Planning for Content Marketing Success in 2014

November 21, 2013

Allison McMenimen
Our tips for keeping content marketing success -- especially in social -- at the top of your priorities list for 2014.

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Content Marketing Success Word Cloud

Image by Flickr user DigitalRalph

The Content Marketing Institute (CMI), Marketing Profs, and Brightcove recently teamed up to publish an overview of the state of content marketing in North America, and the resulting report provided an in-depth look at how far B2B content marketing has progressed in just one year.

More B2B marketers (93%) used content marketing in 2013, and a greater number than last year thought their efforts were effective. The most effective organizations have at least one person devoted to content marketing strategy, and those same companies utilized a variety of tactics and social media platforms.

On the B2C content marketing front, the CMI recently reported that 90% of B2C marketers use content as part of their marketing mix, but more than half of those surveyed said they didn’t have a documented strategy for their content marketing efforts.

So, what’s your plan for content marketing success in 2014?

If you’d like to be more strategic about your online efforts in the New Year, content can be the foundation of your plan. As evidenced by the CMI surveys, you need to put someone in charge, and you need to document your strategy. And rather than waiting until January to get started, take the first steps now and get everything in place to start 2014 off right.

Here’s a great example of an organization that did exactly that, beginning last year, and is reaping the benefits now.

Case Study: Successful Content Marketing

Last year, Hilton Head Health (H3) started planning for change and success, and a big part of that plan was to focus time, energy, and resources on their online presence. A well-established weight loss resort – in business for more than 30 years – H3 was looking to revitalize their entire facility and program.

They wanted to increase the effectiveness of their online programs in bringing more new visitors to their website, and more “Guests” into their residential weight loss program. They also wanted to set themselves apart in a crowded and increasingly competitive market by capitalizing on the strength of their brand, especially after one competitor set up shop right on Hilton Head Island.

Brand Manager Adam Martin worked with Nina Hale Inc. to take a more proactive approach to their content marketing effort – developing plans for a revised website, asking for suggestions for new content, and aligning their PPC messaging and landing pages with their SEO efforts.

They took their social program to a new level, implementing a content calendar to plan and stay on track, and calling upon most members of their staff to contribute to the H3 Daily blog. The result? A constant stream of fresh, relevant, engaging content ranging from healthy recipes to Guest testimonials and regularly scheduled features like Fitness Friday.

Social Content Success

They made more effective use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest to attract new Guests and keep in touch with those who have already been through their program. H3 has seen the power of reviews first-hand, and have steadily built their presence on Trip Advisor. Guests are encouraged to let others know about their experiences at the weight loss resort, and the power of their positive feedback recently landed H3 top honors in 10 categories of Spafinder’s Reader’s Choice awards.

H3 Guests are tremendously successful in sticking with the healthy lifestyle regimen they learn at the resort, and Guests enjoy the programs so much, many return on a regular basis. In the past year, H3 has been using weekly press releases and a regular email program to keep H3 in the news and on the minds of potential and repeat Guests.

The H3 team is strategic in its approach to marketing. Their established plan, and also the ability to be fluid with that plan, is making a difference for them this year. Troy Lightfield on the NHI PPC team consults with Adam regularly to review program results, test new landing pages, prepare for special promotions and adjust budgets. Flexibility and the ability to identify new opportunities are always top of mind.

Take a look at their website and check out the H3 Daily blog. Sign up for their email newsletter and check them out on Facebook, and take a cue or two from the H3 playbook for content marketing success. They’re doing everything right with their content marketing program and you can, too.

By having at least one person in your organization focused on your content marketing efforts, and having a documented strategy in place, you can grow your business and elevate your brand to new heights in the New Year.

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