We are all doing content marketing. It’s the rage and rightfully so. Some brands are building a newsroom-like process. Some are forming partnerships with great content companies like Vice Media and the BBC. Some want to practice ‘real-time marketing.’ Others are designing content efforts that primarily drive lead generation into a sales organization.
There is no one flavor for content marketing. There is no one “right way.” There are, of course, best practices and some of the most valuable are those learned from experience. Applying the right content engine is one of those lessons.
Brands have loads of ambition to become successful content marketers. The devil is in the details – the operational details. You need different people to pull off a great newsroom operation than you do to make a valuable partnership with Forbes or the BBC work. You need a different internal approval process for a real-time operation than you do for one based upon curation of existing content.
Think of these as different “content engines” that power a content marketing program. Each has distinct value and distinct resource implications. While its perfectly fine to apply 3-4 of these engines to your effort, a few of them have significant resource implications that mean you won’t be changing up all that often.
Here are 6 content engines we apply to content marketing programs today:
Borrows from its namesake, generating social content in near real-time. Content plays off the news agenda or a brand narrative to drive a complementary “conversation agenda.” The Newsroom model can drive content and conversation across owned, earned and even paid platforms and channels. This model requires qualified “brand journalists” used to creating high-quality, multimedia content on an ongoing basis.
Real-time Marketing Model
Using the Real Time Model, brands take continuous advantage of fast moving cultural trends and zeitgeists for marketing purposes – leveraging the wave of earned media and timely buzz to help propel an asset or discussion. Often this means assembling a “war room” of all the right disciplines to ensure fast turnaround and publishing in tandem with a real-world event.
Brands set up a compelling co-creation or crowdsourcing concept and rely on consumers to submit the majority of the content experience. Light curation or editorial from the brand guides the content experience. Curation often requires strong content and influencer management skills as well as filtering software (think Mass Relevance) to scale the operation.
Allows brands to work with established media to collaboratively develop high quality, co-branded content. In many cases the partner is primarily responsible for creative, production and scale. The partner generally delivers a high-reach distribution channel, as well.
This engine requires great partner negotiation skills and contacts. Ogilvy Entertainment is terrific at this as they speak the same language as content and distribution partners.
Lead Gen Model
Social/search data and specially developed content narrowly target B2B or niche prospects and drive them towards a lead generation behavior. Clearly, a B2B orientation helps, as well as the ability to create valuable “paywall” or “lead-wall” content.
Community Platform Model
Provides a scaled approach to creating fresh content for existing social and digital platforms, or existing owned communities. Production is done by social content specialists – translating to high quality on shorter timelines. This model relies on a strong Community Director with their finger constantly on the pulse of their community.
Which engines do you use?