[Editor’s Note: How to go about matching the right content to the right sets of eyeballs is a common pain point for today’s businesses, and can be particularly frustrating for the content creators. In this post, (originally published here), Influititive’s VP of marketing, Jim Williams, explains why pairing content marketing with advocacy marketing is the golden ticket.]
Like most buzzwords in the tech space, “content marketing” often conjures images of a frenzied effort. In this particular case, it’s a mad rush to develop as much content as possible and get it in front of as many eyes as possible. But as any seasoned content professional will probably tell you, without a proper strategy, the “as much/as many” approach often leads to a sharp downturn in quality and a serious depletion of resources with little to no ROI. Already, some analyst firms like Sirius Decisions are suggesting that up to 70 percent of content produced by b2b teams is going unused. Bummer.
Alone, content marketing simply isn’t enough anymore. In addition to being hard on the content creators, the sheer amount of information available at any given time has made consumers extra selective about what they consume. Today, a bit of an intermediary is required between content and audience — something that will make sure the right material is passed to the right eyes, creating a domino sharing effect.
Enter advocate marketing.
Content + Advocates = Sharing Bliss
Think about taking your content to your advocates like you would to your social streams. They act similarly in that they’re both distribution networks built out advance, except advocates do away with the whole spam attack thing. Where your social followers can be fickle and transient, advocates share content enthusiastically and, more importantly, with the people who would find it relevant. Those people then share it within their own networks, and pretty soon you’ve built a regular, consistent content distribution network anchoring your content marketing strategy.
Planning for Success
But advocates aren’t just about content distribution, they can help marketers to plan more effectively by serving as a wellspring and sounding board for content ideas. For example, by simply asking advocates what it is they’d like to know or read about, a company can get a good idea of what sort of content–topic, format, etc.–will hit their target market the hardest in terms of digital virality. Further, companies can turn to advocates in advance of publicly publishing a piece to make sure they’ve addressed all of the high interest points within that topic, and can even arrange a bit of helpful pre-promotion.