The Content Grid is a must-have for content marketers

Marketing content is not a novel notion, but the last couple years has seen the development of content marketing as a kind of new discipline in the constantly evolving arena of B2B marketing.

So first, what do we mean by content marketing? It refers to the idea that disseminating relevant and rich information to potential customers generates profitable consumer action. By simply ‘informing,’ businesses can improve their brand loyalty and their positioning as an industry expert.

Content marketing believes it can influence customer behavior without deliberately gushing on its products and services. Its educational, subtle, and places the buyer, rather than the vendor, at its center. Its taking the traditional dialogue between a potential buyer and a sales guy and giving it to a marketer–who breaks up the discussion and then disperses its bits in different forms through various channels.

Eloqua, a leading marketing automation company, took this analogy and visualized it. In collaboration with data visualization firm JESS3, they created an infographic for the budding content marketing industry last year known as The Content Grid. It mapped content type and social channel against its ‘owner’ or ‘creator’ (the entire staff versus an individual) and manner of distribution for greatest impact on the sales funnel.

Eloqua joined with JESS3 again this past month and followed its award-winning infographic with an update: The Content Grid v2. While still visually presenting the content type with it distribution channel, The Content Grid v2 is more informative with greater ease of use. It’s moved beyond addressing the earlier questions of how to approach content marketing and aims to help marketers visualize how to operationalize its content marketing programs.

More specifically, the infographic plots what content type should be produced and delivered through which distribution channels. It then matches the content and channel to the prospect’s stage in the purchase process along with your ‘big picture’ business objectives. Lastly, and very usefully for the marketer, it points out which metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should be tracked for each piece of content, channel, and objective.

We hear a lot of talk about content marketing strategy – how it’s a process of planning for the creation, delivery, and management of useful and desirable content that drives a deliverable result. The Content Grid v2 can be your guiding blueprint for its governance and delivery. This way your business can place more focus on the creation of unique content and its desirability amongst your customers.

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Charlie Cowan inspires and enables partners at NewVoiceMedia, a Salesforce Appexchange partner routing inbound calls based on CRM data. Unusually for someone in the IT industry, Charlie holds a degree in Rural Land Management from The Royal Agricultural College. He lives and works in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, with his wife and three children.