Frolic In The Snow with Marketers 'In The Know' on LinkedIn

A post in a series of '12 Days of Content', for marketers, by marketers

December 9, 2014

With 2015 around the corner, marketing professionals are putting the final touches on their content marketing plan for next year. While there was an enormous amount of helpful content marketing advice published in 2014, there is something to be said about timeless guidance from those who have 'been there and done that'.

One source of insight that has remained relevant is our "Frolic in the Snow with Those in the Know" eBook, which included observations and best practices from ten prolific content marketers on the eve of 2014. As expected, our “Frolic” contributors continued to share outstanding advice in 2014. So before we revisit ten essential posts from LinkedIn marketing influencers, check out these three must-read insights from Ann Handley, Joe Pulizzi and Brian Solis that can help you set a rock solid content strategy for 2015.

Content Marketing Insights: 3 Tips to Stay in the Know as We Go Into 2015

1. View content creation as a strategic opportunity to become a thought leader

It’s been a busy year for Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at Marketing Profs, who earlier this year released her new marketing bestseller, Everybody Writes. Ann is celebrated for her unique ability to articulate today’s most pressing marketing challenges in ways that empower marketers to create compelling initiatives across industries and organizations.

In The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Thought Leadership, Ann urged marketers to “Have an undiluted point of view – don’t just tell me what’s going on, tell me how you feel about it and why I should care. Thought leaders sift through content mess to give context and perspective.”

These thoughts build on sentiments from “Frolic,” in which Ann stressed the importance of not approaching content creation as “a task or tactic or channel.” Instead, the best content marketers see content “as a strategic opportunity – a very rich opportunity – to engage audiences in new and exciting ways that bring new and exciting results."

2. Document strategies for segmenting your audience and reaching subgroups

Distributing content across multiple channels isn’t likely to be effective without some thoughtful planning. Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), preaches the importance of content marketing strategies for focused brand messaging.

When organizations don’t have a strategy for branded messaging, poor content is the result. Many initiatives lack focus and try to do too much with a single broad campaign. In "Frolic" Joe warned, “Don’t try to ‘boil the ocean’ with your content." Marketers are much better off going with many smaller, super-focused campaigns to become a go-to resource in smaller content niches.

Joe built on this advice in CMI’s 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends, in which he stressed the importance of documented strategy to meet and exceed marketing goals. In the report, nearly three-quarters of marketers said they had a content marketing plan, but only 35% said the strategy was written down. Taking this additional step paid off: Professionals who documented strategies reported being more effective in marketing efforts.

Vital considerations for content strategy planning are: “What niche markets consume our content?” and “How effective is our content with those subgroups?” Because of these considerations, marketers are increasingly looking to marketing products like LinkedIn Direct Sponsored Content to personalize, test, and optimize messaging for segmented audiences.

3. Measure social’s benefits against business initiatives that benefit consumers

Greater audience segmentation is a focus across the industry in large part because marketers want to better measure the impact of digital campaigns. Brian Solis, Principal Analyst at the Altimeter Group and author of What’s the Future of Business? (WTF), has emphasized the need for social campaigns that are not only measurable, but that are tied to business initiatives and clearly benefit the consumer.

In this “Ask the Expert” feature, Brian highlights the important role empathy plays in an organization's effort to set itself apart. “True thought leadership starts with empathy,” Brian says. “Are you thinking through where your audience wants to be, compared with where the market is going?"

In “Frolic,” Brian noted that only 34% of businesses felt their social strategy was connected to business outcomes, saying, “It’s time for businesses to get serious about social, its promise and its ability to impact business outcomes and customer experiences, seriously."

Now… “Frolic” with Others in the Know

In the SlideShare presentation below, you’ll find a treasure trove of content marketing insights that are as true today as the day they were published on the LinkedIn publishing platform. We think you’ll find it’s a worthwhile trip down content marketing memory lane.

Stay 'in the know' & get more tips on your 2015 planning strategy from industry experts by subscribing to the LinkedIn Marketing Blog.
This post is the 9th in a blog series helping marketers to celebrate the fact that the #HolidaysAreIn with others in their LinkedIn network. Check out more related posts in our ’12 Days of Content’ series below.