When starting out in content marketing, the answers of how to get content, how much, how often, how to share it and many other factors are daunting. Is it possible to start from scratch and be good at content marketing right away? Unfortunately the answer is no. But that shouldn’t stop you. Success stories such as Hubspot, Buzzfeed and Reddit all started with little recognition and are now known as industry standards of where to go for information. Similar to those is how CMO.com from Adobe has cultivated its content to become a resource for digital marketers.
Traditionally Adobe is known for its design tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator, but the creative side is only one part of marketing. Strategy and return on investment (ROI) need to be integrated with creativity in order to have successful campaigns. Adobe identified that they wanted to be in the forefront of the mind of “smart marketers,” but knew that pushing their products and sales pitches on chief marketing officers would not succeed. In comes CMO.com.
CMO.com started with curated content and an occasional post by Adobe-employed editors. They had some in-house resources, but not nearly the army or budget it takes to produce GOOD content on a regular, let’s say daily, basis. Once they got a following with site traffic, they started hiring or contracting good writers to create original content for them. One of the regular features they created was having a journalist conduct an interview with a CMO and then transcribe it into a blog post. It’s a simple concept, but it wasn’t being done by other industry outlets. These features are now one of the most popular articles on the site and called their CMO Exclusives.
The other noteworthy concept of CMO.com is that it’s not heavily branded. People have commented that they didn’t even know it was produced by Adobe. Why wouldn’t Adobe be proud of their new work and put their logo everywhere? It’s not about the brand identity, and they aren’t trying to be sneaky either. If you look for who hosts CMO.com, it’s easy to find Adobe. However, Adobe knew that if they targeted marketers with the backing of a known brand, a large portion of readers would reject the content they were creating based on the idea that it was biased – even though it wasn’t.
What Adobe accomplished was they created a relationship with potential (and current) customers that went deeper than the B2B sale of software licenses. If you dig around on the site, you won’t see Adobe promotions or product values. It’s all information that resonates with the digital marketer on a strategic and creative side.
So what can we learn from Adobe?
- Content marketing takes time to work. Start with what you can do well with curation and then move into original content if that aligns with your business goals.
- When trying to provide information to your users, clients, or customers don’t shove a brand down their throat. They don’t respond to it, and you’ll get more long-lasting and returning visitors.
Do you have a great content marketing strategy? Let me know so I can write about it via Twitter @kcothran!