Interesting MarketingProfs article the other day on B2B content marketing trends. One part, in particular, caught my eye:

"The key is to identify which channels, if any, deliver more return than others. Then, ensure that your level of investment matches your audience's use of that channel."

So true!
That's why we developed this process for vetting content marketing channels, especially online/social ones. The graphic shows social channels only, but the process works regardless of channel type:
A handy process for choosing marketing & communications channels

Click image for larger view. Copyright 2010 TTMS/TWF

It works like this:

1. Brainstorm channel options

Include stakeholders from across the organization, like marketing, CRM, sales, etc. The idea is to get as many people who can help you align choices to business goals while addressing the needs and preferences of your target audience. For more ideas, check out the first box in my content supply chain model.

2. Vet against your purpose

What do you want the audience to think or do? Delete any channels that don't make sense for what you're trying to accomplish.

3. Vet against target audience(s)

Who are they and what channels do they use? Drop any channels that your audience doesn't use, or doesn't use for the purpose you have in mind.

4. Challenge your assumptions

What channels “should” we use because of existing partnerships or corporate expectations? Do any media create legal or regulatory issues? What outlets does our audience expect to use? Do our customers really look for this kind of content or take this kind of action via this channel?

5. Select your final channel mix

The channels you have left are the ones that best suit the purpose and audience of your online marketing and content. Set up some metrics for checking off your assumptions and you're ready to roll.

A better process yields better results

Using a deliberate process for evaluating your content marketing channels will help you make better choices. It's a great way to build an initial matrix that you can then evaluate against metrics that measure engagement, sales, etc. Additionally, you can:
  • Save time and money by avoiding extra cycles to correct miscues.
  • Increase buy-in from the C suite, management and other stakeholders.
  • Achieve more effective integration with other initiatives and goals.
  • Experience better results by delivering the message to the right people through the right media.

You can download more tips and a blank organizer here. Drop me a line if you have questions or if you'd like me to walk you and your team through the process.

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