content

Using Digital Content

At the end of 2015, 76% of recruiters said that the biggest challenge they faced was locating candidates with skillsets which matched the criteria their clients were looking for. In an industry that is heavily shifting towards a more marketing-centric approach, challenges like these (among others) can only be overcome by adapting to new techniques and tactics, most of which revolve around online marketing and digital content.

10 Tips for using Content Marketing in Recruitment

Until very recently, content marketing was thought of as a tool used solely for boosting sales and growth. However, the versatility of content marketing is rapidly making its mark. Every industry has its own pool of potential employees, all of whom are interested in useful content that could assist them in their job hunt. Recruitment agencies are beginning to use this tool to their advantage, creating pertinent, poignant content that will assist them in finding model employees for the companies who make use of their services.

Benefits of eBooks in Content Marketing Strategy

What is content marketing

By creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content, marketers aim to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience. The major goal is to convert this traffic into profitable customer action.

Of course, the keyword here is “valuable”. It’s what distinguishes content marketing from other forms of advertising. Instead of simply pitching products or services, it becomes necessary to provide truly reliable, relevant, and useful content to potential and current customers, helping them solve their problems or answer their own questions.

The best way to tell if a piece of content is worth using in a content marketing campaign, is to establish whether people actively seek it out. If people want to consume it rather than avoid it, it’s worth your while.

A strong content marketing strategy includes a variety of content types. As individual pieces begin to take shape, there are some specific items to keep in mind: blog posts, ebooks, cheat sheets, workbooks and templates, whitepapers and reports, infographics, slide decks, video, etc.

Why content marketing

According to Pagefair.com, over 200 million people now use ad blockers. Conventional marketing tactics are becoming less effective. “Good” content is impervious to ad-blocking software and actually happens to be something that consumers want to interact with. Content marketing is therefore more effective and welcome on a foundational level.

There is the assumption that content marketing is an expensive alternative to the traditional marketing model. This, however, is inaccurate. Content marketing is highly effective and easy to begin. It is popular with consumers and can therefore drastically reduce the amount of money that would otherwise be spent on advertising that has a potentially lower success rate.

Roughly 88% of today’s B2B marketers use content marketing as that foundation of their marketing strategy. The sustainable value of content marketing means that brands are able to easily connect with their customers, as the lines of communication are a little more open. With conversion rates that are six times higher than those associated with traditional marketing efforts, it is hardly surprising that content marketing is growing in popularity.

Ebooks in Content Marketing

According to Jesse Noyes, senior director of content marketing for Kapost, "Fat content will become the focus of marketers everywhere.” The term ‘fat content’ extends to include whitepapers, infographics, ebooks, and videos – all of which can be used in a clever content marketing strategy.

In a content marketing plan, eBooks are best used by businesses that need to communicate complex information in a way that is both interesting and accessible. The term “infotaining” is often used to describe these eBooks, which should be filled with practical, useful, and possibly inspiring content that aligns with the business’ brand.

eBooks present the perfect balance between education and entertainment. Visually, an eBook is more appealing than a whitepaper yet it is more serious than an infographic. Essentially, eBooks cover several bases whereas other forms of content tend to be a little more one-dimensional. According to PricewaterhouseCooper LLpP, eBook sales are expected to grow from $2.31 billion in 2011 to $8.69 billion in 2018. This proves that they are somewhat of a “hot” commodity.

eBooks are being referred to as “fat” content, anything that can be broken up into smaller pieces and used in multi-channel campaigning. Ultimately, flexibility is what makes this type of marketing tool so popular. At least 39% of B2B marketers are using eBooks as a part of their strategy, whereas “thin” online content is slowly edging its way out of the limelight.

Benefits of eBooks

There are several benefits to using eBooks as a part of a business’ marketing strategy, some of which will be highlighted below.

Generate leads

What sets eBooks apart from other marketing tools is the fact that they seem to be more informative than a regular part of an advertising tactic. To the consumer, they exist in order to provide entertainment or expertise. After all, the best source of knowledge is an industry expert who can offer insight into solving the “real-life” problems of customers.

