Marketing executives always want to know the best practices and processes behind the newest and most lucrative digital marketing trends. This article, based on a webinar interview with an award-winning content marketing executive from Teradata will go beyond best practices and present a strategic framework for content marketing that can be applied immediately at your organization.

Why Choose Content Marketing

Marketing executives are responsible for managing budgets wisely, and therefore must always manage a diverse portfolio of marketing strategies that generate the most return. When implemented correctly, content marketing can generate returns simply not possible by paid advertising channels. The team at Teradata was able to execute an integrated content marketing campaign that not only won a TechPoint 2014 marketing award--but also generated incredible returns.

Christy Ferguson, a content marketing executive at Teradata, adds "We don't base our success on awards in marketing. We base it on [the results] of an 8x revenue lift, 36x return on investment."

Here are the exact numbers:

  • 8-digit revenue lift
  • 36x return on investment
  • 30 meetings with enterprise brand prospects
  • Brand authority in organic search and top industry publishers

The Content Marketing Framework: RCPC

Marketing executives need repeatable frameworks for success, not just great stories or fluke wins. The RCPC content marketing framework is a recipe that drives scalable success through research, creative, promotion and conversion.

Research

Unfortunately, audience and trend research is an afterthought for many inexperienced content marketers. Many brands just trod ahead with content ideas based on a gut feeling from an executive or industry expert--and this is a recipe for disaster.
The research phase should address the needs and behaviors of the target audience, the subject matter and format of the content asset idea, influential channels of distribution, and more.

Key points to address in the research phase:

  • Keyword research (what are our target topics?)
  • Audience analysis (what are people talking about?)
  • Content gap analysis (where are the opportunities in the market?)
  • Media and influencer analysis (who influences our audience?)
  • Competitive assessments (what has been done before?)

In the Teradata campaign, the team found that eBooks were the best format for their target audience of marketing executives at enterprise organizations. The trends discovered in the research phase directly plugged into specific chapters of the eBook that addressed their audience's needs. The team also discovered top media outlets and influencers to connect with, and this data further influenced the blueprint for the content asset.

Creative

Allowing research to drive creative will provide the best opportunity for success. Focus on developing a true contribution to your marketplace--something that your audience will find valuable, authoritative, informative and even entertaining.

Remember to build the content asset not just for your audience, but also those who influence your audience such as mainstream media outlets, industry publications, bloggers and other influential experts. Employing these organic channels of distribution will add credibility, authority and widen the reach for your content asset.

Teradata's eBook "Be a Big Data Marketing Hero" is a highly creative piece that contained figures, graphs, checklists and other interactive components alongside deep and informative content--all presented within brand design guidelines.

Promotion

Genuine endorsements by influential individuals and publishers in your industry is essential to earning brand visibility in organic search, as well as earning the hearts and minds of your target audience. These endorsements cannot be paid for--they must be earned by first developing a content asset worth talking about, then connecting with the right influencers to share the content with their networks.

Even though endorsements cannot be bought, there is a place for paid promotion. Use paid channels strategically to boost influencer endorsements. For example, it is effective to put some paid advertisements featuring an earned media placement about your content asset on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. This will boost the distribution of an influential media endorsement of your branded content.

The Teradata eBook was featured in large publications such as Inc Magazine, VentureBeat, Huffington Post, Wikipedia and others. Niche industry publications like the Smart Data Collective and KD Nuggets also featured the branded content. Dozens of other news organizations, private and public institutions also syndicated the story such as the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the New York Public Library.

Conversion

At the end of the day, content marketing is about driving online conversions. Whether leads or closed sales, organic search and referral traffic must be tied into the bottom line to prove return on investment. Your organization's web presence must be properly optimized to convert and measure all traffic that is driven back to landing site pages. Content marketing success should be measured through traffic and leads, rather than just search visibility and rankings.
For more of the inside story on Teradata's results, register to download the interview that features commentary from Teradata Content Marketing Executive Christy Ferguson.