Your content is great, right? Right? At least so say your marketing managers. Let’s assume they’re correct. Your content is the shiz-nit. It’s great stuff, easy to understand, performs reasonably well on your web site, perhaps it’s also well-received by your sales org.
So what’s the ROI? Are you able to measure this? Probably not. But I’ll assume you’re doing the right things with your web analytics, iterating content based on user demand while also leveraging some amount of social threading to get your content out through as many social channels as your audience demands.
Now imagine you CAN measure the performance of your content. You can determine some semblance of effectiveness for your marketing and sales campaigns. Your content is driving leads into the pipeline.
I bet you’re now thinking, “Well isn’t it?” My web guy tells me we have a low bounce rate with a healthy site click-through rate, our online media buys are driving conversions, and my social manager is rocking Twitter with some pretty solid engagement.
Now ask your “listening champions” how content is being used to nurture your social audiences. I bet it’s not. And I’m speaking from experience. You’re likely sharing good content manually, making judgment calls on what might be interesting to your social peeps. That’s fine. For the majority of cases, there’s no hard rule to know social threading is working. That’s the nature of the beast. You need to get your content into as many of the relevant conversations across the social web as possible.
I’ve written before about my pull-push-pull theory of social marketing. I argue that good social engagement begins by asking your audience what they are looking for. Social listeners understand this. That’s their job. They seek conversations relevant to your business. They are the über Community Manager.
Imagine if you will there’s a way to take this model and leverage social listening concepts to place your best content in front of folks expressing need. Imagine taking action to drive social intelligence in a very targeted manner.
What might be possible if you could parse your existing content (e.g. communities, web collateral, webinars, whitepapers, etc…anything you’d use for “content marketing”) and combine it with social listening to find the people out in the social ether who are looking for what you have to offer? Powerful idea, right?
What if you could perform fast, efficient and highly targeted content/audience matching through social media? A new player in the social intelligence world calls this approach “outreach marketing.” Their tool promises that you can literally reach out and help people you don’t know with your content to form new relationships with prospective customers around their needs and your solutions.
This idea should put social listening and outreach marketing at the top of your sales funnel. The potential here is amazing, leveraging listening to put YOUR targeted content in the hands of those who are seeking it.
Thanks go to my friend @ccarfi for sharing NeedTagger with me. Firms like this are going to define how content marketing can deliver results.