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Hey Integrated Marketer, How Much Content Do You Need?

Posted on the 10 December 2013 by Marketingtango @marketingtango

Content marketing will continue to be a hot integrated marketing tactic in 2014, and one of the best returns on investment for business-to-business marketers, according to research just published by LinkedIn, MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute.

In their study, 73 percent of marketers are creating more content then they did last year, and the most successful marketers are promoting their content across seven social media platforms on average. The study also revealed that infographics represent one of the most successful strategies.

Although studies like this confirm that content marketing is a resounding success — and that more companies are embracing it — many integrated marketers are perplexed by a simple question: Just how much content do I need to produce?

Fortunately, Jay Baer, author of the New York Times best-selling business book, “Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help not Hype,” developed a formula to answer this question.

Memorize This Formula for Content Marketing Success

Writing for Social Media Today, Baer introduced a three-component formula:

  1. 1.   What are your personas? These are categories of distinct buyers for your products and services?
  2. 2.   What are your buying stages? This component refers to the typical steps in your sales cycle, from awareness to purchase.
  3. 3.   What questions need to be answered to move to the next stage? Buyers advance through the sales cycle by asking questions and receiving answers that give them confidence in their purchasing decisions.

To ensure content marketing success, Baer recommends creating one piece of content to answer each question. Here’s how the formula would play out:

Number of Personas x Number of Buying Stages x Number of Questions in Each Stage =

Number of Questions You Need to Answer

To illustrate, let’s look at a hypothetical example:

ABC Manufacturing sells to a large customer base with five distinct personas. Each persona typically cycles through an eight-stage sales process. During that process, each persona usually needs three questions answered, per stage.

In this hypothetical example, ABC Manufacturing needs 120 questions answered. (5 x 8 x 3 = 120). Using this formula, ABC can predict that they’ll need 120 pieces of content — such as blog posts, videos, FAQs, presentations, infographics, white papers and case studies — to make its content marketing strategy a success.

“Even if you have a FAQ today, I can almost guarantee it covers far less than 120 questions,” Baer asserts.

So start writing! For additional ideas on ways to connect company or product content with buyers, read “Content Marketing: 3 Ways to Connect with Customers Now.”

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