Recently, I attended the largest content marketing focused event in the world, aptly named Content Market World. While there, I attended a series of conferences, keynotes and breakout sessions, but I discovered that the sessions that I found the most powerful, often had the simplest messages. Namely, the session called “Native Content: The B2B Survival Guide.”
In this session several marketers from IEEE brought us back to basics – starting from the ground up, they explored what makes good native advertising, and where the pitfalls of native advertising occur. One of the key concepts they pushed was the “Four Pillars of Content,” which should serve as a jumping off point for creating any piece of content. Use these four pillars to start, restart, or re-energize your native advertising program.
Also referred to as “intent,” one of the first steps to creating your content is deciding what it will be used for. Is your goal with the piece of content to drive views to a webpage? Downloads of a white paper? Subscriptions to a newsletter? Decide this first, then craft your piece of content to achieve this goal. The other half of this pillar means not only understanding your content and its purpose, but also understanding your audience. It’s much harder to get your target audience to read your infographic or view your video if you don’t understand their needs, pain points or what’s relevant to them.
“You need to find the right person to create the right piece of content.” This sounds like an easy enough prospect – just find an expert in the field and get them to do it. While in theory this makes sense, the minutiae of your objective can make this a lofty goal. While an expert may be great at technical writing and will get all the facts correct, enlisting the help of a writer can help boost your engagement with readers and really make your content pieces stand out from your competitors.
Despite being one of the most important pillars, editing is often forgotten or skipped. Acknowledging the necessity of speed in some of your content pieces, Bryan Deluca of IEEE commented that copyediting after you publish can be fine (although before is preferable), but the important thing is ensuring that there is always some sort of copy editing going on. On top of the traditional copy editing for grammar, spelling and syntax, be sure have your facts, stats and figures checked if you’re doing any sort of technical writing.
How are you going to get your content out there? Regardless of how good your piece of content is, you will see no benefit from it if it’s not distributed to the right audience, at the right time, through the right channel. Some quick tips from the IEEE team: Segment to determine where and how to reach your target audience, select assets with the greatest potential, and syndicate them across all your media networks.
While these provide a great starting point, there is much more to native advertising than this. Learn more about How Native Advertising Breaks Through and take a look at our Best Practices for Technology Native Advertising to gain crucial insights on how to make your native advertising pop. Or, if you’re ready to start a native advertising campaign, contact us for more info on how to get your content in front of IT professionals!