If you want to stay ahead of the pack and emerge from the tough, energized competition to grow your business in 2019, consider publishing a branded Content Hub.
Content marketing has become one of the most important marketing strategies to companies today. Content is part of our culture. Smart marketers understand it is important to invest the proper amount of time and resources into their content marketing strategy because the long tail effectiveness provides a better return than paid advertising. Moreover, a sustained concentration of effort around a Content Hub enables you to reap a return on your content publishing investment well into the future.
The new year is the perfect time to consider building a branded Content Hub, and refocus your content strategy for a successful 2019 — and beyond. A Content Hub creates a platform to generate awareness and demand in your market, influences customer decisions, generates leads and keeps your brand top-of-mind with customers. The key is to identify your goals and the pipeline you need to build to achieve them. After that, evaluate the type of content it will take to attract customers and move deals along.
Content Hub vs. Website
Also known as a portal, or online magazine, your Content Hub is a destination that aggregates your demand generation content — whether it’s curated, feature-quality, video, branded thought leadership, user-generated, social media, and more. These hubs are typically smaller than corporate websites, but larger than a blog with more kinds of content. Like a magazine, your Content Hub should have a name that reflects the value of your offering and connects with your ideal buyers.
The key differences between a branded Content Hub, and a company website or blog include:
- Richer experience: A branded Content Hub uses a media property approach to production.
- Achieve an outcome: Your multimedia material should be designed to provide information for your audience that will achieve an outcome in the more sophisticated way that a publisher would.
- Generate ROI: Unlike a traditional media outlet, your hub will be focused on the value of a new lead for your pipeline, instead of advertising revenues. (Check out our Content Hub ROI calculator) You might also place a value on Customer Audience retention.
Producing a branded Content Hub to distribute your media does much more than simply drive traffic to your website. Providing a carefully planned “owned media” property to concentrates your messaging to become a force multiplier. Your integrated communications will serve and support your customer’s interests, based on profiles and pathways you build over time. Your Content Hub will bolster engagement efforts; provide your audience with opportunities to watch videos, read articles, sign up for webinars; catch up on events, download helpful premium content; and exchange thought-leading views at an industry or category level. Your Customer Audience should feel like an honored guest at your “show.” You are aligning with their values through the experience. Make it easy to talk to human beings if someone wants to!
The sky is the limit as to how you present your content. A Content Hub serves as a flexible niche-building forum for your business. Give it some personality. WordPress offers themes for journalism or magazine “look & feel,” or your designer and web team can create a custom look. Some companies extend their branded Content Hub to their tradeshows and customer events. Others might have several smaller hubs to serve customer segments, leverage keywords and generate SEO authority. The key is to tie all sources of traffic into your marketing automation and CRM systems and processes.
Building Your Content Hub
Implementation requires a collaborative approach — both in your organization or in-house agency, and your broader team. We call it the Publisher’s M.O.™ (modus operandi). It begins with you: Provide a vision big and audacious enough to initiate a concerted initiative that everybody can rally around. You have to be a leader.
The successful Content Hub team includes marketing team members and a unique mix agencies, writers, creators, videographers, designers, and web developers. Everyone must work together to create an amazing experience for your customers. When you get this kind of syncronicity, it enables you as a marketer to operate from a defensible position of thought leader and publisher. Your brand becomes a trusted advisor in the media.
At Publi.io, we work with clients to help them achieve ROI from their digital publishing. We can help you define a strategy based on exploring and applying these seven “Publisher’s M.O. Buckets”
- Northstar idea
2. Editorial strategy
3. Publishing strategy
4. Community and events
5. Marketing automation
6. Sales model
7. ROI model (lead generation and strategic KPIs)
The Publisher’s M.O. will also provide an agile marketing system to get your internal and virtual team onboard quickly, so you can be up and publishing quickly.
While there are numerous ways to implement a content marketing strategy, your Customer Audience will always respond negatively to inconsistent and poor quality content. Equally, if you have good-to-excellent journalistic quality, entertaining content that is integrated subtly with your promotional efforts, your Content Hub will concentrate your brand message into a demand generation powerhouse.
To find out what works and what doesn’t work for your business, survey competitors, ask customers and salespeople about topics, read the media in your niche or industry. Take an inventory of what you already have available that with a little tweaking can be part of your launch. And don’t forget to build your Content Hub with strict adherence to technical SEO guidelines — search engine optimization is another area where an engaging Content Hub strategy really shines. After a soft launch period, consider producing a webinar with influencers as “guest talent” to unveil and promote your Content Hub and generate new leads.
Everybody loves a winner! A well-conceived Content Hub strategy will also enhance your team’s ability to stay focused and motivated. With your strategy framework defined, your team will be on point to build out the content and tech stacks and then distribute the content by email, social media, influencers, your sales team — however you choose. Your content enables your team to engage your customer audience who interact with your media and respond to the offers you make along their journey. And that is the cool kind of project leaders want to be associated with.
Sound good? To get started, define and set reasonable goals and objectives, and get your team ready to launch a new media property for 2019! Use a methodology like the Publisher’s M.O.™ to define ROI, lay out the roadmap, and get your team on board. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
Make it a great 2019… Think Like a Publisher to Grow Your Business!