Curata Blog Content marketing intelligence Fri, 30 Aug 2019 18:26:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Curata Blog 32 32 How To Unlock More Profitable Content With AI Mon, 10 Jun 2019 18:32:09 +0000 Today’s content marketers face tons of challenges. For starters, they have to create a lot of content. Most brands distribute unique content across email, blogs, general...Read More

Today’s content marketers face tons of challenges.

For starters, they have to create a lot of content. Most brands distribute unique content across email, blogs, general webpages, social media, and one-to-one marketing campaigns every day. They also have to manage a team of supporting content producers, usually with tools that aren’t equipped to scale (for example, a spreadsheet editorial calendar). Finally, they must prove content marketing ROI using data from multiple disjointed systems.

And that ROI is a pretty significant investment: B2B content marketers surveyed by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs reported that almost a third (29%) of their marketing budgets were allocated to content marketing.

This amounts to a massive input of time and money—and because today’s consumer expects hyper-personalized content at every stage of the buyer’s journey, it still doesn’t always achieve the ideal outcome. It’s just too much for a human marketer to achieve.

This is where artificial intelligence can make a major difference in the profitability of your content—but are marketers ready?

Are Marketers Ready to Embrace AI?

Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute conducted a study of hundreds of marketers to assess their thoughts on using AI to intelligently automate more than 60 common marketing tasks.

Content marketing topped the list of highest-rated AI marketing use cases. Of the top 10 use cases marketers identified, seven of them related to content marketing, including keyword selection, A/B testing content, content analysis, and optimization.

Three-fourths of respondents were decision makers, identifying as Managers (30%), VPs/Directors (19.5%) or C-Level/SVPs (26.3%).

And the tasks they want to automate are actually all possible with AI tools that currently exist on the market.

What does this mean? Marketing leaders are ready to approach content marketing in a new way. A way that scales, increases efficiency, and makes more money.

AI Can Increase Efficiency, Performance, and Revenue

AI is being rapidly adopted by marketers facing pressure to produce high-performing campaigns faster than ever. It operates with speed and capability that humans simply cannot, so it solves problems that humans can’t. This is why it’s used daily to make marketing more efficient, personalized, and data-driven.

For content marketers, AI does this in three main ways:

  1. It creates content faster. And in turn, creates more content than humans, without sacrificing efficiency. One example of this is natural language generation, which accurately writes data-driven content. You can arrange data points in a spreadsheet and run it through an natural language generation tool, which turns the data into a story—automatically.
  2. It creates better content. AI learns by your example. This means you can feed it large data sets and it will instantly learn your brand’s standards, for example. Natural language processing can do this very task, then review the content your team has written and offer suggestions for a better-performing end product.
  3. It assesses content performance. AI can analyze large sets of data and help you improve your content marketing with what it learns from the data. Even more impressive, it can do this on a hyper-personal scale. For example, it can learn a website visitor’s preferences and intent on an individual basis, then recommend content that can help—answering questions the visitor didn’t even know they had.

All of these benefits result in high-performing, highly personalized content at scale that moves contacts through the buyer’s journey and towards purchase.

It’s Time to Move Forward with Marketing AI

This is a great opportunity for forward-thinking marketers who rely on content to drive their businesses. AI can be your competitive advantage, giving content marketers the ability to brainstorm, create, promote, and optimize like never before.

Content marketers need to start making AI a real part of their marketing strategies. And the inaugural Marketing Artificial Intelligence Conference (MAICON) is built to help. It’s an event for practitioners and leaders seeking to drive the next frontier of digital marketing transformation within their organizations.

MAICON is designed to help marketing leaders truly understand AI, educate their teams, garner executive support, pilot priority AI uses cases, and develop a near-term strategy for successfully scaling AI.

Ready to take the next step with AI? Register today.

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How Content Marketing Drives Sales Throughout the Buyers’ Journey Mon, 20 Nov 2017 16:08:55 +0000 I work with a lot of content marketers in a lot of different organizations. While the businesses and messages are different, they all want to know...Read More

I work with a lot of content marketers in a lot of different organizations. While the businesses and messages are different, they all want to know the same thing: what is content marketing’s impact on sales?

My answer is that content marketing’s influence permeates all aspects of the sales process throughout the buyers’ journey, though it may not always be obvious.

With so much information available online, buyers are spending more time researching and becoming more informed before any conversation with a salesperson. Experts disagree on how much of the buying process occurs before a sales touch (some studies estimate between 50% and 70%), however but they do agree that interactions with sales are still a hugely important influencer during the buying process.

This means that before a lead ever speaks to a sales rep, he or she has likely engaged with content on one of your channels. Your prospect has likely taken a visit to your website, read an email, seen your posts on social media, heard a presentation at an event, or experienced your brand through any number of your channels.

Sometimes a lead will discover and access content on their own; other times sales will direct a lead’s attention to relevant content. Content marketing and sales shouldn’t operate as completely separate spheres operationally because there’s so much crossover in practice. Content marketing and sales work in tandem to attract relevant leads and helps those leads arrive at a purchasing decision.

To help attract, convert, and retain customers at every stage of the sales funnel, you should align your content strategy to the buyer’s journey, from discovery and consideration through evaluation and decision–and beyond.

Content Marketing Buyers’ Journey: Discovery

Content Marketing Buyers’ Journey: Discovery

The companies that rely on content marketing the most are high-consideration products or services with longer sales cycles. Discovery to purchase isn’t meant to take place within a few minutes or even a few days. But providing great content opportunities where the prospect can engage more deeply sets the stage for a consultative sales process.

Let’s start where your prospect starts–with discovery. If a prospect’s first interaction is with your website, it is likely that they got there via search. And if they started via search, they are beginning with a specific intention, such as looking for a solution to a problem or more information about a specific issue. The intent at this stage is informational and is often self-directed, that is, without the intervention of the demand gen or sales teams.

The company blog is often the first digital touchpoint for search traffic. Therefore, content on this dynamic area of your website should be highly targeted, relevant, and timely. A blog should primarily seek to educate, inspire, and help. Essentially, it’s a relationship building channel and its purpose is to lay the groundwork for future conversations that will lead to revenue.

A heavy-handed approach (read: lots of self-serving sales messages, aggressive retargeting, or too many annoying popups) can be counterproductive on your blog. A prospect can be easily turned-off because they feel “pushed” to take action instead of “pulled.”

Additionally, social media content is also a prevalent discovery channel. More specifically, amplification by macro or micro peers and influencers can be a very effective first line of interest. The “discovery” of your brand comes with the context or even the endorsement of someone they know.

Content Marketing Buyers’ Journey: Consideration

Content Marketing Buyers’ Journey: Consideration

Once a prospect understands who you are and what you’re about, they’ll begin to explore how you might help them solve a problem. For example, when reading Curata’s blog, any visitor would instantly know that we play in the content marketing space because we cover topics related to those issues and opportunities. But to get more specific about what we do, we’d have to lead them to content that specifically communicates how we help our customers.

At this point, prospects are typically still engaging with content (not sales) to understand the basics of what your company can do for them. Once your prospect has consumed this content, sales can more readily have next-level conversations when they get leads on the phone. Used in this way, content marketing is helping to create a more efficient sales funnel. However, that comes with a big “if;” success at this step can only come if the content effectively communicates who the company is, why they exist, and what they have to offer.

Most B2B companies have a “Solutions” area of their website. But often this messaging can be overly complex or not differentiated enough for a prospect to get a clear understanding of what a company actually does. If sales has to spend a precious call clarifying basic concepts and clearing up misconceptions, that’s wasted time and goodwill that could have been spent guiding a lead further down the buyer’s journey.

