“The future of communicating with customers rests in engaging with them through every possible channel: phone, email, chat, web, and social networks. Customers are discussing a company’s products and brand in real-time. Companies need to join the conversation.”
What we can learn from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is that we need to meet our customers wherever they are if we truly want to engage. This is why we create content campaigns.
Content campaigns are the fifth level of the content marketing hierarchy, right around the middle of the paradigm. Not to be confused with a content strategy, each content level represents a degree of connectedness to your brand experience.
Our content levels overview gives you a breakdown of the 11 levels in the brand hierarchy. Up until this point, we’ve also provided deep-dive explanations of the previous four content levels — core content (#1), vertical content (#2), content hub (#3), content franchise (#4) — which you can explore on your own time from this linked list.
Content campaigns will help you meet your customers in their journey and guide them toward a specific action. How do you use this content level as a vehicle for connected customer experiences? Keep going to find out.
What is a content campaign?
A content campaign is a goal-focused content initiative. Content campaigns are in the middle of the brand hierarchy and are often called the “promo level.” Limited to a fixed time period, a content campaign might be a themed series or multiple campaigns that form a progressive series.
Because content campaigns are tied to specific KPIs, usually new brand assets are produced and promoted just for a campaign. These branded assets are purpose-built to drive the success of the content campaign. That doesn’t mean that you cannot build a content campaign around preexisting assets, but it is less common.
How content campaigns work with other content levels
So far, we have gone pretty deep into the content hierarchy. Let’s pause and see how content campaigns work with other higher levels in the brand hierarchy, being that they live right in the midst of everything.
1. Core content
Core content is the most essential content to your business offerings (i.e. positioning statement, website). Definitely think of any promotions within your core branded experience as content campaigns. The hero image you often update on your home page would count as a branded content campaign.
2. Vertical content
Next in the brand hierarchy, vertical content serves a business niche. Content verticals are a great reference point for content campaigns. Has your content been alienating one of your key industry verticals? Close that gap with an industry-specific content campaign, producing and promoting assets useful to your personas in this vertical.
3. Content hub
Third from the top of the content hierarchy, a content hub is an organized collection of content (i.e. blog, knowledge base, resource center). Your content hub is a living organism that is regularly updated and renewed. Content campaigns are useful for promoting segments and categories that are a new focus area for your content hub.
4. Content franchise
Just before content campaigns in the brand hierarchy, content franchises are a recurring series. A content franchise is all about building a loyal audience over time, while content campaigns provide quicker results. When you create multiple campaigns that build progressively, a content campaign mimics the feel and purpose of a franchise.Content campaigns help you meet your #customers in their journey and encourage action. Find out how to use this #content level as a vehicle for connected customer experiences. Click To Tweet
Content campaigns for connected customer experiences
Marketers stand at the forefront of an ever-evolving customer landscape, leading customer experience initiatives across the business. Content campaigns are an important initiative for supporting these experiences.
Yet, only 49 percent of marketing leaders believe they offer an experience that is completely aligned with customer expectations. Real-time customer engagement is everybody’s highest aspiration — and simultaneously — their unachievable Everest.
With content campaigns, KPIs are not the main goal. Building a customer connection is the goal. Your campaign should be a truly differentiated experience that guides the prospect through the buyer’s journey.
Your content creation team should be clear about why they are producing these assets, understanding the vision of the content campaign and the goals of your customers.
Branded example of an event content campaign
When creating a content marketing campaign, you’ll define your KPIs and your audience then determine what kind of assets you need to produce. Content campaigns cover a lot of channels and focus areas — from email to social, from events to branded content. For today’s purposes, we’ll look at an event content campaign.
In-person events are a ton of work, but they are also pretty unbeatable when it comes to creating a connected customer experience. We live in a digital world, so face-to-face interactions are widely appreciated.
Let’s inspire ideas for your next event content campaign with a branded example from Moz. Their annual MozCon event is approaching and they’ve been elegantly bombarding my email inbox, so they get to be in the hot seat.
Email content campaign for MozCon
Moz is covering a lot of ground with its MozCon event campaign. They’re all over social and they have a nice landing page. But, what really stands out is their email content campaign.
As I write this, it’s January and MozCon is happening in July. The Moz team is doing things right, starting a big push about six months out. Right now Moz is pushing their early bird promotional pricing, but I don’t mind their content campaign… because it’s good.
Over a two-week period, I have received four emails with clever emojis in the subject lines.
- Email 1: Meet a few of our headliners 👋
- Email 2: Four more headliners! 🌟🌟🌟🌟
- Email 3: MozCon 2020 prices go up Feb 1st 🔥🔥🔥
- Email 4: Only hours left to save $200 on MozCon ⏳
What’s great about this email campaign is that it manages to be playful and useful — not easy to pull off with B2B event promotions. In the email above, not only is the email visual from last year’s conference energetic as hell, they also slid in “aMozing network events” into the copy, which confused me at first then I got it and it made me smile.
Within a couple of emails, they offer supplementary resources in case you’re not convinced or if you need to convince someone else (your boss) to let you attend. If you hit the play button in the above visual, you head over to a landing page with a featured snippets clip from MozCon 2019.
Alternatively, they also built a Convince Your Boss to Send You to MozCon 2020 guide that includes a bonus letter template. How easy is that? Just copy and paste into an email, and customize a bit. The content in the letter is just like the rest of the event campaign, a little cheeky but straight to the point.
As you can see, the content you produce for a content campaign can be varied, progressive, and impactful. Moz is making it really hard to say “no” to attending MozCon, aren’t they?
The next time you set out to begin a content campaign, think about how this initiative will serve as a connected customer experience. Where is your buyer at? How can you meet them where they are? How will your brand’s personality shine through?
Rise to your customer’s expectations by offering them a cohesive journey… and don’t be afraid to have a little fun so you make a lasting impression.