In an age where transparency is key, marketers will find that potential customers shy away from anything they perceive to be a “hard sell”. EBooks enable marketers to control the content they send out. The content becomes more inviting to consumers, drawing their attention in such a way that they feel as though they made a conscious choice to pursue a particular service rather than feeling as though they’ve been harassed into making a purchase.

Ebooks have the following technological advantages in lead generation:
 

  • The electronic medium provides a convenient method for an immediate call-to-action - a click!

  • eBooks containing links allow businesses to track their success through quantifiable measurements.

  • Rather than provide a static product, companies can add links to a variety of additional media (video, audio, or graphics) adding visual appeal.

  • An eBook is fast and easy to produce while still looking great and providing a professional appearance to a business’ content strategy.

Build a Brand

When used properly, an eBook will cause potential customers to link the content to a particular business’ existing brand. For this reason, marketers need to find a way to ensure that they maximise the eBook’s ability to enhance the company’s image.

Connecting an eBook to a specific brand can be done in the following ways:
 

  • Complement the existing brand by using the appropriate logos, fonts, and colour schemes on the eBook cover.

  • Present a professional image by ensuring that the format, writing, and editing are publication-ready.

  • When making your eBook publication-ready, marketers should execute each step with precision – especially in terms of the conversion of media.

Offers Valuable Knowledge to your Target Audience

When creating eBook content, authors should focus on topics that they have expertise in. Consumers are able to sense when content has been penned by an author who is floundering in unfamiliar territory. Furthermore, the eBook should not be about the product or service offered by the company in question.

While the eBook content may not be intended to sell, it will still have a positive impact on the decision-making of its audience.  The key here is to ensure that there is a call-to-action at the end of the eBook which links to the pertinent areas of the company’s website. This subtle method of selling helps readers make a decision without feeling they are under inordinate amounts of pressure.

Of course, the topic of the eBook should still be industry relevant – something that will attract the attention of the appropriate audience and teach them something that will assist them in making the “correct” purchasing decision. Ebooks are often used to set a particular company up as a trusted source of information or an industry leader on a particular topic.

10 Best Practices for Creating eBooks
 

Below are the top ten best practices for creating quality, effective eBooks:

  • Covers should be compelling with short, provocative titles.

  • EBooks should be easy to find, share and act on.

  • Anticipate varying screen sizes for eBook consumption and make graphics and text readable across the board.

  • Lists, tips, and best practices with examples are the most compelling eBook content formats.

  • Include links within the eBook to blog posts, videos, and articles from the business itself and from 3rd party resources.

  • Focus on content that is easily shareable on social media.

  • Promote portions of the eBook through blog posts and social networks.

  • Co-create eBooks with industry thought leaders to create a built-in incentive for them to help promote.

  • Use a clear and relevant call to action according to the eBook purpose.

  • Provide PDF and embeddable versions of the eBook.

 

Using SWOT Analysis for Clever Content Strategies

In terms of business analysis techniques, a thorough SWOT analysis is possibly the best means of identifying the feasibility of an impending venture or project.  This analytical tool is used for the identification and categorization of internal and external factors. Strengths and weaknesses in SWOT analysis are termed as internal factors while opportunities and threats are termed as external factors. Potential ventures are only considered as serious possibilities only when the strengths and opportunities outweigh the weaknesses and threats.

SWOT analyses, flexible as they are, can be conducted for the following:

·         a situation

·         an organization

·         a project

·         a new venture

·         a country

·         a nation

·         individuals

While some factors in the SWOT analysis are internal to the venture being undertaken, others are external. Internal factors, quite naturally, involve the internal operations and resources of the organization including the strengths and weaknesses inherent to the project/ venture. External factors, on the other hand, relate to the external environment and elements on which the organisations have no influence, including opportunities and threats.

In order for a SWOT analysis to be carried out correctly, it necessary to focus on internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) before moving on to the external factors (opportunities and threats). This is a fairly straightforward strategy as it is of the utmost importance that you should have a full understanding of the inner workings of your company before considering the world outside.

Internal Analysis: Strengths and Weaknesses

A full internal analysis of your organization will always include its culture, expertise, resources, and unique qualities within the marketplace.

Strengths

A company’s strengths are the basis on which success can be made and sustained. They are, in short, the qualities which enable a business to achieve its goals; adding value or offering a competitive advantage. These qualities should be considered from an internal perspective as well as from the viewpoint of customers and competitors.

