Canadian Magazine Industry News
19 December 2016,    
Content Marketing Summit 2016 - 10 Commandments of Content Marketing
The growing demand for sponsored content has forced media publishers to evolve to have this service as part of their tool kit for advertisers. Tiffany Heimpel Managing Director - Canada,  IZEA Inc. gave a presentation on the 10 Commandments of Content Marketing that provides good advice on what makes an effective content marketing strategy. Her well received presentation to the audience at the recent Content Marketing Summit 2016 in Toronto says that content marketing is 62% cheaper than traditional advertising and 78% of Chief Marketing officers think custom content is the future of marketing. Tiffany states " It is the most effective in the marketing toolbox and content and social marketing continues to be a cost effective way to reach target audiences. I'm thrilled to be part of IZEA's growth in Canada". IZEA has worked with Kellogg's, BMO, Loblaws, Mercedes, General Mills, Google, L'Oreal, and Mars to name a few. 


These are her 10 Commandments for an effective content marketing program.


1. Have a strategy: Without a defined strategy and objective the program will not have a focus and Tiffany has this checklist

a) What is the objective?
b) What does success look like a year from now
c) What are the resources or budget?
d) How often will the content be produced?
e) What is the subject matter?
f) What format will the content be?
g) Where will it be published

2. Know your Audience: This is probably the most important commandment of all!  Too many brands create content expecting it to be a magic pill that brings them customers.  If you don’t know your audience, your content won’t have an impact.  Here are the questions you should ask before embarking on the program.

a) Who are you targeting?
b) What do you need?
c) Have you asked them?
d) Content is about them and give them what the want

3. Consult Your metrics: Content marketing starts with a good strategy, but is perfected through metrics. Don’t start a content plan, hit go and not look back. Look at the number of visits, engagements and other social signals, like shares. Use those numbers to your advantage and improve your content. The truth is in the data. Analyze your content for what is working and what isn’t. See what is being shared, what is resonating with people? Survey your customers to see if you are meeting their needs. Did you know that 72% of impressions are generated in the first month with 28% afterwards, so monthly stats need to multiplied 1.4x to get a true measure of the response of the content created.

4. Create Fresh Content: As a content creator, you need to be tasked with creating new content on a regular basis. That’s the best way to attract readers and keep them coming back. However, coming up with new ideas can be tough. It isn’t fair to copywriters who have built a career on reacting to ideas versus coming up with storylines. Tiffany states that companies that post 16+ blog posts per month get 3.5% more traffic than companies that publish 0-4 posts. Marketing 101: “Frequency sells!”

5. Promote Content: Not promoting your content is like putting dinner on the table and not telling anyone it’s ready. Don’t post content and hope people find it; instead, help people locate it. Use paid media to amplify it and email to cross promote your content.  IZEA has seen 10x the engagement with influencer promoted content on social media vs. brand promoted content.

6. Don’t Steal: Re-purposing content on your own site in its original format not only is stealing but it also directly negatively impacts your SEO. You can draw inspiration from your favourite blogs, magazines and newspapers, but make sure your ideas are your own. If you use part of an article or a quote, give that person and publication credit.

7. Don’t Sell: The vast majority of the content being created with a focus on how great the company is! Brands need to do a better job of creating content that is valuable to their customers and is genuinely helpful

8. Offer Value: You shouldn’t create content just to fill a void; customers will see through it. Content should offer value. Try to teach (vs. selling) customers about a new product, educate them about a change in the industry or provide information that customers care about.

9. Tell Good Stories: Stories are powerful tools. People want to feel a connection to your brand, so help them do so through stories.  The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you question to think upon – Brandon Sanderson “ the Way of Kings”

10. Solve a Problem. The pen is mightier than the sword… or in today’s world, the laptop is mightier.  Ask yourself, “What issues are customers facing?” Use those issues to provide solutions via your blog. 


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