Apr 042012

Yesterday the marketing automation company Marketo published a really good post on their blog. It captured well a lot of these themes I cover here on this blog and how I counsel clients regarding content marketing.

First off, it’s a guest post from Jeffrey Davis. Reaching beyond your own group of subject matter experts and getting third parties involved on your blog is always a good idea. It connotes third party credibility and keeps your content engaging. It also can be an effective way to engage influencers in your niche.

Jeffrey is a former tech journalist, having worked for Business 2.0 and BNET. He now works at consulting firm Original9, which “helps brands develop and deliver powerful original content programs for any audience.” So he’s a good example of the brand journalism I’ve discussed previously here, and demonstrates how it’s a growing field.

Now for the content of the post — it’s spot on. Jeffrey leads off with some impressive stats from the Content Marketing Institute. I wasn’t familiar with the group, but the numbers are based on a survey they conducted in partnership with MarketingProfs. I have a lot of respect for that group and its Chief Content Officer Ann Handley.

According to their survey:

  • 60% of B2B organizations are spending more this year on content initiatives – with almost no one (3%) planning on cutting back.
  • 26% of overall B2B marketing budgets are going to content.
  • 90% of B2B organizations are investing in some form of content marketing.

Wow, content marketing is taking over budgets everywhere! But wait, because the post talks about how many content marketing initiatives fall prey to a lack of focus and short term thinking. Jeffrey calls these engagements marathons, not sprints.

Exactly! I call this thinking like a publisher. Are you committed to this type of marketing, or is it a short-term tactical experiment? Can you be objective enough to create truly high quality content that still supports your business objectives? Can you put in the 80% of perspiration, as well as the 20% of inspiration?

Most brands simply cannot do this on their own. Which is a good thing for Original9, for automation companies like Marketo and Eloqua (their All About Revenue blog is a good read, also supported by former journalists), and for my agency as well.

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