By Joe Chernov, VP of Content Marketing, Eloqua
Social media and demand generation are becoming marketing’s equivalent of the Hatfields and McCoys. The feud runs hot, and ultimately comes down to fundamentally different worldviews. Social media practitioners tend to trust that great content and great experiences will, eventually, result in new buyers. demand gen professionals believe in one thing: data.
Believe me, I run social media for Eloqua, a company in the lead generation industry.
Despite the fact that social media pros are in the “people” business while their demand gen counterparts are in the “numbers” business, both sides converge in one area: content. Without content, marketing’s engine runs dry. Nurturing programs stall, tweets sputter, the blog seizes up, and lead scoring grinds to a halt. Content is marketing fuel. It’s our most precious resource.
But just as content can be the common ground that brings together social and demand, without a carefully planned strategy for distribution and measurement, even the best content is unlikely to have a material impact on customer acquisition and revenue growth. Effective content marketing requires more than “just” killer E-books, white papers, landing pages and infographics. It also demands a sophisticated understanding of what types should be distributed over which channels and when in the buying process they will have the greatest impact.
It’s the realization that content itself is a very small piece of content marketing that surprises most observers. Distribution, timing, re-imagining, gating (or not-gating), segmenting and, of course, measuring – each of these considerations is nearly as important as the actual content being promoted.
If this all sounds like too much, don’t worry. No company has it all figured out just yet. Even at Eloqua, where we pride ourselves on being at the front of this movement, we too sometimes find ourselves caught in the tug-o-war between social and demand. This is why we created The Content Grid v2 infographic. We wanted to document our vision for the idea content marketing model, and then share it with other marketers who might be able to benefit from the visualized framework.
We see The Content Grid v2 as a bridge connecting social media to demand generation. We use it internally – it’s pinned to bulletin boards and poster-sized versions are being mounted all over our offices. It serves not only as a sensible process for matching content type and channel to funnel stage, but it also doubles as a prescription – a prescription for a healthier relationship between the Hatfields and McCoys.
Joe is the vice president of content marketing for Eloqua, and he co-chairs the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s member ethics panel. One of the industry’s most award-winning content marketers, Joe is responsible the creation of all of Eloqua’s market-facing content and the distribution of that material throughout the social Web. Joe oversees public relations, analyst relations and social media. Before joining Eloqua, Joe was the VP of communications and associate VP of marketing for word-of-mouth media firm, BzzAgent. He has presented to the FTC about the Commission’s “Endorsement Guidelines” and has lectured on content marketing and social media ethics at universities and international marketing conferences.