Great consideration content doesn’t begin and end with your “solutions” section, however. Having strong “leave behind” sales enablement content that a sales team can utilize in their follow-ups reinforces the key messages that a sales rep may introduce during a discovery call or a product demo. This kind of content helps your company frame the sales discussion even if no one from your team is in the room. Imagine that content–be it a link, video, or even a guide–being shared by a potential customer with his or her boss and peers.  

Content Marketing Buyers’ Journey: Evaluation

Content Marketing Buyers’ Journey: Evaluation

The line between consideration content and evaluation content can sometimes be a bit fuzzy. My rule of thumb is that during the consideration phase, a lead or opportunity is seeking to understand what your company does and which problems you solve. During the evaluation stage, they are seeking to understand how well your solution might work for them.

There’s a lot of variation amongst B2B companies in terms of how much evaluation content they should make publicly available, i.e., what can be published on their website versus what is exclusively in sales enablement materials. Some companies don’t like to make too much publicly available because of competitive or intellectual property issues. Regardless of where this information lives, evaluation content is crucial not just for making the sale, but in setting expectations for your post-sale relationship.

Evaluation content needs to be specific and clear to avoid misconceptions. Though these materials should be well-designed and clearly communicated (like everything else you do), substance over style rules the day in this instance. Some examples of evaluation content might be descriptions of integrations, competitive comparisons, and case studies.

A note about case studies: often companies think of case studies and testimonials interchangeably. I think there are some important distinctions. A testimonial is essentially an endorsement of your company by someone in a specific role at a specific company. Often testimonials are on your website where someone in the consideration stage can see a person like them having success with your product. Testimonials are typically short and sweet.

A case study, by contrast, should be much, much more specific. Good case studies detail what the company did, how they did it, the role your solution played, and what the outcomes were. True case studies are intended for the evaluation and/or decision making stages.

Third Party Content

Content Marketing Buyers' Journey: Third Party Content

When it comes to evaluation stage, another opportunity to consider is where the prospect is sourcing their information. A company website may be a primary source, but it’s certainly not the only one. Review sites, long part of the ecommerce world, have begun to make a big impact in B2B. G2Crowd, TrustRadius, and GetApp are just a few examples of peer-to-peer review sites that your prospects may check to get the unvarnished truth. And, of course, expert review sources such as Forrester’s Wave Report or Gartner’s Magic Quadrant can help buyers verify any preconceptions or claims.

Being proactive about the content that appears on those sites is a great way to build positive consensus on your product or service. Asking successful customers to leave reviews and addressing negative ones can help you manage your company’s reputation. Additionally, developing relationships with the big consulting houses is certainly a long-term strategy, but can one that can certainly payoff.

Content Marketing Buyers’ Journey: Decision

Content Marketing Buyers’ Journey: Decision

In the decision stage, victory is close, but it is far from certain. The buyer is now seeking to understand if the cost of your product or service is worth the price. They need to have a reasonable expectation of what their gains will be and what is included in their costs. The price of the product is just one factor. They also need to understand their internal costs for launching, integrating, and maintaining your product.

A healthy relationship between your content marketing and your customer success organizations can help you create content that answers these questions and supports the decision phase. This content helps the buyer understand what resources they will have access to and what they can expect post-sale.

For example, resources that describe training and adoption plans, educational tools, peer-to-peer networks, and even technical implementation will give the buyer confidence that this isn’t your company’s first rodeo. Planning templates that outline the steps your primary buyer will have to take can be especially helpful.

Content Marketing Buyers’ Journey: Retention

Content Marketing Buyers’ Journey: Retention

After the sale closes, many marketers forget about customer retention. But content marketing can play a big role in supporting customer retention, too. If your company continues to provide information and resources that speak deeply to the needs and interests of your customers, it will keep that relationship strong and support the value they get out of your product or service. Building trust isn’t a one-time activity; it needs to be continuous, especially in subscription-based business models. 

Though the focus tends to be at the top of the funnel, content marketing is influential at every stage of the customer relationship. Your content is more than what you put on your website; it’s present in every interaction your company has with your customers.

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Content Crush Nov. 17: SEO Strategies and the Revenge of the Creatives Fri, 17 Nov 2017 17:09:20 +0000 A roundup of this week’s best content marketing content for content marketers.  1. Discover Hidden Backlink Opportunities This post from the Portent blog is a great...Read More

A roundup of this week’s best content marketing content for content marketers. 

1. Discover Hidden Backlink Opportunities

This post from the Portent blog is a great how-to resource for discovering great backlink building or co-marketing opportunities hidden in your Google Analytics

You should know the channels that drive tons of leads…While that’s great information, your boss will probably also know what’s obviously working. What we want are traffic sources that are unsung heroes in your marketing mix.

See Also: Content Marketing Moneyball: The Secret Strategy to Data-Driven Content Success

2. Content Gap Analysis

Before you finalize your 2018 content plan, it’s crucial to do a content gap analysis first according to a recent post on Search Engine Journal. (Plus, we think our Content Marketing Platform is pretty handy tool for helping you do just that.)

It doesn’t matter how many visitors you drive to your website if you don’t have the right content and user experience in place to optimize for conversion. This is why it’s essential to not only conduct a website gap analysis but a full content audit.

See Also: How to Conduct a Content Audit

3. Podcasting’s ‘Super Listeners’

This post from the Knight Foundation could be a masterclass in persona research. The most engaged podcast listeners prefer their content to be asynchronous, mobile, and niche. And they’ll also tell you about it—super listeners are big boosters of the podcasts they love.

This active audience is incredibly mobile: 93% say they listen to podcasts via smartphone, with 84% indicating that is their primary means of listening to podcasts.

See Also: A Content Marketer’s Guide to Podcasting

4. Audience-Centric Content Strategy

The folks over at Moz recommend creating a content strategy that starts with customer pain points and your unique value proposition and then layers a keyword strategy over that framework

Moving away from a keyword-first-driven content strategy and into an audience-centric one will put you in a better place for creating SEO content that converts. Don’t get me wrong — there’s still an important place for keyword research. But it belongs later in the process, after you’ve performed a deep dive into your audience and your own brand expertise.

See Also: SEO Survival Guide

5. It’s Time for Creative to Retake Center Stage

This post from Marketing Land is specific to the advertising industry but has learnings for us content marketers as well. In a sea of digital noise, focus on creating highly relevant, highly useful experiences that are a pleasure for your audience. More isn’t necessarily better; better is better.

But somewhere along the line, the problem of how to distribute the message became more important than the message itself. Creative now takes a back seat to the media plan.

See Also: The Two Best Secrets to Writing Brain-Craving Content


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Content Marketing Conferences: The Ultimate List Thu, 16 Nov 2017 15:19:37 +0000 Planning on attending any upcoming marketing conferences? Consult our ultimate list before you decide what to hit and what to skip....Read More

Marketers are just as in love with the permanent distraction machine—the Internet—as anyone else. (Probably more.) The availability of webinars, virtual events, social media discussions, Slack, and Google Hangouts is terrific. But when we step away from our screens, we still gain a lot of value from good old-fashioned in-person interactions at an event. As attendees, we get to build our networks, learn about our peers’ innovations, and find great new solutions to bring back to our organizations. As sponsors, meeting prospects and customers face-to-face is invaluable for creating strong relationships. And everyone gets a chance to have a little fun while they’re at it! That said, we’re still very cautious about where we allocate our time for in-person content marketing conferences.

2018 Content Marketing Conferences

To help decide, we’ve created a list of content marketing conferences and events featuring the date, location, estimated number of attendees, conference owner and broad category each falls in. These are all important factors for assessing the value of an event, so it’ll be an invaluable resource as you plan your conference schedule for 2018. This list was updated as of November 16, 2017.

When available, we’ve included where to keep track of the event on Twitter, even if you aren’t able to attend.

chevronYou might also be looking to write previews or recaps about these events. Be sure to download Curata’s editorial calendar template to align all content with your upcoming schedule.