Your strengths refer not only to what you are well-versed in or what you have expertise in, but also the traits and qualities your employees possess (individually and as a team) as well as the distinct features that give your organization its consistency. Your company’s strengths include human competencies, process capabilities, financial resources, products and services, customer goodwill and brand loyalty.

In order to discover your business’ strengths, you may wish to consider the following key questions:

·         What advantages does your organization have?

·         What do you do better than anyone else?

·         What unique or lowest-cost resources can you draw upon that others      can't?

·         What do people in your market see as your strengths?

·         What factors mean that you "get the sale"?

·         What is your organization's Unique Selling Proposition Add to My Personal Learning Plan (USP)?

Weaknesses

Weaknesses will prevent a company from achieving its full potential. Essentially, any factors within the company which do not meet your expectations can be considered a point of weakness. These should be addressed immediately, and if not eliminated, they should be minimized as much as possible.

Weaknesses in an organization could refer to depreciating machinery, insufficient research and development facilities, narrow product range, poor decision-making, high employee turnover, wastage of raw materials, etc. Any of these problems can place you in a negative light and provide your competitors with the advantage they need to climb to the top.

To discover where your company’s weaknesses lie, it is necessary to ask the following questions:

·         What factors that are within your control detract from your ability to obtain or maintain a competitive edge?

·         What areas need improvement to accomplish your objectives or compete with your strongest competitor?

·         What does your business lack (for example, expertise or access to skills or technology)?

·         Does your business have limited resources?

·         What are people in your market likely to see as weaknesses?

·         What factors lose you sales?

External Analysis

External factors to consider in your analysis include the environment in which your organization operates in, your market, the economy, and all of the 3rd parties involved in the day to day running of your business.

Opportunities

Opportunities arise when an organization can benefit from conditions within its operational environment. These opportunities enable you to plan and execute strategies that secure higher profitability rates and as such gain a competitive advantage. More often than not, these opportunities present themselves for a limited amount of time and should therefore be snapped up as soon as they arise. There is a delicate balance to be found in selecting the targets that will best serve the clients while getting desired results.

Opportunities often arise from changes in:

·         Technology

·         Markets

·         Government Policy

·         Supply methods

·         Social Patterns

·         Population profiles

·         Global offerings

·         Lifestyle

The followings key questions need to be considered:

·         What opportunities exist in your market that you can benefit from?

·         What interesting trends are you aware of?

·         Is the perception of your business positive?

·         Has there been recent market growth or have there been other changes in the market to create an opportunity?

·         Is the opportunity ongoing, or is there just a window for it? In other words, how critical is your timing?

Threats

Threats arise when conditions in your external environment jeopardise the reliability and profitability of your business. Threats are uncontrollable, particularly when they relate to the aforementioned weaknesses within your company.

Contingency plans should be put in place to combat threats when they arise. Not many businesses can survive being taken completely by surprise.

Major sources of threats are the following:

·         Competitors reducing prices

·         Supply costs increase

·         New Technology

·         Government regulations

·         Economic downturns

·         Changes in consumer behavior

Benefits of SWOT Analysis

In addition to the cost-effectiveness of conducting a SWOT analysis, the following benefits are well worth looking into:

·         Wide Range of Applications:

SWOT analysis can be used to conduct competitive analysis, strategic planning or any other study.

·         Promotes Discussion:

    SWOT analysis promotes discussion. It is important that you have your employees on the same page.

·         Provides Visual Overview:

     A SWOT analysis is usually presented as a square, each quadrant representing one factor. This visual arrangement provides a quick overview of the company’s position and encourages dialogue.

·         Offers Insight:

    SWOT analysis can be used to gain insight about the market, giving you a better understanding of your competition.

·         Integration and Synthesis:

    SWOT analysis gives the analyst the opportunity to integrate and synthesize diverse information, despite it being qualitative or quantitative in nature. SWOT analysis organizes information that is already known, as well as information that has just been acquired or discovered.

·         Fosters Collaboration: SWOT analysis fosters collaboration and encourages open information exchange between a variety of functional areas in a firm that would otherwise not collaborate or interact much

Using SWOT Analysis for Content Strategies

A SWOT analysis is the ideal catalyst for targeted content strategies. The main reason for this is simply the fact that a two-step process (data collection and categorization) is all you really need to fuel various different types of marketing content for your business.


