspapers, radio, television, cinema, etc.) provided an effective storytelling platform. And as marketers, we took advantage of the opportunity to interrupt those stories with our own. People soaked it all in...
  • …and technology enabled them to escape and seek out content they love without being interrupted.
  • As a result, we fade into the background, unable to get our story read/heard/seen
  • Budgets shifting. Reported worry about technology.
  • Free form slides to discuss solution.
    A platform only solution should include relevant product screen shots that illustrate the important aspects of their needs
    A full-service solution will communicate the creative strategy we are proposing as well as supporting content.
  • Free form slides to discuss solution.
    A platform only solution should include relevant product screen shots that illustrate the important aspects of their needs
    A full-service solution will communicate the creative strategy we are proposing as well as supporting content.
  • So with all that, let’s build the foundation of your strategy.

    Based on our previous conversation(s) with you, and our own research…
    Your brand essence is “____________” What have we missed?
    Your target audience is “____________” What have we missed?
    Let’s dig into your target audience further. Tell us more about them as people.
    Now, what topics do we believe holds their interest as professionals, or in their personal lives? Let’s be expansive. We’ll winnow the list and prioritize later.
    Where do we have the right to play? Given your brand and your business, which of the topics DON’T fit? (for example, Pampers could not focus on extreme sports, but RedBull can). We believe you have an opportunity to own _____________
    But what does the “competition” look like. In this case, let’s dive into the search volume of the remaining topics to determine volume of searches AND let’s look at sites that are competing with the same content topics.
    Let’s prioritize.
  • A detailed account of the target audience the prospect is trying to reach
  • But we live in a B2B tech world. It’s not like we can create Harry Potter for our buyers. That’s true, but we can still give them powerful stories that inspire and educate and inform. A lot of the products we’re selling are purveyors of hope. They combat fear and helplessness, acting as antidotes to problems that buyers really struggle with. They offer relief.
  • So we all know the most effective way to connect with people is through story telling. Always has, always will.
  • Think about how you first learned about the world. Probably stories at bed time.

    There’s neuroscience research to back this up: As humans, we gravitate to stories. We prefer information that’s communicated this way. Stories activate parts of our brains that immerse us in feelings and emotion — what psychologists call empathy networks.
  • Free form slides to discuss solution.
    A platform only solution should include relevant product screen shots that illustrate the important aspects of their needs
    A full-service solution will communicate the creative strategy we are proposing as well as supporting content.
  • Parents of high school athletes may have the wallets, but think about who they rely on, who they trust. It’s the coaches. Let’s become the brand that the coaches depend on. And let’s make THEM the heroes of our campaign.
  • The average attention span of people in 2013 was about 8 seconds.
  • People are creatures of habit. We’ve known for years that people view the same 10 television channels; rarely broadening beyond them. We now see studies that people also build similar habits around web sites. We have the opportunity for our Web site or blog to become a habit of our target audience. If successful, this will give us our always-on marketing platform that will be hard for our competitors to break through.
  • With each topic remaining, let’s create some sample headlines that fit in your Reach, Engage, and Convert categories (Example: IBM Mid-size Insider – Reach: Affordable Healthcare Rolls Out, What Does That Mean for Your Small Business; Engage: Big Data, Small Company – Data Giving You The Edge; Convert: How IBM Is Building Watson and Big Data to Help Small Businesses Grow)

    3…2…1…
  • With each topic remaining, let’s create some sample headlines that fit in your Reach, Engage, and Convert categories (Example: IBM Mid-size Insider – Reach: Affordable Healthcare Rolls Out, What Does That Mean for Your Small Business; Engage: Big Data, Small Company – Data Giving You The Edge; Convert: How IBM Is Building Watson and Big Data to Help Small Businesses Grow)

    3…2…1…
  • All content will equip enterprise business leaders and their teams of mid-level managers with information that will solve their challenges while pushing them to be change agents for the future of work. This will be a future-forward environment that celebrates enterprise innovation.
  • All content will equip enterprise business leaders and their teams of mid-level managers with information that will solve their challenges while pushing them to be change agents for the future of work. This will be a future-forward environment that celebrates enterprise innovation.
  • All content will equip enterprise business leaders and their teams of mid-level managers with information that will solve their challenges while pushing them to be change agents for the future of work. This will be a future-forward environment that celebrates enterprise innovation.
  • Our benchmarks show that when great content is optimized for search, is short, and people can share it easily, you will get the most exposure.
  • Frequency. How often do you want your audience coming to your site? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?
  • Sample IBM Weekly Publishing Cadence
  • Sample IBM Weekly Publishing Cadence
  • Detail our all the specifics – what are they buying? Be inclusive.
  • Detail our all the specifics – what are they buying? Be inclusive.
  • Detail our all the specifics – what are they buying? Be inclusive.
  • Detail our all the specifics – what are they buying? Be inclusive.
  • Detail our all the specifics – what are they buying? Be inclusive.
  • With the strategy structured, we have to build a plan to execute the strategy. It will include all of the following: 1) Recruit subject matter experts and journalists, 2) Train them on brand voice, content standards, 3) Build an editorial calendar, 4) Issue assignments, 5) Create, optimize, publish, amplify, measure, refine.

    Fortunately, we live in a rich, freelance economy. Combined with great creation and optimization workflow software, scaling is relatively easy and cost effective.
  • Challenge status quo. Call to Action.

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