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September 30, 2014

SMX East Liveblog: The 4th Wave of Content Marketing

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Content may be king, but content marketing is a constant battle for information. Even if you make it to the top of the heap, someone’s gunning for your head. Most marketers fight this fact by creating more content, spending more money on content, and it’s asymptomatically impossible to break through.

Well, today we’re at the forefront of a movement to make technologists and marketers talk to each other. This session is called “The 4th Wave of Content Marketing: From Passive to Interactive” and it’s about the next thing in content. Don’t just publish more, make it interactive with marketing apps.

Speaker: Scott Brinker, co-founder & CTO, ion interactive, inc. (@chiefmartec)

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The odds of any one piece of content breaking through gets smaller and smaller. You can get ebook after report after webinar. There’s only so many of these things you can consume before you tune out. Still, 67% of the buyer’s journey is done digitally. So, what’s lost as marketing replaces sales interactions?

Sales was talking with a prospect. Marketing is talking “with” a prospect.

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“Nurture” has become a terrific euphemism. Think of a lead form before offering content to put that consumer into a nurture campaign. Consumers now realize “this is a trap!”

The 4 Waves of Content Marketing

Wave 1: Web pages

Wave 2: Rich content — high quality, beautifully designed infographics. Webinars are rich content.

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Wave 3: Personalization — still guessing about what data to use to personalize content; it’s helpful but not a panacea.

These 3 waves have in common that they’re all passive.

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What’s the solution? He’s finding the marketing app is a useful tool.

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Compare and Contrast: Passive Content vs. Interactive Content

An example, on the one hand they put together webinars and ebooks about the value of A/B testing, and on the other was a game where you see 2 A/B test pages and you picked which won and then saw the results of the real tests. This game offered:

  • Immediate consumption
  • Responsive design so everyone can use it
  • Invests users in the outcomes to demonstrate testing is better than guessing
  • Quick exercise and it is memorable
  • Shows the quality of work produced with the software and social proof of users

The game puts the lead collection form at the end of the form. They make a low-hurdle offer (email me the hypothesis) and see better results than with their webinars.

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If content marketing is about educating prospects, let’s take inspiration from great teachers. Ascribe, experiential learning over purely passive. Ask students to predict the outcome of an experiment beforehand, they are more likely to remember the outcome.

It’s enormously powerful when you’re not only publishing content where customers are, but beyond that, causing them to interact.

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