Feedback Welcome

If you think we’ve missed an event, or if you’d like to add insight into your experience with one of these events, please do so below in the comments section. All dates are in the format: month/day/year.

ConferenceDateLocationEst. #of AttendeesConference OwnerWhere to Keep Track on TwitterCategory
Affiliate Summit West 20181/7 to 1/9/18Las Vegas, NV6000+AffiliateSummit@AffiliateSummitLead Generation
Social Media Strategies Summit2/6 to 2/8/18San Francisco, CAGSMI@GSMIOnline, #SMSsummitSocial Media
B2B Marketing Exchange2/19 to 2/21/18Scottsdale, AZ800+Demand Gen Report@B2BMX, #B2BMXB2B Marketing
Digital Summit Phoenix2/21 to 2/122/18Phoenix, AZDigital Summit@DigSumPHXDigital Marketing
Digital Marketing Innovation Summit New York2/27 to 2/28/18New York, NY150+Innovation Enterprise@iegroup, #DigiMarketingDigital Marketing
Social Media Marketing World2/28 to 3/2/18San Diego, CA3000Social Media Examiner@smexaminer, #SMMW18Social Media
SiriusDecisions Summit Canada 20183/1/18Toronto, ONSiriusDecisions@SiriusDecisions, #SDSummitB2B Sales, B2B Marketing
LeadsCon Las Vegas3/5 to 3/7/18Las Vegas, NV2,800+Access Intelligence@leadscon, #LeadsConLead Generation
C3 20183/7 to 3/8/18New York, NY750+Conductor@ConductorContent Marketing, Digital Marketing, SEO
Intelligent Content Conference3/20 to 3/22/18Las Vegas, NV400Content Marketing Institute@intelcontent, #intelcontentContent Marketing, Technology
searchlove3/26 to 3/27/18San Diego, CADisilled@distilled, #SearchLoveSearch
TOPO Summit3/20 to 3/21/18San Francisco, CA1500+TOPO@topohq, #toposummitB2B Sales, B2B Marketing
ConversionXL Live 20183/28 to 3/30/18San Antonio, TX~600ConversionXL@conversionxlGrowth Marketing
Social Media Strategies SummitApril 2018Chicago, ILGSMI@GSMIOnline, #SMSsummitSocial Media
Content Marketing Conference4/2 to 4/4/18Boston, MA300+WriterAccess@cmca2z, #CMC18Content Marketing
Forrester's Forum for Consumer Marketing4/5 to 4/6/18New York, NY500+Forrester@forresterConsumer Marketing
Marketing United4/9 to 4/11/18Nashville, TN1000+Emma@emmaemail. #MarketingUnitedMarketing
Modern Customer Experience4/10- 4/12/18Chicago, IL4000+Oracle@Oracle, #ModernCXCustomer Experience
DIGIMARCON Cruise4/22 to 4/29/18At SeaSearch Experiences@digimarcon, #DIGIMARCONDigital Marketing
MarTech4/23 to 4/25/18San Jose, CA2,200+Chief Marketing Technologist@MarTechConf, #MarTechTechnology
The Marketing Nation Summit 20184/29 to 5/2/18San Francisco, CA6000+Marketo@marketo, #MKTGNATIONDigital Marketing
SiriusDecisions Summit 20185/8 to 5/11/18Las Vegas, NV3,000+SiriusDecisions@SiriusDecisions, #SDSummitB2B Sales, B2B Marketing
Digital Growth Unleashed5/16 to 5/17/18Las Vegas, NV1,000+Rising Media, Ltd. & SiteTuners@ConversionConf, #DGU18Digital Marketing
Confab Central5/21 to 5/23/18Minneapolis, MN650+Confab@ConfabEvents, #ConfabMNContent Marketing
The Marketing Forum USA (Spring)6/3 to 6/5/18Ponte Verda, FLRichmond Events@MKTForum, #MKTForumDigital Marketing
eMetrics Las Vegas6/4 to 6/7/18Las Vegas, NVRising Media@emetrics, #eMetricsMarketing Analytics
Smart Social London6/5/18London, UK200+Spredfast@Spredfast, #SmartSocialLDNSocial Media
DIGIMARCON West6/13 to 6/14/18Santa Monica, CADigimarcon@digimarcon, #DIGIMARCONDigital Marketing
AMPlify6/12 to 6/13/18Boston, MA150GaggleAMP@GaggleAMP, #amplifysocialSocial Media, Digital Marketing
ICON6/20 to 6/22/18Scottsdale, AZInfusionSoft@Infusionsoft, #ICON18Sales and Marketing Automation
Digital Publishing Innovation Summit7/11 to 7/12/18New York, NYThe Innovation Enterprise@IE_Digital, #DigiPubPublishing
Mozcon 20187/9 to 7/11/18Seattle, WA1,400Moz@Moz, #MozConDigital Marketing, SEO
INBOUND 20189/4 to 9/7/18Boston, MA19,000+Hubspot@Hubspot, #INBOUND18Content Marketing, Digital Marketing
Content Marketing World9/4 to 9/7/18Clevland, OH4000+Content Marketing Institute@CMIContent, #CMWorldContent Marketing
Digital Marketing Innovation Summit San Francisco9/12 - 9/13/18San Francisco, CA150+Innovation Enterprise@iegroup, #DigiMarketingDigital Marketing
The Marketing Forum USA (Fall)9/9 to 9/11/18Carlsbad, CARichmond Events@MKTForum, #MKTForumDigital Marketing
Brand ManageCamp9/25 to 9/26/18Las Vegas, NV400-500ManageCamp@BrandManageCamp, #BMCvegasMarketing
MarTech10/1 to 10/3/18Boston, MA2,200+Chief Marketing Technologist@MarTechConf, #MarTechTechnology
LeadsCon's Connect2Convert10/3 to 10/4/18Boston, MAAccess Intelligence@leadscon, #LeadsConDigital Marketing
SiriusDecisions Summit Europe 201810/3 to 10/4/18London, UKSiriusDecisions@SiriusDecisions, #SDSummitB2B Sales, B2B Marketing
AMA Marketing Week Live10/3 to 10/5/18Las Vegas, NVAMA@AMA_MarketingDigital Marketing
LavaCon10/21 to 10/24/18New Orleans, LALavacon@LavaCon, #LavaConContent Marketing
Forrester's Forum for Consumer Marketing10/25 to 10/26/18Austin, TX400+Forrester@forresterB2B Marketing
Smart Social Summit11/5 to 11/7/18Austin, TXSpredfast@Spredfast, #SFSummitSocial Media
SiriusDecisions Technology Exchange11/7 to 11/9/2018New Orleans, LASiriusDecisions@SiriusDecisions, #SDTechXTechnology
MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum11/13 to 11/16/18San Francisco, CA900+MarketingProfs@marketingprofs #MPB2BB2B Marketing
Con ConNovember 2018San Francisco, CA350The Hustle@Hustle_SaysContent Marketing, Growth Marketing
Growth Marketing ConferenceDecember 2018San Francisco, CAStartup Socials@growthtacticsGrowth Marketing
Forbes CMO SummitDecember 2018Dana Point, CAForbes@Forbes, #ForbesCMOSummitCMO
DX SummitTBAChicago, ILCMSwire@thedxsummit, #DXS17Technology
Information Development World 2018TBAMenlo Park, CAThe Content Wrangler@InfoDevWorldContent Marketing, Technology

Are you unable to attend one of these content marketing conferences, but still looking for content marketing advice? Download Curata’s free eBook The Content Marketing Pyramid. It features a comprehensive framework to help develop and execute an effective content marketing strategy.


