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Idea: The Best Place to Start Marketing With Content

With the growing awareness of opportunities the Internet has created for companies to use various types of media and content to communicate directly with their customers, we are often asked these two questions related to how and where a company should start its content marketing efforts.

1. “What type of content marketing provides the best return on investment?”

Countless words have been written extolling the virtues of blogs, the value of infographics and why you should devote 24 hours a day to using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. But the only answer you need can be found in the first chapter of any high school economics textbook.

The best ROI comes from developing and deploying content that helps you generate more sales of your most profitable products, while simultaneously reducing your company’s overhead.

While the current hype about content marketing is heavily focused on non-balance-sheet, soft-result metrics such as follows, likes and engagement, the front-line marketers who control digital marketing purse strings don’t see it that way. They tend to view content marketing as a new form of direct marketing and want to measure it with metrics of that legacy tactic: leads, contacts and conversions.

In reality, a new metric of content marketing should be considered that views content as a means to directly enable sales (or as we call it, “content-enable commerce”) while reducing the overall cost of marketing by evolving transactions into relationships—what marketers have traditionally called retention or loyalty. Content should be viewed as part of the entire sales process, not just a means to generate prospects or likes.

2. “Where should a company start its content marketing efforts?”

Cut this out and save it.


Not knowing where to start with new forms of marketing can lead to lots of wasted time and money on experimentation with whatever this month’s content or social media fad may be. Rather, start by looking for ways to treat content like any other product your company produces: Find the need most critical to your customer that can be solved with a product that helps the customer the most, while generating the most profit for you. Create media and content that provide the customer more help than hype, and you’ll outperform the vast majority of early adopters of content marketing tactics—at least, the ones who don’t read Idea Email.Bottom line for marketers: Unlike exercising and Nike products, when it comes to marketing with content, don’t just do it. Do it in ways that provide the best ROI for your specific company and create long-lasting relationships with your customers.


Photo: Thinkstock.com

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