Your content strategy can be evaluated according to the following framework:

Strengths

·         List 3-4 major internal strategic strengths of your current content marketing efforts.

·         Identify what has been working well for you so far (eg. a well-defined blogging strategy)

·         Identify your expertise in certain subjects

·         Identify potential partnerships that could assist in promoting your content to generate traffic

Weaknesses

·         List 3-4 major internal strategic weaknesses of your current content marketing efforts.

·         Identify holes in your resources

·         Identify problems with tracking your ROI

·         Identify where your focus is lacking (lead generation vs closing deals)

Opportunities

·         List 3-4 major external opportunities that exist for anyone working within your market.

·         Are there paid distribution opportunities worth looking into?

·         Are any platforms looking for specific content that you are able to create?

Threats

·         List 3-4 major external threats that exist for anyone working within your market.

·         Is your content easily replicated by competitors?

·         Do your competitors have better resources than you do?

 

·         an organization

·         a project

·         a new venture

·         a country

·         a nation

·         individuals

While some factors in the SWOT analysis are internal to the venture being undertaken, others are external. Internal factors, quite naturally, involve the internal operations and resources of the organization including the strengths and weaknesses inherent to the project/ venture. External factors, on the other hand, relate to the external environment and elements on which the organisations have no influence, including opportunities and threats.

In order for a SWOT analysis to be carried out correctly, it necessary to focus on internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) before moving on to the external factors (opportunities and threats). This is a fairly straightforward strategy as it is of the utmost importance that you should have a full understanding of the inner workings of your company before considering the world outside.

Internal Analysis: Strengths and Weaknesses

A full internal analysis of your organization will always include its culture, expertise, resources, and unique qualities within the marketplace.

Strengths

A company’s strengths are the basis on which success can be made and sustained. They are, in short, the qualities which enable a business to achieve its goals; adding value or offering a competitive advantage. These qualities should be considered from an internal perspective as well as from the viewpoint of customers and competitors.

Your strengths refer not only to what you are well-versed in or what you have expertise in, but also the traits and qualities your employees possess (individually and as a team) as well as the distinct features that give your organization its consistency. Your company’s strengths include human competencies, process capabilities, financial resources, products and services, customer goodwill and brand loyalty.

In order to discover your business’ strengths, you may wish to consider the following key questions:

·         What advantages does your organization have?

·         What do you do better than anyone else?

·         What unique or lowest-cost resources can you draw upon that others      can't?

·         What do people in your market see as your strengths?

·         What factors mean that you "get the sale"?

·         What is your organization's Unique Selling Proposition Add to My Personal Learning Plan (USP)?

Weaknesses

Weaknesses will prevent a company from achieving its full potential. Essentially, any factors within the company which do not meet your expectations can be considered a point of weakness. These should be addressed immediately, and if not eliminated, they should be minimized as much as possible.

Weaknesses in an organization could refer to depreciating machinery, insufficient research and development facilities, narrow product range, poor decision-making, high employee turnover, wastage of raw materials, etc. Any of these problems can place you in a negative light and provide your competitors with the advantage they need to climb to the top.

To discover where your company’s weaknesses lie, it is necessary to ask the following questions:

·         What factors that are within your control detract from your ability to obtain or maintain a competitive edge?

·         What areas need improvement to accomplish your objectives or compete with your strongest competitor?

·         What does your business lack (for example, expertise or access to skills or technology)?

·         Does your business have limited resources?

·         What are people in your market likely to see as weaknesses?

·         What factors lose you sales?

External Analysis

External factors to consider in your analysis include the environment in which your organization operates in, your market, the economy, and all of the 3rd parties involved in the day to day running of your business.

Opportunities

Opportunities arise when an organization can benefit from conditions within its operational environment. These opportunities enable you to plan and execute strategies that secure higher profitability rates and as such gain a competitive advantage. More often than not, these opportunities present themselves for a limited amount of time and should therefore be snapped up as soon as they arise. There is a delicate balance to be found in selecting the targets that will best serve the clients while getting desired results.

