Many companies still publish content randomly from requests coming from higher management, from partners or just to keep up with the competition.
By randomly putting out blog articles, social media posts, videos, landing pages, email etc - you cannot expect to get business results. These just spray and pray tactics without any clear strategy.
Content should always be intentional and should always be driven by a clearly defined strategy supporting goals or a strong direction.
Creating more content is never an answer. Creating more content gets you nowhere if you do not have an understanding of who the content is for and why it's being created.
Content marketing should be customer-focused, answering important customer questions and meeting their needs and challenges. It is not simply marketing with content.
The only way you can get content to have a financial impact on your business is when you reach, engage and convert customers by using the keywords customers use, creating the content they consume, and by drawing them to your own website to answer their questions.
Content marketing is the gap between what you produce/offer as a brand and what your audience is looking for.
Content Marketing is:
When you own the distribution channel – your website, your events, your social media profiles, your ebook series . Meaningful – Your content should solve a problem, should be a genuine intent to help your customers.
Never Commercial – it's not creating content with no purpose other than talking about your brand or products – it's not a video where you start off with how you make a customer’s life easier but ending into a commercial pitch about features and benefits about your product.
Not Advertising – you don't really control where your ads appear or who will really see it. You are just handing over money for rented space.
Not just about blogs or posting on social media – You don’t own facebook, youtube or linkedin. The real value is when you bring people back to your website with a purpose. Your blog is not just putting out valuable information and posting helpful content. It is about structuring like a publisher, with 3 -5 key themes and a consistent publishing schedule.
Not just online but everywhere – live events, apps, meetings, presentations – every piece of information that is designed for a specific audience for a specific purpose.
Content marketing in reality is a business opportunity, a tool you can use for growth. When you struggle to grow your business in a challenging environment, content marketing is your best bet to success with a limited budget.
Even with today's sophisticated digital ads, advertising can result in overexposure. Customers are saturated with a brand promotion that offers no genuine value.
Content marketing is the only marketing left. A good content strategy is when you create content that is relevant. This kind of strategy offers the benefit of exponential growth, building brand awareness, and trust, winning over prospects and convincing leads, and endearing your customers, helping to build a loyal base of brand advocates.
Content marketing is different from other marketing strategies because relevance is important. Understand what your customers' challenges, pain points, and needs are.
Most importantly content marketing is nothing without strategy. Social media marketing, email marketing, any form of digital marketing is integrated tactics of Content Marketing. For any of these to work you need a well-executed and clear strategy.
You may have come across 7 steps, or 9 steps, or 11 steps or 13 steps to create a content strategy but no matter how many steps, they always have these 5 main components.
Aligning your content with the customer journey. Identify which topics, needs, and questions will be addressed in your content.
Content Audit – Analyze your existing content to determine what can be reused, what needs updating, and what needs to be produced from scratch
Develop a content production plan - determine the genre and format of each piece of content. List the subject matter experts, authors, and any other contributors.
Performance Measures – determine the objective of each piece of content and how performance will be tracked and measured.
Distribution Plan – identify what online and offline channels will be used to get content in front of your target audience, partners, contributors, and competitors.
Next time you talk about content marketing, make sure you actually know what it really is and how you can maximize the potential of it to reap the benefits for your business or brand.
Novnish is a Content & Campaign Marketing Manager EMEA - helping companies and brands generate results with marketing activities. He is a passionate, cross-functional, creative and result driven marketing specialist with almost 8 years of marketing experience across product marketing, digital marketing, project management, content and campaigns. He believes that marketing activities should create value within the market and to the consumers using data, insights and innovative strategies.