How to create a great content strategy for your company (podcast)

Does this sound familiar: You don’t have a coherent content marketing program at your company. You have multiple stakeholders and content authors scattered across several divisions, with no single person in charge overall. You don’t have an editorial calendar, or even know what one is. You don’t have any content strategy or an editorial advisory board, or have a clue how to create either of them. You have a corporate blog but haven’t posted anything in weeks, or maybe months. You began a corporate YouTube channel years ago but don’t know who is in charge of posting videos there.

Sadly, most of these aspects are all too often the situation when it comes to how many companies treat their content. I have been in many organizations where content is often a dirty word, and a lack of understanding of how to produce great content is pervasive. It doesn’t have to be that way. This isn’t a hard thing to turn around, and indeed I came across recently a great case study of one company where they did exactly that.

This week, my podcasting partner Paul Gillin and I interviewed Giuseppe Caltabiano for our latest episode, which you can play directly here:

He is the VP of marketing integration of the IT division at Schneider Electric, a company with 180,000 worldwide employees and a producer of data center power conditioning equipment. When he took the job, he was brought in to fix their marketing efforts, and he realized that he had to turn towards managing their content to do so.

His story is an interesting one, because within a year he was able to pull together the things that I mentioned up top: pull together a unified edit calendar (the company had several), set up an editorial advisory board, and assemble a solid team who understood the importance of great content and how to formulate a strategy.

One of the things that Caltabiano did was to focus on their corporate blog and use it as the center of their content strategy. He planned content that would target readers who are at the very early stages of their journey as potential customers. They also supplemented the blog with an internal email newsletter and with paid promotions too.

He uses what is called a “big rock” strategy for his content. This means stories are centered around anchor feature topics that can be repackaged and reused in multiple formats and on multiple platforms. “Content leads to three times as many downloads as traditional marketing campaigns,” he writes.

Another element was the role that pilot projects played in getting executive buy-in to his plans. “If your bosses are pleased with the initial progress, they’ll give you the money so you can” run with your plans. They are now setting up pilots in other places around the world to expand their reach.

“We learned that email newsletters drive more traffic than other owned channels, SlideShare and YouTube are great for B2B content, and that we need weekly governance calls with employees from each country to solve any immediate problems that pop up,” he wrote.

So take a listen to our podcast interview, and see if there are ways that you can reinvigorate your content plan with some of the innovative ideas that Schneider used.

FIR B2B podcast #51: The end of Gawker and where CMOs should spend their budgets

This week Paul Gillin and I look at six recent stories and how they affect marketing decisions, including the end of Gawker, how Google is changing its algorithms to penalize pop-up mobile ads, a survey out of the Duke business school about expectations on social media marketing, and why many marketers aren’t doing enough to take advantage of LinkedIn’s deeper engagement features. You can listen to the podcast here:

FIR B2B Podcast: Don’t Confuse Stats with Strategy

This week Paul Gillin and I discuss three B2B marketing-related articles from TechCrunch, some commentary about content marketing and how one firm excels at it, and a piece on Twitter’s waning influence in the WSJ. The context is our regular For Immediate Release podcast, and you can play it below.

FIR B2B podcast #49: Rich Mironov on how product managers need to work together with marketers

Paul Gillin and I this week interview Rich Mironov, who has held marketing and product management positions at many silicon valley companies including Tandem (when we called cloud computing “timesharing”), Sybase, Air Magnet and iPass. Rich and I have worked together over the years and he is a very astute guy who understands how enterprise software is made and marketed.

You don’t want to build something that no one wants and as he says, there are no health benefits from joining a gym. And since most users only use a few functions of every product, it is important to focus on the three or four things that really matter about the product.

Listen to our podcast here:

FIR B2B Podcast #48: Content Marketers Need Journalists, Oh Yes They Do

Lois PaulIn this week’s episode, Paul Gillin and I pay homage to Lois Paul, who is retiring. The cofounder of Lois Paul and Partners and a respected technology journalist before that, she has been an inspiration to many people, including our co-hosts. Her work ethic, integrity and judgment are legendary in the New England PR industry and elsewhere. We expect that in retirement, Lois might cut her work week back to 35 hours. Whatever she does with her time, she will do it well.

A long post on the Curata blog asserts that “Content Marketers Desperately Need More Journalists.” It cites recent Curata research that shows that companies continue to invest heavily in content marketing but struggle to find quality content. At a time when the challenge of rising above the noise is greater than ever, why would you not want to hire people who already know how to do it? (We can offer a few suggestions, too!)

China is cracking down on news sites that use social media as sources, saying that tweets aren’t a substitute for good old-fashioned fact-checking. We wish more U.S. news organizations would take a cue from Beijing and be more responsible.

Finally, new research by Forrester finds that CMOs are feeling their oats. More than eight in 10 report that their performance is now lined with business targets and nearly 1/3 have P&L responsibility, which is way up from last year. Click below to listen to our podcast.

FIR B2B Podcast #47: Hank Weghorst and account-based marketing

Paul Gillin and I talk today on our FIR B2B podcast with Hank Weghorst about account-based marketing (ABM) and why it is catching on now, along with some of the mistakes that potential users of ABM can first make. Weghorst gave this TED Talk about the process where he describes how his company has assembled a huge database of more than 50 million companies worldwide, and makes this information available to his customers via various desktop programs. Paul and I find out what ABM is all about and why it’s time has come. Listen to our podcast below.

FIR B2B podcast: LinkedIn’s B2B Marketing Chief Tells What Works

If you use LinkedIn for marketing, you must listen to this interview. LinkedIn consistently ranks as the most effective social network for B2B marketers. What do the best of the best do well? David Karel shares the lessons he’s learned from nearly two years of working with hundreds of B2B marketers as well as using the LinkedIn platform to reach his own customers.

Listen and learn from Dave Karel on our latest For Immediate Release: B2B podcast from Paul Gillin and I. We have a 20-minute flash tour of what you need to know to succeed on LinkedIn.