May 19, 2020

A Guide to Great Content Marketing

online marketing
Online Marketing Summit
content marketing
Joe Pulizzi
Bizclik Editor
3 min
A Guide to Great Content Marketing

 

Earlier this month, we attended the 2012 Online Marketing Summit (OMS) and sat in on some fascinating presentations from leaders in the web marketing sphere. There was a lot of talk throughout the four-day event about content marketing and the ways that blogs, webinars, white papers and email can engage and intrigue customers.

If your company hasn’t looked into content marketing, it’s definitely time to get with the program and consider its effectiveness in marketing campaigns. Content Marketing Institute, a marketing educator and consultant, surveyed a group of marketers in 2011 and 2010 and found that marketers are becoming increasingly confident about the effectiveness of their content marketing strategies.

content marketing Figure_5.jpg

Content Marketing Institute Founder Joe Pulizzi spoke during OMS about the differences between good content marketing and great content marketing.  

Pulizzi stressed that storytelling is essential to great marketing and highlighted six tips to help you build a story that will keep the public interested and involved in your brand:

1.       Content should be focused and driven: Create the best content by going broad in a super niche, becoming the leading expert in your field and avoiding overt sales pitches. Content should be customer centric, not sales-focused.

2.       Open up new content and media markets: Experiment with different types of content to find what your audience finds most beneficial.

3.       Clearly define the chief storyteller: Someone on your team needs to own your content marketing process. Hiring a managing editor or content producer will improve your brand’s story.

4.       Leverage employees in content creation: When employees are encouraged to create content, they become more educated about your industry, advocate your brand and establish your team as an informed resource.

5.       Remove the brand from the story: The less you mention your brand, the farther your story will travel. Readers will share quality content and information and your brand will reap the benefits, even without conspicuous branding.

6.       Build the influencer or customer community: Focus on referral traffic and tap into the resources of influencers and thought leaders in your industry.

Pulizzi also gave kudos to companies that have utilized content marketing successfully, including Coca-Cola, Google, American Express, Sherwin Williams and OpenView. OpenView’s blog has been particularly noteworthy, as the company has grown to average 24 blog posts a week with 90 percent participation from employees. The OpenView newsletter boasts over 10,000 subscribers.

Some additional tips from Pulizzi:

·         Think like a publisher

·         Choose a niche you can lead

·         Develop the best multi-channel content on the planet

·         Remove you from the story as much as possible

One of the most important things to remember when embarking on a content marketing endeavor is that although content creation may seem time consuming at first, it really is worth the effort. Take the time to craft your story, establish your market and regularly develop quality content.

For more information, check out Content Marketing Institute’s research report on 2012 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends here: http://www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/2011/12/2012-b2b-content-marketing-research/

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Jun 18, 2021

Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR

NASCAR
Microsoft
3 min
Racing fans can expect the ultimate virtual experience as a result of the partnership with Microsoft and NASCAR

Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).

These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack. 

“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”

“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”

“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR

  • Empower employees productivity and collaboration
  • Improve fan engagement and experience
  • Improve environment security and IT productivity
  • Improve racing operations

 

Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.

“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”

“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives. 

“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.

Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”

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