Opportunities often arise from changes in:

·         Technology

·         Markets

·         Government Policy

·         Supply methods

·         Social Patterns

·         Population profiles

·         Global offerings

·         Lifestyle

The followings key questions need to be considered:

·         What opportunities exist in your market that you can benefit from?

·         What interesting trends are you aware of?

·         Is the perception of your business positive?

·         Has there been recent market growth or have there been other changes in the market to create an opportunity?

·         Is the opportunity ongoing, or is there just a window for it? In other words, how critical is your timing?

Threats

Threats arise when conditions in your external environment jeopardise the reliability and profitability of your business. Threats are uncontrollable, particularly when they relate to the aforementioned weaknesses within your company.

Contingency plans should be put in place to combat threats when they arise. Not many businesses can survive being taken completely by surprise.

Major sources of threats are the following:

·         Competitors reducing prices

·         Supply costs increase

·         New Technology

·         Government regulations

·         Economic downturns

·         Changes in consumer behavior

Benefits of SWOT Analysis

In addition to the cost-effectiveness of conducting a SWOT analysis, the following benefits are well worth looking into:

·         Wide Range of Applications:

SWOT analysis can be used to conduct competitive analysis, strategic planning or any other study.

·         Promotes Discussion:

    SWOT analysis promotes discussion. It is important that you have your employees on the same page.

·         Provides Visual Overview:

     A SWOT analysis is usually presented as a square, each quadrant representing one factor. This visual arrangement provides a quick overview of the company’s position and encourages dialogue.

·         Offers Insight:

    SWOT analysis can be used to gain insight about the market, giving you a better understanding of your competition.

·         Integration and Synthesis:

    SWOT analysis gives the analyst the opportunity to integrate and synthesize diverse information, despite it being qualitative or quantitative in nature. SWOT analysis organizes information that is already known, as well as information that has just been acquired or discovered.

·         Fosters Collaboration: SWOT analysis fosters collaboration and encourages open information exchange between a variety of functional areas in a firm that would otherwise not collaborate or interact much

Using SWOT Analysis for Content Strategies

A SWOT analysis is the ideal catalyst for targeted content strategies. The main reason for this is simply the fact that a two-step process (data collection and categorization) is all you really need to fuel various different types of marketing content for your business.


Your content strategy can be evaluated according to the following framework:

Strengths

·         List 3-4 major internal strategic strengths of your current content marketing efforts.

·         Identify what has been working well for you so far (eg. a well-defined blogging strategy)

·         Identify your expertise in certain subjects

·         Identify potential partnerships that could assist in promoting your content to generate traffic

Weaknesses

·         List 3-4 major internal strategic weaknesses of your current content marketing efforts.

·         Identify holes in your resources

·         Identify problems with tracking your ROI

·         Identify where your focus is lacking (lead generation vs closing deals)

Opportunities

·         List 3-4 major external opportunities that exist for anyone working within your market.

·         Are there paid distribution opportunities worth looking into?

·         Are any platforms looking for specific content that you are able to create?

Threats

·         List 3-4 major external threats that exist for anyone working within your market.

·         Is your content easily replicated by competitors?

·         Do your competitors have better resources than you do?

 

Goodman Lantern Partners with Marketo

London, UK --  06/10/2016 Goodman Lantern, expert data driven content development specialists, are pleased to announce their partnership with Marketo – one of the industry’s leaders in marketing automation and predictive content recommendations.

The partnership will provide customers with the full range from using Goodman Lantern's ground-breaking market research platform as well as the innovative marketing automation solutions provided by Marketo. This combination of services will assist strategic consultants in not only generating targeted content, but in distributing it tactically as well. Customers can sign-up for a free trial on Goodman Lantern's website.

Raj Anand, CEO of Goodman Lantern commented "With the continuous evolution of the consulting industry and inevitable changes within the financial markets, we are focussed on alleviating the stress our clients experience when generating fresh, targeted content, enabling them to concentrate on core business and deal-making.”

Goodman Lantern’s white papers and eBooks are based on in-depth market research generated by their market research platform. This professionally written content has a better return on investment and drastically increases the effect of inbound marketing. More information can be found on Marketo’s LaunchPoint partner page.

