A reporter for the content marketing blog run by Opentopic asked me recently, “What goals are you trying to achieve through content marketing? Are your content marketing goals the same or different than those of your other marketing tactics? Do your objectives for curated content differ from your objectives for original content?"
It was a comprehensive question that required a comprehensive answer, so I offered this:
“We never really start out looking to develop a content marketing program. What we’re trying to do is develop a marketing program that works. We begin with business objectives – are we trying to grow leads? Grow sales? Grow trial? Grow registration? And then we look to identify ways that marketing communications can move customers or consumers in a way that impacts those business objectives.
To find those ways, we start with an analysis of what we call the Value Exchange. That’s a place where the brand’s needs and wants intersect with the customer’s needs and wants within the broader business environment. This analysis reveals what we need to do and what success looks like; it defines our hypothesis for the program. The hypothesis drives our tactical plans, including touch points, messaging, measurement, etc.
Having said this, if we fast-forward to a situation calling for content marketing tactics and strategies, our goals for B2C and B2B programs could be the same or they could be different. It’s possible, for example, to have goals for each that comprise lead generation, although B2C leads would result in a consumer interaction instead of an interaction with a business buyer. Bottom line is, we’re trying to influence a measurable action from a desired audience.
As for curated vs. original content affecting goal-setting, it’s not really a meaningful parameter. I mean, the idea is to measure your content and optimize it against specific quantifiable goals. You don’t ‘discount’ that performance on whether it’s in-house or curated content; you evaluate the content upon whether it performs as levels (cost) that you can accept within the parameters of your campaign."