The Future Looks Bright for Multimedia Content
I recently had the pleasure of being on a panel with Tony Uphoff, CEO at UBM TechWeb. The topic, ‘content is king but distribution is key,’ was part of a half-day event hosted by our friends at Just Media. The event featured great speakers such as Josh Kahn (VP, Private Cloud Marketing, EMC), Marlene Williamson (VP, Global Marketing, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies), and David Appelbaum (CMO, Act-On Software).
It was interesting to reflect on the radical impact the Web and mobile devices have had on marketing and how conversations have moved away from human interaction towards online interaction through content sharing and discussion. This development was reflected in a recent survey on B2B content marketing published by a 20,000-member LinkedIn group that identified two main challenges facing content marketers: the frequency of content creation and the quality of that content.
We have moved from a place where few channels reach many buyers to a place where many channels reach small, defined communities of professionals. This presents both a challenge and an opportunity to content marketers. The challenge is the sheer human and financial resources required to be omnipresent in this new fragmented landscape. The opportunity is to develop a powerful in-bound demand generation machine that uses relevant content at each stage of the buying cycle to drive down the cost of sale.
Despite this opportunity, many brands still haven’t defined a content strategy to respond to the changing behavior of the digital buyer. To produce content at scale, marketers are resorting to text-based assets, such as blog posts, white papers and case studies. However, the Web is saturated with text-based information. How can you make your content stand out to B2B buyers? Research on video adoption by Forbes and Google showed that senior business executives are embracing video as a way of sharing business information. Three-quarters (75%) of executives surveyed said they watch work-related videos on business-related websites at least weekly.
In the past, it has been time consuming and expensive to create, manage, distribute and measure webinars and video, making it difficult to scale multimedia in content marketing. The fragmentation of distribution points made it difficult to distribute content quickly and keep existing content up to date. The emergence of powerful SaaS platforms is changing this dynamic by offering streamlined solutions that distribute content across the Web.
The next generation of the Web is being coded with multimedia at its core. HTML5 will usher in a new era of information engagement, allowing audio and video-based content to potentially replace text as the preferred medium for knowledge dissemination and consumption.
Here are the take-aways I had from the panel session that content marketers can take advantage of in order to stay at the fore front of these trends.
1. Develop a more dynamic, differentiated and measurable conversation with your audience by increasing the percent of multimedia assets (e.g. webinars and videos) in your content marketing mix
2. Start implementing technology that allows you to publish and un-publish multimedia content in real time and measure leads and distribution efficacy in one place
3. Encourage thought leaders to help you create content by adopting easy-to-use tools that don’t require AV professionals in the production process for webinars and videos
4. Listen to your audience by monitoring ratings and feedback and refine your content to increase relevancy for each of the stages of the buying cycle
5. Leverage your audience’s influence by making it easy for them to share your webinars and videos through their social networks, via email and on their websites
Creating quality content regularly can ensure you remain top of mind for your target audience. The reward for this is free distribution as your audience shares your content across the Web helping you reach more potential buyers and turn leads into sales.