As an internet marketing consultant I find it’s hard to read an article or attend a presentation about social media or content marketing without the subject quickly moving from creative or strategy to measurement - and often with an eye on the ultimate prize: ROI (Return On Investment).
Ostensibly, this is a good thing. After all, it suggests that the internet marketing agency business has outgrown its “cottage” status and moved into the big house. But in our rush to “be measured like everyone else,” content marketers are in danger of short-changing their full value to companies.
Let’s look at four benefits of content marketing that will never show up on the Marketing Director’s dashboard but can bring immense value to the company and its internal relationships.
1. Content can give you a recruiting edge
In a competitive industry like the marketing agency business, recruiting top-calibre talent is a priority of the highest order. In fact, recruiting top talent is one of only three priorities for every B2B business owner. Yet despite the importance of recruiting, it would be easy to overlook the impact an engaging content marketing programme can have on this business-critical priority.
So, partner with your HR department. When your company inducts staff, find out the reasons why they joined, and share this information with your internal teams. The ability to prove your content efforts have impacted recruiting will help make you - and your content efforts - indispensable to your company.
2. Content can help boost company morale
When I worked in an advertising agency, I recall challenging a client who wanted us to help his company produce a campaign that didn’t necessarily influence its buyers. When I pushed back on this point the Marketing Director told me, “The campaign isn’t for our customers. It’s for our staff. The place lights up when they see the campaign… and I know a lot of our workers see the media proposed.” I’ve never forgotten that lesson, and content marketing can help accomplish this very same goal.
When you publish a popular asset, the cheering it receives on the social web can validate the efforts of the entire company. Your victory lap is everyone’s victory lap, so make sure you “market” the popularity of your content to your colleagues - not to boast personally, but rather to remind them that as crowded as the social web is, your company managed to stand out.
3. Content opens up lines of communication
Remarkable content doesn’t just get customers and prospects talking; it also gets your internal colleagues buzzing. It gives them something to share with one another, something to debate, or something to challenge. It opens doors, rings phones, and makes people talk over cubicle walls. It also provides you with an opportunity to recruit advocates and participants.
When your colleagues engage with your content, it creates an opportunity to invite them to contribute to future programmes. Because content marketing sits between so many different organisational functions, it is a surprisingly political role. Be sure to marshal your supporters when you have their attention.
4. Content fosters trust
In a recent "FastCompany" article, Don Peppers convincingly argues that the key to competitive advantage is “being proactively trustworthy.” Creating content that is so valuable that people would pay for it, yet you give it away for free, is a reliable way to earn the public’s trust. This is precisely why the value transfer in content marketing should be from institution to individual, which is an upside-down model for traditional marketers. In other words, when trust is the goal, companies should strive to sell by not selling.
None of this is to suggest that content marketers shouldn’t aspire to be measured - of course as an internet marketing consultant I am and I should be. But as a marketing agency I also need to find ways to highlight the value we provide - especially if there’s no key performance indicator (KPI) attached to it.
To find out more about how to construct a content marketing programme why not download our FREE eBook on Content Marketing from the link below:-