There is probably no doubt about the importance of content for online marketing and lead generation. Without high-quality, target-group-oriented content, not much works today in modern online marketing and distribution.
Even Google has ensured with its various updates that these high-quality content is necessary. But the triumphant advance of social media, business networks and Web 2.0 platforms requires more and more content. And that’s why there has to be someone who cares about what content is needed, how and by whom it’s created and where it’s distributed – the content manager.
Content Manager – what is it?
The Federal Employment Agency describes the professional image of a content manager as follows: “Content managers design and optimize the content organization of websites, Internet portals or company-internal networks and manage their content.” Focus Online contains the following description of the professional image Content Manager: “Sie organize the multimedia contents of a website. Content managers are just as responsible for editorial planning as they are for business management issues. “Content Management can even be studied at the University of Leipzig and the Calw University of Applied Sciences, says Focus Online.
Content Manager today: But just this focus on pure “online jobs” is no longer enough. The task of the modern content manager goes far beyond the “online jobs”, even begins far before – at least, if he and his work or client is interested in it, with his online activities also a reaction in the addressed by him Target audience.
Content strategy and content plan instead of random
“A content strategy replaces the random principle,” says PR blogger Klaus Eck. In itself is to be agreed, but probably exactly this random principle on many websites is still widespread. “I write then, if I can think of something,” is probably the motto. And if you can only think of something, the website will be unkempt, not to mention your own blog and social media profiles. The task of a content manager today must be to develop and implement a target group-oriented content strategy. This begins with the detailed target group analysis, in English usage one likes to speak of the so-called “Buyer persona”. The better you know your target audience and the better you align your content with their specific needs, challenges and goals – throughout their decision-making process or purchasing cycle – the more successful you will be with their content strategy. Furthermore, a content plan is needed that specifies as detailed and precise as possible over a certain period of time, who communicates what and where to whom. Everything else is “try and error” or piecemeal and does not help in today’s online marketing.
Content is king – but where to take it from, if not steal it?
The subject of content in connection with online marketing or search engine marketing has been discussed for some time now. The triumph of social media and the latest Google updates have led to a refocusing of the content topic among many marketing executives. And that’s why people everywhere point out the importance of distributing attractive content across the now diverse communication channels. However, it is often forgotten to mention where this content should come from. Few of us manage to create “fast” content, such as a background article, a blog post, a video or an e-book. Many of us are already failing to find a topic. As a result, instead of high-quality content, the company’s well-known marketing statements are once again “whetted”.
The task of a content manager must therefore be to tap into content sources that provide him with continuous and automated input for his content strategy. If there’s rarely something new in business, content managers need to think about what else might interest prospects and customers, other than the latest product feature. He should also find out which formats are suitable for addressing the target group. The communication of many companies – especially in business-to-business – is still far too text-heavy today. A video tutorial or even a podcast enriches the content mix and opens up completely new target groups via additional communication channels. But again, let’s stick the marketing leg. It does not do much to “burn” many hours of video for corporate videos, which are nothing more than filmed company brochures. A Youtube user will probably not watch a three-minute video telling just how old the company is, how many people it has and of course that it does everything for the benefit of its customers. Even if it is accompanied by groovy music and scenes from everyday life there are fewer clicks for such a video.
Content Recycling – Do not just dump content
Another important task for the content manager is the so-called “content recycling”. No, not exactly the disposal of contents, but the recycling. High-quality content is expensive – whether it’s self-created or delivered by an outside service provider. That’s why the content manager has to think about whether and how to “recycle” content right from the start. This not only optimizes the cost / benefit ratio, but may also open up completely new target groups.
Content Marketing – old wine in new bottles?
For many different professions, such as customer and home magazine editor, PR consultant, business development manager for a convention organizer or operator of online portals, one of the main challenges is to market content to a specific audience. What was formerly known as corporate publishing, press relations, event management or corporate communications is today called content marketing. However, the task was always the same, namely to prepare content for a target group in such a way that the customer finds this content so interesting that he, for example, reads a customer and home magazine, publishes a press release or visits an event. Although Web 2.0 and social media have led to a multitude of media and communication channels, the basic challenge has remained. It’s even gotten bigger – or to quote PR blogger Eck again: “Nobody is waiting for your content today!
Today’s Content Manager has the following tasks:
- Seeding and link building operate. This means making sure that other topic-related websites refer to their own content. This helps with search engine optimization and ensures that people become aware of the company, who are otherwise not directly addressable.
- Take care of communicators such as bloggers and operators of targeted online forums. This is an important part of the seeding and link building, but also helps in the topic research, if the blogs and online portals to address the relevant target groups.
- To establish a smooth process for lead generation. Because otherwise traffic will be generated accordingly, but no new contacts.
Inbound Marketing – the new mantra for online marketing and distribution
Unlike content marketing, the term inbound marketing in the German-speaking countries has not yet really established itself. However, there is an increasing number of consultant websites and presentations of the term “inbound marketing funnel”, which is so popular in the US in particular, for “inbound marketing funnels”. In principle, the goal is to generate as many contacts as possible in a funnel using a wide range of channels, which are then further evaluated, maintained and ultimately transformed into concrete sales contacts and ultimately to customers via a sophisticated system of so-called “nurturing” actions.
Again, this concept is not really new. The conversion rate or conversion rate already played a key role in various jobs as a product manager in specialist publishers in the late 1980s, only that at that time it was about specialist books and direct mailing campaigns. And even if you deal with search engine optimization and search engine marketing, the “conversion” plays a central role. Especially social media and Web 2.0 offer huge opportunities today to fill such a “funnel”, but then they have to be “nurtured” and ultimately converted to customers. The fact that 1,000 fans or followers do not mean that now 1,000 potential customers are reached, should have gotten around by now
How companies can successfully operate online marketing
The role of the content manager has indeed changed – from the pure “online steller” to the almost editorial content manager, who has to take care of a multi-level content process – from the target group-oriented content strategy to the procurement of content and the Create to the point of marketing.
In companies that want to be successful in online marketing today, there has to be the function of the content manager, who coordinates these tasks, partially takes over and controls the results. Not every company will be able to afford one or more full-time content managers. Duties of a company that wants to successfully engage in online marketing must be:
- Create a target group-oriented content strategy and a concrete content plan in advance.
- From the content plan, determine the content formats that best fit the audience and their information needs.
- Open up content sources that make it possible to continuously access current content without having to start over again.
- The result must then be posted online on your own platform.
- Have the tools and tools to do it all
The Content Manager – never was he as valuable as today – this statement can be fully agreed. However, in most companies, it will not be possible in the future to fill the position of content manager “full time”, let alone to do the same as a whole editorial team, as is often the case with large companies. Working as a Content Manager will therefore continue to be one of several marketing tasks in many companies in the future.