• http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    I think it’s important to have a mix of free and “locked” content. If you lock too much of your content behind a registration or lead form you risk not getting it into as many hands as possible. I think you can gate more advanced content, like white paper or webinars, but use free content like blog posts and articles to convince people that locked content is worth going after.

  • http://twitter.com/chiefmartec Scott Brinker

    Agreed, Nick.

    What I’m proposing above as a framework for “active content marketing” doesn’t just mean putting lead forms in front of content. In many cases, the best approach is to simply frame the content with relevant “next steps,” so that AFTER someone consumes the content, they have a clear — but optional — path forward to engage with the company in the context of that piece.

  • Micah Abraham

    I’ve worked with many clients that prefer the passive marketing approach, and I have mixed feelings. One reality, however, is that when you’re not “selling” something your content is more likely to read well, in a way that could conceivably improve rank by a minute margin.

    Still, it’s unlikely to change much. The question is whether the smallest blurb, such as “contact us today to learn more” is enough for content to be considered “active.” Often that’s not enough to provide much of a sell, but at the same time it does provide the call to action that ensures each reader isn’t immediately assuming their next step is to leave the site.

  • Micah Abraham

    To elaborate, I do think the passive marketing approach has its place for simply building content depth or becoming an authority on a topic, but I wonder if adding “contact us today” or the like would be enough to turn it into more active content.

  • http://twitter.com/chiefmartec Scott Brinker

    I agree that there is definitely still a place for passive content marketing. My personal opinion is that it’s particularly effective at maintaining a broad set of relationships with customers and influencers in one’s market.

    I guess the “contact us today” link could be considered the simplest “next step” to offer someone. But it’s pretty generic, and where that contact leads — particularly in larger companies — may lose the context in which the customer is interested.

    To me, active content marketing means there’s enough meat in the “framing” around the core content that you can tailor it to the right context, meaningful test different alternatives, and present a richer, compelling “next step” message in the space that surrounds the content. The flow of where that prospect goes next is also designed to maintain the right context for them down the line.

  • http://twitter.com/CrowdbaitHQ Crowdbait HQ

    After reading this I think that it is important to understand exactly WHY content marketing works the way it does. If you don’t understand this then you will never fully have an understanding of how to better your efforts and increase the successfulness of a Content Marketing campaign. Sure the marketing needs to be “more active” but why does it work, if it is more active? At Crowdbait, we wrote an article that incorporated 3 posts from separate writers and I think I may use this article in my next post to add clarity to the discussion. Feel free to check out the article for this week explaining WHY content marketing works the way it does.

    http://crowdbait.co.uk/news/content-marketing-we-all-know-how-it-works-but-do-we-really-know-why-it-works-1329/

  • Kid World Citizen World Citize

    This is interesting- I’d like to know how content marketing can help, and how it differs depending on the product.

  • http://twitter.com/Cadence9 Cadence9

    Google is getting more sophisticated with how it ranks websites. Stuffing content with a bunch of keywords and links just does not cut it for SEO anymore. It takes
    frequent and original well written content that speaks to a target audience. The
    content needs to address wants, concerns and questions potential customers are
    facing. Talk about these issues and then also conjure up a solution for their question/problem to be most effective.

    On the front page of BtoB Magazine in the September 17, 2012 issue, one of the key topics captioned is, “Content Marketing Comes of Age.” The article points out that 34% of those participating in the study stated that they are “fully” or “very” engaged in content marketing compared with only 18% last year. Another 66% said that they will be “fully” or “very” engaged in 2013

    Franchises need to get on the boat with expanding their digital fingerprint. They need of a solution that encompasses the entire content marketing lifecycle from beginning to end. Some of the things that should be included are the abilities to facilitate goals, plan with an editorial calendar, publish to a limitless number of social media channels
    or custom blogs, engage with those who comment/like/share your content and then
    measure your ROI.

    After doing some research, here are a few companies that focus on content marketing:

    Involver by Oracle
    Shoutlet
    Cadence9
    Buddy Media
    Context Optional (Adobe
    Social)
    Skyword