Monday, November 17, 2014

CMO: Content is King - Are You Leveraging the Best Content for Your Market?

As a CMO, it’s not surprising that more and more companies are increasing their spend and focus on producing and spreading relevant content. As a brand manager for a Fortune 150 company and owner of several small businesses, I too am shifting my focus to the importance of content marketing. During my time as a graduate student at Northwestern Medill IMC program, I found two insightful articles on leveraging and producing amazing content for your business/organization.

The first article, titled “So You’ve Made Some Content, Now What Do You Do With It” by Tim Peterson and published on October 13, 2014 focuses on how content can make or break your marketing and social strategy. Peterson notes that marketers, on average, are spending 40% of their budgets on content marketing.  Although some content may work on multiple platforms, organizations continue to look at how each social medium requires different types or variations of a particular piece of content. The user’s content needs vary greatly from Facebook to Twitter and everything in between.

The next article, “6 Tools To Jump Start Your Video Content Marketing” by Drew Hendricks was published on October 16, 2014.  Hendricks offers insights into how the content marketing is changing – from social media and blogs to video and infographics in order to appeal visually to consumers. Like the previous article, Hendricks also believes using the right type of content for the right type of channel is key to success.  In fact, he finds that many businesses are finding they need an arsenal of resources to help develop these many different types of content needed and includes a list of affordable video services for organizations looking to diversify their creation types:, Wideo, Screenr and Wistia.

After reviewing these articles, and based on my experience through the graduate program at Northwestern Medill IMC, here are three easy action items any CMO should immediately begin to think about and take action on:
1.     Identify your audience: sometimes your online audience is different than your offline one, make sure you know who you are targeting and what social sites they are currently using.
2.     Make your organization different:  what do you deliver from a product and knowledge standpoint that others don’t? How can you leverage your content in a creative way that other competitors aren’t doing?
3.     Where do you post: do you have more engagement on Facebook; does your business lend itself well to Instagram? Knowing where your customers will go for content is crucial. Determine the medium you’ll deliver your content through and identify what external resources you’ll need to produce and share it.

Jessica Balfour (@JezzieMarie) is a Chicago-based brand manager for Exelon Corporation, the nation’s leading diversified energy provider and a Northwestern University graduate student in the Integrated Marketing Communications program.  In addition, Jessica co-owns two small businesses downtown Chicago including, Chicago Institute of Natural Health and CrossFit 312. 


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