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Content Marketing Job Description & Titles for Executives, Directors, Managers and Specialists Mon, 13 Nov 2017 16:00:48 +0000 Growing your content marketing team? You’re not alone. And finding and hiring the right marketer isn’t easy. In fact, it’s a challenge faced by 45 percent...Read More

Growing your content marketing team? You’re not alone. And finding and hiring the right marketer isn’t easy. In fact, it’s a challenge faced by 45 percent of advertising and marketing executives and content marketing salaries are up more than 5 percent from last year according to  The Creative Group. This post will address what your content marketing job description needs to stand out from the rest.

So how can you get your content marketing job descriptions to stand out from the rest? Resist the urge to speed past the creation of the job listing by leaving it to HR or just copying and pasting a result you googled (yes, that includes this post). You’re hiring writers after all, and the job description will help form the early impressions of your company and your team. If you want to capture the attention of the top content talent in your area, roll-up your sleeves, put your marketing hat on and craft a job description that creatively (and accurately!) captures the unique opportunity you’re offering.

Keep reading to check out:

  • Our review of the top three google search results for “Content Marketing Job Descriptions”
  • The basic architecture of a content marketing job description
  • Ideas for crafting THE BEST content marketing job descriptions
  • Our favorite content marketing job description online right now

Top Three Articles on Content Marketing Job Descriptions


This is a thorough post covering top twelve job descriptions you should hire for to have an all-start content marketing team. This post includes descriptions from inbound marketing manager to blogger to SEO manager. This post is a great resource for basic job descriptions as well as reasons why you might want to create a position and what to looks for in an application.  Though not all positions are “content marketing positions” per se, it’s helpful to look at the other job descriptions to determine if a content marketing manager is really what you’re looking for. As the creators of the term “inbound marketing” their inbound marketing manager job description is on point. Here it is :

Inbound Marketing Manager Job Description

If your marketing department is just starting to make the shift to an inbound approach, it’s possible you’ll still need to prove the success of your inbound marketing program.

If this is the case, you’ll likely be looking to hire an all-in-one inbound marketer — someone who can build and grow your inbound marketing strategy from the ground up. Look for someone who is very self-motivated and versatile … and gets stuff done. (And if you’re still trying to convince your boss to to make the shift to inbound in the first place, download these 100 stats, charts, and graphs to help you get inbound marketing buy-in.)

Job Description:

We are looking for an amazing, data-driven inbound marketer to own the majority of the marketing funnel for our company. You will be in charge of attracting site traffic, converting that traffic into new leads for the business, and nurturing those leads to close into customers, the latter of which sales leadership will help you accomplish.


  • Build and manage a rich content/editorial calendarthat attracts a qualified audience to our owned properties (including blog posts, whitepapers, ebooks, reports, webinars, infographics, etc.).
  • Grow new leads, including marketing-qualified leads, by converting site traffic through calls-to-action, landing pages, and lead generation content (including offers).
  • Optimize our marketing automation and lead nurturing processes through email, content, and social channels.
  • Establish closed-loop analytics with sales to understand how our inbound marketing activity turns into customers, and continually refine our process to convert customers.


  • BA/BS degree or equivalent work experience
  • Some past experience in marketing preferred
  • Excellent communicator and creative thinker, with an ability to use data to inform all decisions
  • Proficiency in marketing automationand blogging software in order to generate traffic, convert visitors into leads, and then nurture them (using dynamic workflows) into converted customers
  • Bonus skills: HTML/CSS, Adobe Creative Suite.

Marketing Insider Group

Marketing Insider Group does a great job of distilling all the qualifications a content marketing manager could have down into three skills. Jere they are:

  1. Creating content people actually want

  2. Sharing content on the channels they use

  3. Measuring the results of content marketing activities

 For their complete content marketing manager job description, check out the full blog post.


Simple and to the point, this post is a full, content marketing manager job description. Use this post as a jumping-off point to create your own content marketing job description. Workable has a large library of marketing job descriptions, check out other job descriptions on their website to build out your entire marketing team.

Architecture of a Content Marketing Job Description

new york city aerial view of the downtown

The basic architecture of a content marketing job description should include:

  1. Job title
  2. Description of key responsibilities
  3. Amount of Experience Expected
  4. Technology/Tools they’re expected to use
  5. Key teammates they’ll manage or work closely with
  6. Salary Range
  7. Information about the company, what problems it solves and who it serves

Even the basics require some finesse. Check out Undercover Recruiter’s science backed tips including the ideal length for your job title (spoiler: 50-60 characters).

Ideas for the Best Content Marketing Descriptions

A quick google search for “Content Marketing Job Descriptions” (as of September 2017) will return these top three results (excluding job boards/job search engines). After reviewing each, I find myself feeling like the Goldilocks of content marketing job descriptions, each providing some help but leaving a bit more to be desired.

Too Bland: Workable’s Content Marketing Manager Template – Aptly named a template, it really is just the bare minimum of key responsibilities, tools and technology.

Getting Better: Marketing Insider Groups content marketing manager job description has a bit more depth and industry specific terminology, but still lacks personality.

Nearly Just Right: HubSpot’s 12 Marketing Job Descriptions aren’t limited to just content marketing roles, so you’ll find a little bit of everything here. What I liked best about these are the use of industry statistics to demonstrate the importance and scope of influence of the role – marketers love to be flattered and we’re all looking for a way to make a noticeable impact. Word choice was also very empowering and can be used to demonstrate the importance and perspective the organization puts on marketing. Some examples: “own the majority of our inbound funnel”, “offers and downloadable content are the backbone of inbound marketing”.

Think of the content marketing job descriptions above as a paint by number set. You’ve got the outlines to guide you along, but you choose the way to color them in. Here are some ways you can build upon the templates to craft the perfect content marketing job description:

  • Include a relevant industry stat to show the importance of the role and potential impact for the company
  • Include examples of some of your top performing content to-date in as many relevant formats as possible
  • A qualitative and quantitative description of how success will be measured in this role
    • Share an example of performance reporting or content stats that you’d expect this person to be held to

Quick tip: Some other things to consider when writing a job description is to understand  what motivates employees  (perks? Ability to take ownership of projects? Flexible schedule?) and understand what a creative employee will appreciate in a  job description.

 Content Marketing Job Description Examples 

Still stuck? Here are job descriptions for content marketing roles that caught our eye. When writing your own description, consider what skills are critical to the role you’re hiring for. Most content marketers understand employers are looking for a hybrid combination of skills. According to the Creative Group’s 2017 Salary Guide:

Hybrid professionals are in demand. Creatives with skills outside their specialty are highly marketable. In addition, digital proficiency is becoming a prerequisite for many traditional roles. For example, graphic designers now need to be familiar with web layouts or social media, and copywriters must have knowledge of search engine optimization. Expect this pattern to persist as cross-departmental collaboration becomes the norm.

Some skills to consider in your job description include: data analysis, SEO, design, social media, video, project management and more.

Content Marketing Manager (Drift) 

For the full description, check out the link above. We love the clarity this description provides for what this role will be doing at the company.

What you will be doing on the marketing team at Drift:

  • You will lead our Content team, which includes managing internal and external writers, but you will still be a writer first: this job is far from middle management. You’ll be expected to create and produce 90% of the time, so if you love managing people and creating, then you’ve come to the right place.

  • You’ll be writing all different types of content — from interviews to original research to case studies and product launches.

  • In addition to creating regular content for the Drift blog (2-3x/week), you’ll become a regular contributor to blogs outside of Drift (guest posts, contributed columns, etc.)

  • You’ll work across the marketing team to provide content and copy as needed for the Drift website, speaking decks, email copy, Drift Studios, and more.

  • You will also be responsible for running our podcast, Seeking Wisdom. This includes managing the team that creates and edits new episodes, the editorial calendar of upcoming guests, promotion for new episodes and more.

