oes your company have a culture of content (CoC)? Content creation and marketing is front and center in today’s businesses, so it’s no surprise that it could
become part of an organization’s DNA, as Creating a culture of content for Digital Marketing
The term CoC was popularized by the Altimeter Group’s authors Rebecca Lieb and
Jessica Groopman in their study cited here
So what is a culture of content? It’s one in which:
» Content is championed.
» Content is shared throughout the organization.
» People are encouraged to be creative with content.
» Staff from every department can contribute content.
» The company has a tolerance for risk and failure with content.
Does this sound like your organization? Or a better question might be, “Wouldn’t
you like your organization to function like this?” Trying to move your organization in this direction would be worthwhile. Your organization can benefit from a
CoC in several ways
Here are a few eight tips:
Create a Culture of Content Marketing from the Top Down
Better quality content (and quantity): People who are encouraged to be
creative and become part of a content team create better content and
contribute more often.
» More content sharing: People who are proud of the content the organization
(and they) are creating are more likely to share it.
» A competitive edge: A company that champions content and places a high
value on its creation stands out from the crowd.
» More valuable data to analyze: More and better content provides
How can you foster a CoC? Dawn Papandrea details in her article, “How to
Create a Culture of Content Marketing from the Top Down”
Thinking about reputation
The importance of reputation is obvious to almost everyone. But you probably
don’t think about how your company’s reputation contributes to the acceptance
of your content and vice versa. When readers see your branded content, they need
to make an immediate decision. They have to decide whether you’re trustworthy
enough to continue reading. If they decide that you’re not, they click away. If they
see a review of your business, they can be swayed by negative comments. But how
much does this really matter to your bottom line?
According to a press release by IC Media Direct, shown in Figure 1-8, “It has been
calculated by the Harvard Business School that each star in a Yelp rating increases
a business’ sales by 5 to 9%. And a bump up from 3.5 to 4 stars on Yelp typically
results in a 19% increase of restaurant bookings during peak business hours.”
That’s quite an impact. Yet companies are typically very lax about reputation
management as part of their content marketing strategy
You need to monitor online content to ensure that your reputation stays intact
» Continually listen. The conversation about your business is going on 24 hours
a day. You need to be ready to respond to anything that could affect your
customer’s perception of you. Make sure to read review sites and other
user-generated content about your business regularly, right along with your
» Monitor your brand names and products. Set up alerts for your product
and brand names. You don’t want to miss a brewing problem.
» Link to all your sites to create a wide perspective. Don’t make your
customers dig for information about you. Be sure to link to all your owned
media and social media sites.
» Maintain strict content governance. You should have a content governance
system set up. Make sure that your system is in force so that erroneous or
poor quality content doesn’t have a lasting effect on your reputation. It’s just
good common sense as well as a security defense. Why open your company
to lawsuits or negative press?
» Create and distribute case studies and testimonials. Blow your own horn
so that others can form a positive opinion about your company. Case studies
and testimonials should be a staple on your website.
Using content to serve customers
Get ready to hear something you won’t like: You need to make customer service a
part of your content marketing strategy. Marketers tend not to like thinking this
way because it’s not as sexy as creating great blog posts that get you buzz, and it
requires extra effort.
If your organization takes this section’s advice to heart, though, you will see
several important benefits including:
» An increase in customer loyalty and retention
» Happier, more educated customers
» A better understanding of your customer’s problems
» An opportunity to provide real solutions
All these benefits go straight to the bottom line.
Tony Hsieh applied this customer service strategy to his company Zappos (http://
zappos.com), and it was acquired by Amazon for $1.2 billion. Perhaps you should
consider trying it.
So how should you apply your customer service strategy to your content marketing strategy? Think for a moment about how you provide customer service
now. You probably provide data sheets, product documentation, email support,
and, if you’re ambitious, social media platform support. But here’s the truth: This
approach is wholly inadequate for the content-intensive world you live in today.
You need to look at your website, your other owned sites, and your social sites to
see how you can focus on adding customer service content to each one.
You likely believe that customers are at the center of your strategy. However,
you might have that wrong. You might be customer centric rather than customer
focused, according to J-P De Clerck in his article,
De Clerck cites Peter Fader’s book Customer Centricity: Focus on the Right Customers
for Strategic Advantage (Wharton Digital Press), which says that customer centricity means focusing on the high-value customer and marketing to that segment. This is not to say that you completely ignore your other customers. It means
that you focus a great deal of effort on the customers with the highest potential
customer lifetime value. Customer lifetime value (CLV) refers to the profit you
expect to make over the lifetime of a specific customer.
So what should you do regarding customer service content after you identify these
high-CLV customers? You should create content that addresses their specific
needs and distribute it on the following:
» Support sites: Look at the content you provide for support sites. Is it dull and
boring? Your customers want to be entertained as well as educated. Think
about how you can make this content more appealing.
» Social media platforms: You may already answer support questions on these
sites, but do you provide links to interesting help content? Probably not. Try to
think about putting links to all the content you create for your customers.
» Guest postings: You’re probably not thinking about customer service when
you send guest posts. But aiming your post toward customer service isn’t hard
to do. Just make it something that is “in service” to the reader.
» Webinars: You likely have webinar content that serves customers. Repurpose
it as podcasts or video to spread your message.
Your strategy should include content targeted at helping your most valuable
customers find the information they need.