Content marketing is in RJMetrics’ DNA.

This inherent predisposition to develop high-quality content as part of a marketing strategy started at the top of the organization and has resulted in a strong commitment to content throughout the organization. It’s led to some big content wins—and it’s all driven by a focus on high quality content.

“We have some very well-formed opinions about what good content looks like,” says Janessa Lantz, director of marketing at the Philadelphia-based data infrastructure and analytics company, in an interview with Scribewise. “We don’t have a five-page content strategy.”

While the RJMetrics team believes a documented content strategy is valuable, as many content marketing publications have noted, they believe it’s not a replacement for a strong internal commitment to content marketing.

And instead of plotting an editorial calendar in a shared Google Sheet, the team’s fluid content strategy is mapped out on a Trello board. They work together to determine how to slot projects based on which ideas relate closely to a person’s skillset or background knowledge.

This drive to develop the highest quality content based on research has helped the company figure out how to use content marketing to achieve marketing goals for two very different products: CloudBI, which is geared toward marketers, and their newer Pipeline data infrastructure product, which is geared toward engineers.

These two products and their vastly different audiences necessitate different content strategies. While the CloudBI persona is typically a marketer who will buy into traditional content marketing like a blog post with a light sales push at the end, the Pipeline persona is typically an engineer or analyst—professionals specifically averse to marketing.

“The analyst engineer persona is suspicious of anything that looks like a marketing message. If a piece looks like it has the sheen of marketing polish on it, that sets off some alarm bells,” says Lantz. To ensure they developed content that would pull in the analyst engineer persona rather than repel it, the team gathered informal feedback from their engineers to find out which companies they thought produced good content.

To reach this new audience skeptical of content that could be interpreted as marketing, the team created a barbell strategy with content at two extreme ends of the spectrum—high level information about the data industry with on one end, and very technical information like API documentation on the other. They avoid publishing content in between that could be construed as marketing.

This barbell strategy has led to success, including a benchmark report called The State of Data Science.

“When we started talking to this new audience [for the Pipeline product], we asked ourselves, ‘What’s the best thing we can say about this space that’s completely new and hasn’t been said before?’” says Lantz.

They tapped into the LinkedIn profiles of 11,000 data scientists to create an extensive report on the growing field of data science. Researchers and content marketers worked closely with designers to develop the report, and their public relations team reached out to media outlets with the new information. The resulting report was a huge success for the firm and it still generates media requests, thanks to RJMetrics’ commitment to a high standard of content.

After seeing the number of page views and leads skyrocket for The State of Data Science and another benchmark report on Ecommerce Growth (which Lantz says generated close to 50,000 pageviews), Lantz was convinced that commitment to quality trumped the need to post content consistently.

“When I saw that success I thought, ‘Oh wow, we’ll never get that with another “5 Tips” blog post.’ It shifted the way I thought about content marketing.”

This high standard of content helps them determine which topics they’ll cover next.

“We ask ourselves what the industry is dying to know about, or whether or not someone would pay $150 for this research or blog post.” If they don’t think the idea is impactful enough, they move on.

Lantz’s advice for other content marketers might not be what you expect: Be a lazy marketer.

“Marketing is often about leverage—you can do a small thing and see huge results. It’s almost better to be lazy. Ask yourself what is the least amount of work to get the best results.”

Photo: dirkcuys