Content Strategist (New York Times) 

For the full job, check out their listing on LinkedIn. We loved the introduction’s description of the company and how the role fits in.

T Brand Studio is a fast-growing team of energetic writers/editors, content strategists, videographers, designers and developers creating branded content for The New York Times’s advertisers. Our clients cover the gamut of the New York Times’s advertisers. Increasingly, our clients are looking to T Brand Studio to help them unearth stories to tell on their own channels.

The T Brand Studio Services team is looking for a content strategist to conduct editorial consulting projects. Content strategists work in concert with our 60+ strong creative and production team, leading editorial strategy for multiple branded content projects. The tasks include: conducting pre-sale research, concepting and ideation for branded editorial strategies; presenting to clients and leading senior/executive client meetings; brainstorming, on-site reporting, writing and editing white papers and comprehensive reports. This role is heavily editorial, almost entirely client facing and has a significant travel component. 

Blogger (Adidas)

For the complete description, check  out the link above. In this case we love their key relationships section. If a job has special requirements, building it out into it’s own section might be a good idea. It will help the applicants understand it’s importance.

Key Relationships

  • US and Global Business Units and Digital Communications leads.

  • US eCommerce Marketing team and the broader US eCommerce team in Portland which includes Site Merchandising, Analytics, Operations, and Brand Communications.

  • Newsroom, SEO, Category Owners and Brand Activation.

In addition to having an awesome job description, remember, the company the description is for plays a huge role in talent’s interest. If you’re still not having luck recruiting the right content marketers, have a look at your company culture.

For more on taking your content marketing career to the next level, check out this guide we created with LinkedIn.

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Content Crush: The Best Content Marketing Content This Week Fri, 10 Nov 2017 20:00:50 +0000 These are our picks for the best content marketing articles, inspiration, and how-tos of the week. You could say it’s a roundup of the best content...Read More

These are our picks for the best content marketing articles, inspiration, and how-tos of the week. You could say it’s a roundup of the best content marketing content for content marketers (how meta). 

1. Google Search Algorithm Explainer

If you have a hard time keeping Panda, Penguin, and Pigeon straight, Brafton’s handy infographic is a good primer.

Modern SEO attempts to establish high relevance in as many of Google’s ranking criteria as possible. What’s important to understand is that those criteria have changed since 2015, and SEO has changed with them. More than ever, they err on the side of quality [content].

See AlsoEight SEO experiments you can run using your website and search analytics for content marketing superpowers.

2. Lies My CMO Told Me

In MarTech Today ON24’s CMO outlines some of the marketing “truths” that are often taken for granted, and how he’s bursting his own bubble. One marketing myth he addressed is the persistence of quantity over quality when it comes to lead generation:

Why, then, do marketers continue to share prospects who have clicked on one link in an email? Because we’re not focusing on the quality of their engagement. Instead, redefine how you’re qualifying those leads and change the metrics that evaluate a prospect’s likelihood to purchase.

See Also: Boost Engagement and Traffic to Accelerate Lead Generation to get tips on increasing and tracking on-site engagement with your content.

3. ROI Focused Keyword Research

These Search Engine Watch pointers focus on scoring quick wins and building on existing search authority to quickly gain position and pageviews.

Optimizing for individual keywords is so far outdated – content marketing helps us move beyond this and optimize for topics. This helps us to be more informative and more comprehensive than our competitors. By grouping keywords by tight semantic relationships, you will not only have the head term, but also all the queries people have.

See Also: The Ultimate Guide to Your Content Marketing Keyword Strategy for more information on the rise of semantic search.

4. Need Creative Inspiration? Do Something Boring

It may sound counter-productive, but as Note to Self‘s Manoush Zomorodi explained in Fast Company, boredom can clear space in our brains to allow us to come up with more creative ideas.

To see if she could amp up their creativity, [University of Central Lancashire researcher Sandi] Mann gave subjects an even duller task, asking them to read phone numbers aloud before brainstorming uses for those paper cups. This second time, subjects had ideas with far more originality and flexibility–like earrings, telephones, musical instruments, and Madonna-like bras.

Extra credit: Pick up Zomorodi’s book, Bored and Brilliant, and try out the behavior-adjusting challenges for yourself.

5. In Praise of Curiosity

Bernadette Jiwa’s blog, The Story of Telling, is Godin-esque in it’s ability to poke at the very heart of marketing and business challenges and assumptions in a few short sentences. Concerned by what she sees as an uptick in insular, self-interest in society at large, she laments:

Today, eyes down, earbuds in, thumbs scrolling, we are the losers. Our capacity to be interested is diminishing, as a result of our obsession with being interesting. We don’t know what we’re missing.

See Also: 10 Best Examples of Companies That Get B2B Marketing


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Six 2018 Content Marketing Resolutions You Should Make Today Wed, 08 Nov 2017 16:00:57 +0000 January is way too late to start making the resolutions that will shape your content marketing strategy in the year ahead. Here are six commitments that...Read More

January is way too late to start making the resolutions that will shape your content marketing strategy in the year ahead. Here are six commitments that should be a part of any content marketing plan for 2018.

Content Marketing Trends 2018

1. Find the time to go long.

Analyze the data on content marketing influence and authority (as LinkedIn did in a groundbreaking recent study with Buzzfeed) and one finding is overwhelmingly clear: content gets more impactful and effective the longer it is. Blog posts over 1,000 words are far more effective than shorter posts. Over 2,000 words, effectiveness leaps up again.

Why is this? Long form content may be correlated positively with performance because long form content has the potential to cover a wide range of interrelated topics, thus allowing any singular piece to rank for multiple keyphrases on search engines.

Finding the time to create quality, longer-form content should therefore be on every marketer’s agenda for 2018. The best way to do so is to rebalance your content calendar so that you’re pushing out content less frequently but creating content more worthy of people’s attention when you do. You’ve probably noticed that you get the lion’s share of the value from only a small percentage of the content you create. So instead of investing your resources on many pieces that are just “okay,” invest those resources in creating fewer, more powerful content items.You’ll invest the same amount of time and energy, but you’ll get a far greater return on it.

2. Build a proper strategy for your blog.

Your blog is the rug that ties the social media room together. It’s a platform that you fully own, a central hub where you can launch content in any format that you like, and where you can focus your efforts on building a loyal, relevant audience. When your blog does well, your content marketing does well. It gives your content strategy a natural focus and a natural rhythm, it helps to keep you beautifully attuned to your target audience, and it provides you with a regular supply of content that you can choose to amplify on other channels with confidence. Once a piece of content engages the audience for your blog it’s a valuable indication that it could be worth putting paid media behind it.

3. Study the 5% club.

Content Marketing Trends 2018

Around this time last year, Beckon’s claim that 5% of branded content generates 90% of all engagement set a content-bashing bandwagon in motion. Marketing commentators quickly jumped on board to declare that the data showed content marketing didn’t work.

Of course, what this statistic really shows is that 5% of content marketing is actually immensely effective – and an awful lot of the rest needs to up its game. If any marketer thought that simply labeling their communications as “content” would automatically increase engagement levels then they have almost certainly learned otherwise by now. But nobody is forcing you to be that kind of content marketer.

There is a formula for content success. It involves earning authority through original, in-depth content, and then leveraging that authority through smart, targeted, paid media distribution on the right channels. Study the characteristics of the 5% and you will be well on your way to joining them.

4. Don’t fall for marketing’s fake news problem.

Content Marketing Trends 2018

Perhaps you’ve heard of the goldfish attention span myth? It’s the claim that human beings now have an attention span less than that of a goldfish – and that marketers therefore can’t expect their audiences to concentrate for longer than eight seconds. There’s just one problem with this statistic: it’s complete and utter nonsense. There has never been a study comparing human attention spans to that of goldfish. For that matter, there has never been a study showing what the attention span of a goldfish actually is.