About Goodman Lantern


Goodman Lantern was founded by ex-McKinsey, KPMG, and Deloitte consultants with the shared vision of making engaging white papers and eBooks based on market research more accessible to marketers.
The company strives to enable marketers and business leaders to triumph over the challenges associated with time constraints, budget limitations, skill-set mismatches, and limited networks. Goodman Lantern’s technology platform provides businesses with in-depth research, analysis, and content creation services.

To learn more about how Goodman Lantern’s team of  analysts, researchers, and subject matter experts can improve an organization's existing content generation strategy, please visit www.goodmanlantern.com.

Survey on 'Why top level executives attend conferences'

In an effort to learn more about the conferencing behaviours of Fortune 1000 executives, Goodman Lantern conducted a survey featuring 191 top-level panelists. Our main aim was to discover why these executives choose to attend certain business events, how they research upcoming conferences, and what motivates them to participate as exhibitors or sponsors rather than attending in an observational capacity.

Download the entire presentation (free)

Determining the “Worth” of Attending an Event

An overwhelming 62.6% of respondents choose to attend conferences based on the quality of marketing and communication received before the event. The second-most popular method, ranking in at 41.3%, of decision-making in this regard is learning about these events from peers and colleagues.

Reasons for Attending an Event

One of our main motivators in conducting this survey was to discover why Fortune 1000 executives attend certain conferences and events. Most of our panelists, around 68.9%, claimed that these events presented a wealth of networking opportunities – clearly a driving force behind making their decisions. The runner-up reason for attending events was to meet experts and speakers face-to-face, a motivating factor for nearly 31% of our panelists. At least 21.1% of the executives interviewed stated that they saw event attendance as a way to invest in themselves and their professional endeavours.

Motivation for Sponsoring or Exhibiting at an Event

According to 51.3% of our participants, industry reports and knowledge produced at the event form the bulk of their motivation for exhibiting at or sponsoring an event. The next-highest motivator, 39.9%, for our panelists was the quality of attendees. Additionally, 22.6% of our survey participants stated that a speaking slot was motivation enough for attending a conference.

Produce industry reports and knowledge for your conference via Zero Cost Content via Goodman Lantern's research platform.

Growth of Online Content Creation

Online Content Creation is a growing market, globally. On average, annual digital marketing operating budgets represented 2.5% of a company's revenue in 2012 (UK companies spend 2% of turnover - See Below). These expenses include personnel costs, contract labor, software as a service and external marketing services such as agency creative services, search, website design, content creation and management, social and mobile marketing. In fact, content creation and management account for the second largest share of digital marketing budgets. Reasons for Content Creation

Content creation and management account for the second largest share of digital marketing budgets. This is driven, in part, by the desire to populate the infinite appetites of inbound marketing channels. Social networks, customer forums, and the blogosphere are examples that drive inbound inquiries or actions. However, you need to create content that delivers the right message to the right person at the right time, regardless of how the dialogue gets started. That means content is equally needed to meet the demands of outbound marketing as well. The enormous pressure to create, manage and distribute content for multiple marketing activities through the right channels will only increase as customers use more digital channels for collaboration, researching and acquisition of products and services.

 

Marketer and CMO's Perspective

Marketers outsource 36% of content creation and believe it is the 4th most important activity for Marketing Success. Although, budgets per sector vary (source):

digital markeitng budgets

 

Budget's on the Rise

According to the Custom Content Council, in 2012, 68% of CMO’s will be increasing their budget for content marketing. Smaller companies with less than 10 employees are spending about 34% of the company budget in content marketing, approximately $56,000 annually. Companies with over 1000 employees are spending about 26% of the company budget in content marketing, approximately $1M annually. Although, budgets for SMEs are smaller, Small to Medium Businesses generally spend anything between 23-34% on content creation.  In the UK, on average, companies with a turnover of £1 million (the average TO of a UK SME) spend between £8,000 and £18,000 on content per year. Brands that turn over £2 million invest up to £36,000 per year and £5 million, £89,000 per annum. That equates to around 2% of turnover.

In the 2011 State of Content Marketing Survey from Techvalidate the majority of respondents reported that 20% or more of their marketing budget was devoted to producing content. Of those surveyed, 15% devote at least half of their entire marketing budget to content production.