Want to see what other books SEJ has covered? Read our other reviews in the SEJ Book Club archive.
I was extremely excited to dive into Pam Didner’s Global Content Marketing (affiliate link) for this month’s SEJ Book Club. I’ve met Pam at several industry events and have had the pleasure of seeing her speak. Pam’s energy is contagious and her knowledge, abundant.
Pam spent the majority of her career leading a Fortune 100 company to strategize, create and implement global marketing efforts. Recently, she refocused her efforts to establish a boutique consulting firm that serves enterprises, associations, small businesses and start-ups.
In her book, Pam highlights a variety of insights surrounding content strategy, the content marketing cycle, features of a great content marketer and teams, and what the future has in store for global content marketing.
What Makes Up Content Strategy?
Content is everywhere. It can be a video, a blog, an image, a webinar, an e-book, or a newspaper.
“In the web industry, anything that conveys meaningful information to humans is called content,” according to Erin Kissane in The Elements of Content Strategy.
Building upon that, Amanda Maksymiw’s definition of content marketing hits the core: “…the process of developing and sharing relevant, valuable, and engaging content to target audiences with the goal of acquiring new customers or increasing business from existing customers.
Pam’s definition of “global content marketing” builds upon those even further:
“Global content marketing is the process of developing and sharing relevant, valuable, and engaging content with target audiences across countries with the goal of acquiring new customers or increasing business from existing customers globally.”
Why globalize your content? Pam elaborates on a few key reasons:
- Content marketing is nothing new
- Everyone is constantly searching for something
- Content creates perception
- For the love of our devices, we chase content
- Content marketing needs to help your customers find “it”
One of Pam’s key points surrounds her revitalized “Four P’s” E. Jerome McCarthy, an American marketing professor and author of Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach, initially presented the four elements of marketing which have served as the basis of marketing for the past century:
In the 1990s, Robert Lauterborn introduced the four C’s as new definitions for the four P’s:
- Consumer (versus Product)
- Cost (versus Price)
- Convenience (versus Place)
- Communication (versus Promotion)
The 4 P’s of the Global Content Marketing Cycle
Pam then proceeded to identify four P’s to creating a global content marketing plan:
- Plan: Strategy before execution
- Produce: Create content that matters
- Promote: Distribute content in the digital era
- Perfect: Measure and optimize to drive maximum impact
How to Build a Global Content Marketing Team
Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to assemble a team.
“A global content marketing success is the combination of coming together and working together, then staying together through the 4 P’s stages of the content.”
Pam suggests there are three A’s for the team to come together and three C’s for the team to work together.
The three A’s and three C’s serve as a foundation for the team to stay together through the stages of the Global Content Marketing Cycle.
The book expands upon each P, providing insights and case studies on how various teams put each element into practice.
What Makes a Great Content Marketer?
It’s a brave new world in terms of content marketing, and a variety of skills are needed to do it well.
“It is important to recognize those universal qualities that will always remain the same and those that will need to be addressed differently.”
Pam addresses the distinction between skills that are “soft and general” as opposed to “hard and specific”. Many “soft and general” skills complement those that possess the “hard and specific” skills.
For example, many content strategists have “hard and specific” skills in web writing/editing, content development, content management, content analysis, editorial strategy, and other related skills.
There are also “soft and general” skills that content managers need to develop and/or possess complement these.
The applicable “soft” skills that will be useful depend on what is it the content marketer is trying to accomplish. Soft skills may include personas like “Business Leader,” which allows the content marketer to frame ideas in ways that make sense to their superiors. Or maybe a “Scientist” persona that allows the content marketer to be able to experiment with tools and technology. Or a “Journalist” that can connect the dots between imagination and technology while delivering business results.
Certain aspects of soft and general professional skills should be developed and possessed by those in content marketing roles.
Future of Global Content Marketing
We’re now more easily connected to the world around us. Big data allows us to go much further and understand what makes individuals unique, and create content around those individual needs.
That said, no matter how far technologies advance, how sophisticated search algorithms become, or how Big Data enables personalization, everything comes back to having a great product or service and creating a unique experience for the ideal customer.
No matter how the world changes, fundamental principles remain the same. The four P’s of the Global Content Marketing Cycle stay the same, even though the tactics, tools, and promotional channels may be different.
Read Next Month’s Book!
Next month’s book will be “This Will Make You Smarter” by John Brockman (affiliate link), read and reviewed by Danielle Antosz, SEJ’s copyeditor. Pick up your copy at your local library or on Amazon and join the conversation!
Want to see what the SEJ Book Club has read or is planning on reading next? Check out our GoodReads profile.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Featured Image: Image by Paulo Bobita
All in-post photos by Pam Didner. Used with permission.