The goldfish attention span myth has been misdirecting content marketing strategies for the last two years – and it’s not alone. It’s far too easy for marketers to fall for snake-oil salesmen-type claims that don’t really stand up to scrutiny but can do a lot of damage when they’re allowed to influence marketing strategies. In 2018, do yourself a favor: when you’re presented with a stat, check where that stat comes from and then decide for yourself whether it’s credible or not.

5. Create video like you mean it.

Video can be a superb tool for driving engagement for B2B marketers – but not if your definition of video content starts and ends with an executive in a suit staring at the camera. Challenge yourself to break new ground in B2B video in 2018. For starters, why not turn that longer-form content you’re planning into the script for a mini-documentary? There are plenty of handy editing tools (such as and to help.

6. Unlock the amplification potential of your employees.

Employee Advocacy

Employee advocacy is the single most underutilized asset in the whole of content marketing. If you think that’s a big claim, then consider this statistic from our own experience at LinkedIn. We released 123 pieces of content onto our employee-sharing platform, Elevate. Those pieces were shared 4,290 times, which increased the aggregate reach of our content by 15 million. Employee sharing has this power because the combined LinkedIn networks of a company’s employees are typically 10 times the size of its own organic reach. When you create great content as a marketer, you owe it to yourself to give it the greatest opportunity to reach and influence your audience. That simply has to involve sharing by your own employees.

Have questions for Jason? Want more thoughts on what’s next for content marketing in 2018? Join us on November 14th for our next Content Marketing Expert Series Webinar.

2018 Content Marketing Trends with Jason Miller

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How to Be a Better Content Marketing Writer, Taylor Swift Style Thu, 02 Nov 2017 15:13:54 +0000 Vogue runs this somewhat ridiculous video series called “73 Questions,” where they follow celebrities around their homes with a video camera while asking 73 rapid-fire questions....Read More

Vogue runs this somewhat ridiculous video series called “73 Questions,” where they follow celebrities around their homes with a video camera while asking 73 rapid-fire questions. I suppose this gives the fans insight into both the celebrity’s decorating style as well as their inner lives.

But don’t let my scorn fool you, because obviously I’ve watched it. During Taylor Swift’s “73 Questions,” the interviewer asked her, “What does creativity mean to you?” She answered, “Creativity is getting inspiration and having that lightning bolt moment and then having the hard work ethic to sit down at the desk and write it down.”

Ah, the work ethic. The forgotten flip side of inspiration. All writers are struck with a flash of insight at some point. But that lightning bolt fades fast – and when it does, it means sitting down to a blank space and translating ideas into words people actually want to read.

Writing is a practice. And like any practice, it has shortcuts, tips and best practices that can make your writing crisp and your creative process sharp. Let’s look at five tips that can avoid any bad blood between you and your writing:

  1. Read your content out loud: I cannot stress this enough. Reading your words out loud lets you listen to their rhythm and flow. You’ll be able to hear, not see, where grammatical notations should fall. And your brain will use an entirely different region to determine if your content makes sense.
  2. Use the Rule of 24: Marinating does the same thing to content as it does to meat; it tenderizes it to bring out the full flavor. So write something. Fiddle with it. Then put it away for at least 24 hours and look at it again. Words you may have thought were brilliant may get axed, and you can shake, shake, shake them off. Other constructions you didn’t like as much will appear fixable. You will bring a fresh set of eyes that always results in an improved piece.
  3. Use the end as the beginning: We waste way too much time getting to the lede. Stop! People don’t have time, patience or inclination to listen to you go on and on about Taylor Swift. So write your piece. Let it sit for 24 hours. I promise you’ll find that the best stuff you wrote is at the end. So delete your intro, slide in that ending, and you’re golden. Promise.
  4. Use proper nouns and concrete phrases: People can’t picture a “rational method” and “abstract amount.” But when you say “white house” or “red door,” an image just popped into your mind. So avoid abstract ideas and concretize them for people. Marinating content like steak – see? It’s a concrete idea that you can hold onto.
  5. Layer in voice on the second draft: Ann Handley taught me this, and I’m annoyed I didn’t know this technique till this year: It’s too big a job to convey information while also trying to sound like ourselves, or our brand. So write what you’re trying to say first. Leave it for a while. When you come back to the second draft, then you can layer in all those inside jokes (like song titles) and brand voice differentiators that make the content sing.
abstract background

Lightning bolt or no, writing words that people want to read is hard. But don’t make it harder. Use these 5 tips to become a fearless writer, and I guarantee you it’ll be easier to sit down and construct a piece of content that enchants your audience. Your reputation depends on it.

Aside from writing,  there are many other things you can do to boost your content marketing career. For more on this check out our Ultimate Guide to a Content Career in the link below.

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How To Optimize Your Content Marketing Video Strategy For Every Step Of The Buyer’s Journey Mon, 30 Oct 2017 15:00:15 +0000 Today videos are ruling the digital marketing world. And that’s no surprise if we consider that, according to Cisco, in 2016 videos accounted for more than...Read More

Today videos are ruling the digital marketing world. And that’s no surprise if we consider that, according to Cisco, in 2016 videos accounted for more than 70% of the internet traffic and the forecast suggests it will be up to 82% by 2021.

But as videos offer a wide variety of content types, marketers should be very careful to identify their audience’s needs in order to hit the mark with the right video format. And how can you determine which type of video will be more effective? A good strategy is to focus on the buyer’s journey, this basically means to use a specific video format according to the different stages of the buying process and the user’s informational needs. Let’s take a look.

Buyer’s journey: What is it and why is it so important?

The Buyer’s Journey is the entire process that a customer goes through from the moment they become aware that they have a problem or need, to the moment they finally purchase a product or service.

In this video produced by explainer video company Yum Yum Videos, you can check out a more detailed explanation of what the buyer’s journey is and how the inbound marketing funnel works.

This is how the process works, in a nutshell:

Awareness Stage: First, the customer realizes that he or she has a potential problem (or a particular problem) that needs to be solved.

Consideration Stage: Then, he or she starts to do some research on how to solve it and evaluates the options to finally come up with a solution.

Decision Stage: The cycle ends when the customer decides from which company he or she will purchase the product or service that will solve their problem.

For marketers, it’s essential to identify the target’s needs in each part of the cycle, in order to provide them the right content that will make a greater impact and lead them through the sales funnel. And video content is the best option to nurture your audience with the information they need while keeping your audience’s attention. If used wisely, they can be a great tool to boost sales as they can increase conversion rates by 80%. So in this article, we will analyze which types of videos will work better in each stage of the buyer’s journey to boost engagement throughout the process.

Awareness Stage

This is the starting point of the sales journey: Your potential customer realizes he or she has a problem or need and begins the quest for a solution. Here you have an opportunity to answer their questions and guide them while you position your brand as a reference in the subject. You only have one chance to make a good impression and engage them to continue with your brand, so make sure your content is on the right track and, equally important, high quality. These are the best video formats to make your debut:

1. Educational Videos

Your potential buyers are looking for a useful answer to their problems. With educational videos, you can educate them about certain subjects while you generate brand awareness, positioning yourself as an expert. This way, you can increase visibility and drive more visitors to your site.

2. Commercials

These are short videos created to attract people into your sales funnel with a fun and engaging storytelling technique. They are extremely effective to gain visibility with paid ads, increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website.

3. Social Media Videos

The special feature of Social Media Videos is that they are created by taking into account each network’s practices and values, in order to optimize the content to the social platform of your desire. This kind of format will let you gain visibility in social media, increase engagement and drive visits to your site.

