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The 6C's of Content Marketing

Customer, Community, Content, Conversation, Continuity, Consistency

Marketing 101 taught you the The 5 C's of Traditional  Marketing - Company, Collaborators, Customers, Competitors, and Context. What are the 6 C's of Content Marketing?

  • Customer
  • Community
  • Content
  • Conversation
  • Continuity
  • Consistency

ClickDocuments: 6 C's of Content Marketing

Customer

"The single most important thing to remember about any enterprise is that there are no results inside its walls. The result of a business is a satisfied customer." - Peter Drucker

You have this heard over and over again - "Customer is always the king". Keep customers top of mind when defining your Content Marketing strategy. Provide content to solve their informational needs. Inform and educate. Provide content in multiple forms based on how your customers consume content.

Key questions to ask about Customer

  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • What are the goals and aspirations of your prospects and customers?
  • What information are your prospects and customers seeking?
  • How do your prospects and customers consume information?
  • How can you reach your prospects and customers?
  • How are you going to influence your prospects and customers during different touch points of their buying journey?
  • How will you constantly gauge how well you are serving the informational needs of your prospects and customers?

Michele Linn says "The more time you take to understand your ideal reader, the more focused and engaging your marketing communications will be" in her article Are You Really Reaching Your Reader? 20 Questions to Consider.

Community

“Respect those who come to you with open ears and foster a sense of community.” - P.T. Sudo

Marketing has changed from one-way push media to a two-way street. Traditional demand generation and customer conversion playbooks won't work anymore. Recognize that change. Foster the growth of your community and connect with them. Talk to them. Listen. Ask them for feedback. Incorporate changes based on the feedback you get from customers and prospects.

Key questions to ask about Community

  • How do you define your ideal community?
  • How do you build your community?
  • How do you forge active engagement between you and the community and within the community?
  • What is the single most important value that you will provide to your community?
  • How will you communicate with your community actively and in a non-intrusive way?

Leverage social media tools to listen, converse, collect information, build and grow your business. Chris Brogan's blog Community and Social Media Business Strategy and Guy Kawaski's The Art of Creating a Community are two great resources for insights on how to build communities. The Top 50 Social Media Blogs Of The Year and Alltop's Social Media Category are also useful lists to explore ideas on social media.

Content

“If your content is something that your customers are willing to share, you've unlocked the secret of engagement.” – Joe Pulizzi

Create and distribute high quality, compelling content that your customers and prospects will find valuable. Make content compelling so that is it is not only useful just for your readers, but also useful enough for them to share it with others. This will lead to viral transmission of your content.

Key questions to ask about your Content

  • How will you determine what is the most important content for your prospects and customers?
  • What formats will you use to make it easy for prospects and customers to consume your content?
  • How will you distribute content to reach prospects and customers?
  • How will you manage and update your content once you have created and distributed it?
  • How will you measure the ROI(Return on Investment) of your content?
  • How will you ensure that your Content Marketing Strategy is integrated with your overall Marketing?

Learn more about Content Marketing at Junta42's Top Content Marketing Blogs and Alltop's Content Marketing Category.

Conversation

“Conversation Marketing ensures that you know your audience, target them with an appropriate message, and then observe their response and adjust that message accordingly.” – Ian Lurie

Start conversations with your customers and prospects. Use the energy surrounding social media to transmit your message and listen to your prospects and customers. Leverage the technology and tools available in this conversation-enabled world. Use blogging, social media marketing and community evangelism to reach your Content Marketing goals.

Key questions to ask about your Conversation Marketing

  • How you enable conversations with your customer and prospects?
  • How do you stay tuned in for feedback?
  • How do you respond to feedback?
  • What are the key messages you want to convey in your conversations?
  • Are all your front-facing troops(sales, customer service etc) aware of your 'rules of engagement' with customer and prospects?
  • How do you enable your customers to have conversations with prospects?

Learn more about Conversation Marketing at Ian Laurie's blog Conversation Marketing, Valeria Maltoni's blog Conversation Agent and Paul Chaney's blog Conversational Media Marketing.

Continuity

“Finally, strategy must have continuity. It can't be constantly reinvented.” – Michael Porter

Marketing teams create a lot of buzz during product launches. After the launch the focus is just on selling. This mode of operation needs to change. Educate your prospects and customers continuously. Well planned execution and consistent marketing can be a competitive advantage. Don't be reactive in your Content Marketing. Don't just create a press release or competitive note to handle a competitor's splash marketing. A well defined marketing plan should ensure that you have continuous ways to reach your customers and prospects.
Key questions to ask about your Marketing Continuity

  • Are you proactive in your Content marketing?
  • What small, consistent steps are you taking to promote your business with your prospects and customers?
  • Does your marketing plan have an 'ongoing marketing section' that is executed on and updated regularly?

Consistency

“If you want your target market to discover and purchase your product, you must tell a consistent, authentic, believable story that fits the way they view the world.” – Seth Godin

Consistency is not just a constant look and feel in all of your marketing materials. Ensure that there is central theme behind the messaging in your content marketing. Maintaining consistency in your business, marketing and messaging is a must. Consistency of messaging is important for building trust and reputation over time. Your sales and marketing teams must agree on the messaging for your business. Marketing is a set of well planned out strategies that should work well together and be consistentin order for you to accomplish your business goals and objectives.

Key questions to ask about Marketing Consistency

  • How do you maintain consistency in your branding, identity and messaging?
  • What message about your business do you want to emphasize?
  • Do your marketing and sales team share the same story about your business with customers and prospects?
Over to you…


What questions do you ask when creating your Content Marketing Strategy?

More Stories By Ambal Balakrishnan

Ambal has robust 17+ years experience working at and partnering with high-profile technology companies in both B2B and B2C marketplaces building scalable, reliable, high performance products (both hardware and software) for business with multi-billion dollar in annual revenue. She has done various roles that includes engineering, program management, business development, strategy and marketing for premium and fast growing product divisions at Cisco, Telecordia (prior name Bell Labs) and strategic marketing consulting firm ClickDocuments. At Cisco, she focused on world wide marketing and positioning of Cisco's Cloud & Data Center switching business. She brings both strong engineering & marketing skills with verticals experience from many different industries. Ambal received her Masters in Computer Science from Purdue University and an MBA in Marketing, Strategy and Entrepreneurship from Wharton University of Pennsylvania. Ambal is an avid reader and hiker. Her hiking pursuits have taken her to several mountains including Mt. Whitney at 14,500 feet (which she managed to climb in 1 day). Ambal lives in Austin, TX with her family of 3 boys (that includes her husband!) and a border-collie+lab mix dog named Rainbow.

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