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This week we’re discussing content marketing in a broad sense, and more specifically, content syndication programs.

With user and client expectations expectations on the rise, the space continues to evolve, and become more sophisticated. Companies that fail to keep up risk falling by the wayside.,

Listen in as Dave Fortino, Senior Vice President of Audience and Product at NetLine Corporation, shares some of the most innovative ways he’s seen content syndication programs used.

Highlights from this week’s episode include:

Dave talking about the characteristic of more sophisticated content syndication strategies

Some smart organizations or marketers have taken a phased approach to their content syndication strategy whereby they’ve really thrown away this notion of, “Okay, we’ve got a campaign that has five different assets associated to it. We’re trying to target this one persona.” [With that type of thinking], you kind of fall into this loop of just creating top-of-funnel leads which is really difficult because as a marketer you’re being measured on driving pipe and hopefully closed business. And then immediately you’ve got sales barking back at marketing’s ineffectiveness. And so some of the smarter marketers I’ve seen have evolved quite a bit and understand that, sure, top of the funnel is still really important but having a strategy that aligns content to various phases of the funnel and also to various sub-personas as it relates to funnel engagement. This is really exciting to see.

On rethinking how we target prospective audiences

I think as the automation and the nurturing flows have really kind of further bolstered marketers mindsets on the back end of what’s possible, you’re starting to see this jump forward…we now have so much control what happens with the data once we have it. Once we have a relationship with this prospect perhaps we can be smarter about how we individually target prospects beforehand. To me that’s that’s probably one of the more compelling attributes that we’ve seen executed.

On changing content consumption patterns

We just published this massive consolidation and review of over 8.5 million leads that we processed over the past year. And one thing that stuck out as the first time that we’ve recorded is that e-books have officially taken the volume away from white papers in terms of content consumption. There is still that disparity of what content is being produced versus what content is being consumed. But as a marketer you want to leverage obviously the packaging and the format of content that is most predisposed to be of interest and engaging with your audience base.

On simplifying content to drive better performance

We’ve also seen this concept of the humanisation of content and quite honestly it’s really just about simplifying technical content to something that’s a bit more approachable. At the end of the day, just because you’re an enterprise tech firm and you’re selling a sophisticated solution doesn’t mean you need to talk to people as if they’re always an engineer on the other side, and you certainly don’t need to have engineers being in the position of writing your content in the first place. Distilling otherwise very complicated topics, products or solutions into content that is specifically focused on solving the problems of your prospects, first, in a simplified manner, is the content by far and away that we’ve seen perform the best over the past year.

On disconnects between strategy and execution

I’m constantly talking about a disconnect between marketing strategies and marketing execution. Sometimes it’s a disconnect between what’s verbally being said by a CMO and what’s executionally being done by their staff. Other times it’s a disconnect between what I would perceive to be the campaign execution and ultimately who that content will resonate with, versus the desired resonance point.

On targeting influencers

Less than 5 percent of all of those 8.5 million leads that we’ve processed were assets being consumed by the C-suite, so…if that’s your solitary aspiration I’d be challenging you to see if you have a job in six months or a year simply for the fact that you’ve backed yourself into a corner that is realistically nearly impossible to execute against. These people are just simply far too busy to care about your content, your story, your narrative. Someone else needs to inform them, and someone else inside who they trust not just some random rep that’s selling something. And it could be the best technology and solve the most perfect problem for them. But realistically you know it’s got to come from their influencer staff.

On long form content

Long form content consumption volume increased 36 percent year over year which was phenomenal. Yes, it’s a bit eye opening in the sense that you look at the landscape and it’s littered with content creation everywhere. People are constantly trying to stay in tune with content that’s specific to their role, their function, their industry. And yet the velocity of consumption hasn’t changed. You would think perhaps at some point maybe you’ll reach a plateau with people being overwhelmed by content, but clearly we’re not yet there.

On the content consumption gap

The average time was actually twenty eight hours to download the content and ultimately open it. We see it extend based on job level as well. So within the C suite that extends beyond that I believe it was 36 hours. And it’s interesting to see that on the flip side of that you’ve got consultants who are the most hyper aggressive with content consumption…they’re opening it and starting to read content at a much shorter velocity.

Dave quoted several of the findings from NetLine’s 2017 State of Content Consumption and Demand Report for B2B Marketers. Download a copy here.

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