Consideration Stage

At this point, the buyers have already defined their problem or need, so videos in the Consideration Stage should educate them about solutions for their specific needs. The goal is to help the customer in their research by showing them the best solution to their needs. Let’s see which options you can use to guide them:

1. Explainer Videos

This type of content can explain products or services in a brief and friendly way. Basically, it starts with a certain pain point and then explains how that product can solve it. Mainly, it’s used in websites’ home pages and landing pages, because it’s an easy hook to catch the audience’s attention and explain an idea in just a few seconds, quickly delivering the most fitting information for this stage of their journey (when it’s done the right way). In addition, it’s a successful tool to use in YouTube ad campaigns and, to a lesser extent, Facebook and Twitter, due to its structure and short length -less than two minutes-

The main reason to use explainer videos in the consideration stage is that their main goal is to increase conversions and boost qualified leads.

2. Webinars

A webinar is a web based video presentation that is transmitted over the internet. The main objective is to educate the audience thoroughly on a certain topic but in a friendly and human way, because it’s usually lead by an expert on the specific subject matter. By doing this, it can position your brand as a reference on that subject and then increase subscriptions to your site and rise your conversion rate.

3. How-To Videos

As the name suggests, How-To Videos are made to offer your customers helpful guidance in a fun and entertaining way. It’s a step-by-step process that educates potential clients on certain topics or products using an easy and educative tone. This way, they can build product trust and increase up-selling. This allows your audience to get to know the solution you are offering them, and to choose your company over the other possible solutions they are considering.

Decision Stage

Now that the prospects are aware of their problem and have found a satisfying solution, it’s time for them to decide which company will solve that problem.

The Decision Stage is all about building trust with your brand and your product, so they will finally decide to purchase from you. Read on to know which videos will work best: 

1. Customer Testimonial

Frequently, prospects require external reviews from peers before deciding to purchase a product, and the numbers don’t lie, those reviews work. A customer testimonial video is a good solution to use to share your client’s experience with your product or service. It’s a powerful tool to build confidence and generate brand trust with potential prospects, which can lead to  growth in your sales rates.

2. FAQ Videos

The main goal of FAQ Videos is to provide, in simple terms, relevant information about common inquiries on the product and clear up any doubts the buyer may have. These kinds of videos are great for lead nurturing and lead trust -create a quality bond with your customer by clarifying doubts- and can help you reach a higher number of conversions, close more deals, and build product trust. 

3. Company Story Videos

These videos, also known as “About us” videos, present your brand, the working team and the values that you stand for. It’s a good strategy to show the human side of your company and build a strong connection with potential customers. If you can build trust with them, it’s a huge step towards the final goal: increasing sales rates.

4. Product Videos

A video about your Product should show its best features as well as the whole experience of using it: the benefits of your product and how it works, all of that in a brief and entertaining video. It allows you to build trust about your product, position it in the search engines and also bring your leads closer to the final purchase.


Understanding all the steps that a buyer goes through before purchasing a product will let you provide the right video content to make a greater impact. Because you already know that videos are highly effective for increasing conversions, if you  use them correctly. And choosing the right format according to the stage of the buyer’s journey – awareness, consideration and decision stage- will allow you to guide your potential customers through your sales funnel.

A successful video campaign requires a high quality video, and that’s not a cheap thing to do. So if you want to make the most out of your video marketing budget, it’s essential to customize your videos according to your customer’s needs.

Want more on creating a content marketing strategy for your organization? Check out Curata’s content marketing strategy guide below.



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Content Marketing KPIs: Mapping Content’s Organizational Influence Thu, 26 Oct 2017 15:00:21 +0000 Are the content marketing KPIs you use selling your work short? Are you struggling with how to better quantify content marketing’s impact on your organization, especially...Read More

Are the content marketing KPIs you use selling your work short? Are you struggling with how to better quantify content marketing’s impact on your organization, especially when it comes down to dollars? It’s okay to admit it; you’re definitely not alone. Content, although named king just a few years ago, now seems to be scrambling to make sure the emperor does, in fact, have clothes. So what’s the problem?

The expectations for a content marketer’s areas of expertise have inflated in every direction. We’ve needed to evolve into masters of multiple formats as diverse as blog posts, whitepapers, social media, webinars, videos, podcasts, snaps, and other assorted forms of micro content. This multiplicity of formats and channels also means that the role of the content marketer has expanded from the traditional roles of writer and editor to include designer, videographer, and often ad hoc website developer among others.

What’s more, content marketing has become more operationalized, making organizational skills such as project management, people management, technology evaluation, and especially data analyzation increasingly important. Even the title of “content marketer” might be somewhat outdated given that we support not just marketing in all its permutations, but also sales, customer success, HR, and any number of other departments or initiatives at our organizations.

With such a diversity of channels, roles, and spheres of influence, content marketing KPIs can be very difficult to define.

Content Marketing Influence: Hiding in Plain Sight?

But content’s omnipresence ironically might be responsible for making its full impact opaque. Most marketing analytics and attribution tools are focused on a specific function or point in the funnel (such as SEO, acquisition, or demand generation) instead of measuring the impact of the content that all of these functions utilize. It’s like David Foster Wallace’s famous anecdote about the invisibility of ubiquity.

David Foster Wallace This Is Water

Content Marketing KPIs: Siloed Data, Siloed Knowledge, Siloed Access

For many of us, trying to measure the ROI of content marketing is like trying to measure water in the ocean: overwhelming and too slippery to pin down. Think of all the different types of data a marketing team may use to determine what a successful program looks like: search position, social shares, pageviews, conversions, MQLS, opportunity value, and revenue. These are all different types of data using different systems used by different teams for different purposes. Sounds insane, right? Yet here we are. And this problem is compounded for the content marketer because none of these things are actually meant to measure content marketing KPIs, at least not primarily or fully.

What’s even more pernicious is that not only is data across different marketing functions siloed, but so is access to and knowledge of these different systems. The majority of content marketers are focused on creating, managing, and distributing ever-increasing amounts of content on an ever-increasing number of channels, not Salesforce. And the folks who are responsible for the complexities of marketing automation or CRM systems are typically focused on lead and account performance, not content’s influence on those leads and accounts. So when it comes to content marketing KPIs, their point of view is often limited to conversion rates of gated content items, not all the links the chain that might have lead up to that conversion.

Create a Content Marketing KPI Structure That Fits With Your Business Model and Culture

All of these missed connections results in a very limited perspective on content marketing’s impact. For the content marketer, that means that we are often perceived as an internal service organization instead of as a strategic partner equal to acquisition or lead generation. If that sounds familiar, then one of your main goals should be to work to change that perception. It can be a chicken-and-egg problem, but the best place to start is by developing content marketing KPIs that speak to your company’s business model and culture.

Understanding what your organization values, where content is playing a role, and how content marketing is perceived by both the marketing function and the wider business will allow you to map content marketing KPIs that are both comprehensive and readily received. It also helps you understand if you’re currently measuring the things that truly reflect your impact.

Inclusive content marketing KPIs allow you to prove content marketing’s value to your organization. But beyond proving your worth, the right KPIs will allow you to grow as well. You’ll be able to quantify and justify spend on your content program, perhaps even expanding your program to include additional content formats (like video) or improve the depth of your team’s design or coding skills with specialized hires.

Take Control of Your Team’s Time and Resources

Content Marketing Resources

Even more importantly, inclusive content marketing KPIs based on what you know works. Too many content marketers have to make guesses about what to create because their metrics are insufficient. Or even worse, content marketers may spend a lot of time creating content just to placate the “hunches” or opinions of people throughout the company. Sometimes these perspectives can be helpful, but other times it just sends the content team chasing their tails. A solid, data-based approach using the right content marketing KPIs gives you firm ground on which to make decisions about what and where to spend your team’s time and resources. Data-driven content creation will help earn your seat at the strategic table.

So how does the content marketer map KPIs that demonstrate content’s true impact on the organization?

