Content Marketing…The New Rules

With traditional marketing channels drying up and consumer attention increasingly fragmented, content marketing is key for brands to reach their core audience. Many, though, are not seeing the success they hope for. One common mistake is confusing content marketing with advertising. The rules of the game are different. Messaging that is consistently too product-focused rather than being entertaining, educational or emotionally moving will fail to engage consumers or lead to conversion. To avoid these pitfalls, it pays to put time and thought into doing strategic foundational work before creating any content.

Creating Content That Gets Results
First, it’s important to understand who your target customer is, what their entertainment needs are, and who they are engaging with. This determines where you can play and what you can talk about. While a portion of any campaign will tout your product, to hold consumers’ interest you must broaden out to include tangential topics that are relevant to them and speak in an authentic voice. This requires strategy and creativity. Assess your internal organization. Do you have the best people in place to accomplish this or do you need outside counsel? With the right team, your content will become the conversation consumers remember.

Reaching Your Consumer: The Biggest Mistake Companies Make
We asked Joanne Tombrakos, professor of Digital Marketing and Social Media at New York University, for her advice to companies launching a content marketing campaign, including the mistakes to avoid. Tombrakos writes regularly for ForbesWoman, Thrive Global and The Huffington Post.

“Many companies know they need content to share on social media but have trouble letting go of traditional push marketing. They tend to talk at their customers instead of to them, forgetting they are trying to connect with other human beings. Today’s customer is very savvy. They know when someone is trying to sell them something and they turn away. Good content that is informative, useful, relevant, sometimes entertaining and may in some way make someone’s life a bit easier is what works. In the end, selling less will actually lead to more success.”

Martellus in Action: 3 Steps for a More Effective Campaign
Martellus Expert Nadina Guglielmetti is a digital and content marketing veteran who has launched and scaled best-in-class online experiences for Fortune 500 companies. Here, she shares the foundational steps necessary for creating content that resonates.

1. Know how you differentiate. Study the competition across all categories. Understand which brands your consumer is paying attention to and why.

2. Provide a value exchange with your customer. Map out an audience profile. Know which channels your audience looks to and what they want. Decide where you can add the most value so they are willing to spend time with your content.

3. Outline your playground. Your content topics should be authentic and tied to your brand DNA and positioning.

The Gig Economy…The Rise of On-Demand Experts

According to a recent study by The Aspen Institute for the Future of Work (done in conjunction with the Markle Foundation, Burson-Marsteller and TIME), 70% of companies surveyed said they believe more businesses will move to an on-demand labor model. While the rapid expansion of the sharing economy is garnering its share of headlines, one of the fastest growing segments is the deployment of highly experienced executives on a project basis.

At Martellus, we believe real change happens when you combine deep subject matter knowledge with hands-on experience and organizational savvy to ensure that decisions are activated. A seasoned executive who concentrates on the ‘how’ as much as the ‘why’ can accelerate performance, warn about potential pitfalls, speed up decision-making, help with fundamentals and become an objective sounding board for leaders. For us, the sharing economy lies in sharing knowledge, know-how and experience.

The Secret to Better Results: Leadership and On-Demand Experts

We asked leading expert Dr. John J. Sumanth, James Farr Fellow at the Organizational Behavior Center for Leadership & Character of Wake Forest University, for his advice on how business leaders can ensure the best results when bringing in outside experts.

“One of the biggest mistakes firms make is assuming that consultants don’t need to be effectively integrated and socialized into the organization’s culture and norms at the outset of a project, since they’re brought in to provide third-party objectivity and insight. However, failing to take time at the beginning to help the external team understand the organization’s culture, where the organizational land mines are, who the informal power players are and what the political landscape looks like can help the consulting team avoid missteps and enhance its credibility when it comes time to making recommendations. Clients who take some time at the beginning of a project to clearly define the organizational playing field for the consulting team will build internal trust and help to set the external experts up for long-term success.”

Martellus in Action: How to Improve Outcomes

Martellus Expert Sherry Weiss has experience as an in-house executive (Citi, and as a sought-after consultant focused on the intersection of marketing and product. Here, she shares her tips on how to enhance results when bringing in a consultant.

1. Make sure your team knows why the consultant is there and what their role is. Taking time to clear the path at the start will speed up results down the road.

2. Think about the incoming expert as an extension of your own team; grant them the same access to information and your own time as the rest of your staff.

3. Reduce potential stress by letting your team know that the expert is there to enhance outcomes and make them more successful, not find fault.