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Content Marketing Model—Design for Effective Results

By Lisa Merriam
Member, Board of Directors

Do you need a content marketing model? Content marketing drives inbound lead generation, audience engagement, and brand reputation building. Content marketing is a hot buzzword today, but the tactic has been around since the beginning of modern marketing. Michelin Guides have been supporting the Michelin brand for 119 years. Yet, in our always on, always connected information culture, content marketing has become an absolute must.

Content Marketing Definition: The creation and sharing of informative and entertaining content that does not explicitly promote or sell a product, but does stimulate interest, engagement, and a positive image.

Four Elements of  Content Marketing Model

Because “everyone is doing it,” breaking through and having an impact isn’t easy. Working with a solid content marketing model helps—especially for companies with low budgets and scarce time and manpower. Here are the issues to consider for a content marketing program with influential impact:

1. Content Variety: Endless different text blog entries will have less impact than a single idea expressed in multiple ways. For example, webinar can become a transcript, a brochure of highlights, blog articles, a set of infographics, and more. (Watch for the coming blog entry 42 Ways to Repurpose Content). 2019 Content Trend: Though listed as a key trend this year, having original useful content that readers care about (not sales pitches or reposting content from others) remains the key to effective content marketing.

2. Repetition: As far back as 1885, adman Thomas Smith noted the impact of frequency on successful communication (By the way, recent research has shown that it takes 17 tastes to like a food, 17 encounters to learn a word, 17 tries to ride a bike, 17 interactions to make a friend). 2019 Content Tip: Updated and adapted from Mr. Smith:

The 1st time people look at ad, they don’t see it.
The 2nd time, they don’t notice it.
The 3rd time, they are aware that it is there.
The 4th time, they have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it before.
The 5th time, they actually read the ad.
The 6th time, they thumb their nose at it.
The 7th time, they get a little irritated with it.
The 8th time, they think, “Here’s that confounded ad again.”
The 9th time, they wonder if they’re missing out on something.
The 10th time, they ask their friends or neighbors if they’ve tried it.
The 11th time, they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads.
The 12th time, they start to think that it must be a good product.
The 13th time, they feel the product has value.
The 14th time, they believe they’ve wanted a product like this for a long time.
The 15th time, they yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it.
The 16th time, they realize that they will buy it sometime in the future.
The 17th time, they make a commitment to buy the product.

3 .Engagement: When people interact with content, it further spreads the message, helps them understand it better, believe it, and then act on it.

See it
Watch it
Hear it
Comment on it
Share it
Debate it
Adapt it
Use it

2019 Content Trend: Using technology to automate and integrate ,so that engagements become leads and results are tracked, is on the increase.

4. Distribution: For your contact to have any impact, people have to see it. Posting a few words on a blog won’t get the job done. You have to spread your content far and wide through as many means as possible:

  • Search engine optimization
  • Email promotion
  • Paid search (Adwords)
  • Content placement: Wikipedia, SlideShare, Quora, Scribd
  • Association pages, lists, community pages/forums, media, events
  • Paid display ads and promotions
  • Embedded links
  • Topic and news skitching
  • RSS, Sharing on Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon
  • Cost per click placements
  • Internal links
  • Swarmcasting
  • Social posting, group engagement, paid ads, social buttons
  • Influencer marketing—Open Site Explorer, BuzzStream

2019 Content Trend: Influencer marketing doesn’t have to mean hiring a celebrity—your own employees, customers, partners and industry connections all have followings. Finding such micro-influencers can have an outsized impact.

The larger your resources, the more robust each section of the content marketing model can be. But even the smallest, most rudimentary effort needs all four.