First, you have to deeply understand your business. Discovering the answers to these questions is an essential starting point:

  • What is your company’s business model? How does your company make money?
  • What is your company known for? What does is want to be known for?
  • Who are your company’s customers?
  • What does your company value internally? (actions speak louder than words)
  • In what ways is success defined for the business overall?

Once you’ve defined the big picture, hone in on marketing’s role within the business:

  • In what ways does marketing contribute to the organization’s goals?
  • How is that contribution measured today?
  • Is the marketing function perceived as a service organization or strategic partner?
  • What are all the different sub-functions within marketing?
  • Are the marketing functions equally credited with driving marketing’s contributions? If not, which areas are credited the most?

Then dig into content’s role in both the marketing function and in the wider organization:

  • What are content’s current responsibilities?
  • What are content’s current KPIs? Do they encompass all of your responsibilities?
  • How does content support all of marketing’s sub-functions?
  • Do other business units utilize content that your team creates?
  • Does your team create content specifically for these other business units?

Having insight into these questions will help you identify what your company values and how it defines success. You can also uncover any new opportunities to demonstrate content marketing’s impact through data.

Aligning Your Content Marketing KPIs to Success Stages

content marketing KPIs success stages

Revenue generation or revenue influence is the ultimate measure of success. However, it should not be the only measure. Some experts advocate for using revenue as the only metric, but I think this is over-committing. The revenue metric is the result of getting a lot of other metrics right along the way. Especially for businesses with long sales cycles, it could take months (or years) to get feedback on your work if your only measure of success comes at the very end of the cycle.

I recommend aligning your content marketing KPIs to the traditional funnel model, especially if your business is oriented around lead generation. Funnel models have certainly changed over the years with more and more complex stages. Start with a simple Top of, Middle, and Bottom reporting framework first. This will be easy to understand and share with others in your organization.

Strategic Content Marketing KPIs vs. Operational Content Marketing KPIs

strategic content marketing KPIs

One other thing to consider is that KPIs aren’t the only kinds of reports you’ll need. There’s a whole other class of reporting that I like to categorize as “operational” content reporting.  Those are reports that help you make specific decisions: what to write, what to promote, what to socialize with your sales team. The following KPIs are intended to help you track your program’s high-level success and contribution to the business at each funnel stage. They are by no means the only reports you could and should create, but they are foundational and are the best candidates for an executive dashboard.

Content Marketing KPIs: Top of Funnel

These KPIs are intended to measure awareness and interest. For the content marketer that almost always includes both search and website metrics. 

Average Position of Unbranded Terms

Content Marketings KPIs: Unbranded Search Position Google Analytics

This query report based on Google’s Search Console data within Google Analytics shows the average position – or SERP (search engine results page) rank – of all the unbranded terms that a user types into Google to surface a URL from your website. The lower the number, the closer it is to the first position on page 1. From a KPI perspective, your objective should be to get that number as low as possible.

“Unbranded” means the search query does not contain your brand name. Most brands rank in the top spot for their branded terms. By focusing on unbranded terms, you can get a better line of sight into the performance of your thought leadership topics. Since this is taking into account all of your unbranded terms, the average position for all those terms may be quite high, especially if you are in a highly competitive space.

Another option for this report is to further refine unbranded terms into topic clusters. You can create reports that are focused on one keyword or a group of related keywords. This report is important because it tells you how competitive you are in the search channel via your position and if (via the CTR) users’ intent matches up with the content you are creating.

Percentage of Organic Users on Website

Content Marketings KPIs: Organic Traffic Google Analytics

This report is based on Google Analytics’ Audience Overview. I added a segment of organic traffic (traffic on your website that came from search engines), to isolate the performance of that segment and compare it to overall traffic or even other segments such as display advertising. I think it’s most powerful to represent these numbers as percentages. Based on this example, you could report that organic accounts for 74 percent of all users (or unique visitors) and new users and 71 percent of all sessions (or visits) to your website.

Recently, top of funnel metrics like these have gotten a bad rap in the industry as “vanity metrics.” I think that’s a bit unfair. Sure, visits do not equal revenue (heck they don’t even equal conversions), but for most companies, there’d be no leads without traffic, no opportunities without leads, and no revenue without opportunities. At best, it is incomplete to only use top of funnel metrics as your indicators of success. But if you are using full funnel KPIs in the proper context, then I believe they have a place on your strategic content marketing KPI dashboard and in a data-driven content marketing strategy.

Content Marketing KPIs: The Middle of the Funnel

These are content marketing KPIs that meant to measure depth of engagement and intent to purchase.

Percentage of Organic Traffic That Converts

Content Marketings KPIs: Website Conversions Google Analytics

This is a Google Analytics conversion report that gets much more specific than the organic traffic report. In this example, the GA instance has many different options for goal completions. The goal many content marketers would interested in at this point are conversions from premium pieces of content: white papers, webinars, videos, etc. For others it might be a demo or contact request or a newsletter sign up. You could even run different reports against different website goals. Again, expressing this metric as a percentage of the whole allows you to quantify your impact.

One thing to note is that these conversions don’t necessarily equal leads. A conversion may be completed by an known lead or existing customer, therefore would not be a new lead. That’s why I consider this report a great measure of engagement and possible intent to purchase.

Another option for this report is to hone in on a particular area of your site, say, the Resources section that houses all your ebooks. Use a Goal URL report and filter by page path:

New Leads by Program & Asset

Content Marketings KPIs: Leads by Asset Marketo

This Marketo report takes the concept of conversions a step further and allows you see how many new leads your premium content generated. Instead of using anonymous data like Google Analytics does, a marketing automation program such as Marketo will be able to show you the number of “New Names” your content generated versus names that might have already existed in your database. Post-conversion, those previously “unknown” leads are now “known” leads. Because you have to create a distinct Marketo program for every piece of content to get this performance data, most marketing organizations only create programs for premium or gated assets and not for ungated assets such as blog posts.

MQLs by Program & Asset

This Salesforce report takes the concept of a “new name” or a lead and takes it still a step further. An MQL (marketing qualified lead) or an AQL (automation qualified lead) are leads that go through a qualification process before marketing hands them off to sales. It’s an indication of both the quantity and quality of leads your content has generated.

These reports are similar, but the differences between them can tell you different things about your content. For example, if a content item is high on conversions but low on new names, then you may need to figure out a better way to reach new audiences. If a piece is driving a lot of new names but very few MQLs, then it might not be attracting the right kind of leads for your business.

Content Marketing KPIs: Bottom of the Funnel

These are metrics that measure content marketing’s influence on opportunities and revenue.

Pipeline Generated

This Curata report uses advanced content metrics to show the dollar value of the pipeline created by content marketing. The report tracks all of the content consumed by a contact associated with an opportunity before the opportunity was created. Essentially it shows you how effective your content is at creating new opportunities. An important thing to note is that Curata can track gated as well as ungated content influence. If you are struggling to measure blog performance or connect any top of funnel content to bottom of funnel metrics, this type of report may be able to help.

Pipeline Touched

This KPI shows the total value of opportunities that were nurtured by content (again, all content both gated and ungated). The report tracks what the opportunities’ contacts consumed while the opportunities were open. This report tells you how much and which content items were part of the purchasing decision process.

Revenue Influenced

And here is the ultimate content marketing KPI: how to calculate content ROI. this report shows how much revenue is influenced by content marketing. The report shows the value of won opportunities where contacts consumed content anywhere along the journey prior to the opportunity close date.

Similar to the progression through the middle of the funnel from conversion, to lead, to MQL, these bottom of funnel KPIs show the influence of content through what has traditionally been thought of as the sales process.

Hopefully these suggestions for strategic content marketing KPIs for the top, middle, and bottom of your funnel points you in the right direction for building a strategic content marketing dashboard for your company.

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