It’s definitely a topic you hear a lot about, but what does it actually mean? Years ago it consisted of custom publishing and customer magazines, but it’s taken on a whole new importance on digital channels.
Content builds relationships between publisher and reader. It fills an informational or entertainment need. And as a result, encourages more brand interactions. It is a social object; it gets shared quickly and easily if it is good. And increasingly, the interaction with content can be measured (influence, popularity etc) and linked to direct commercial advantage.
A content marketing definition
The creation and distribution of relevant and valuable content to attract and engage a defined target audience – with a clear commercial objective.
To elaborate on this, there are a few ‘pillars’ of content marketing worth bullet pointing: (large hat-tip here to Joe Pulizzi):
- Editorial-based content – must be informative, educational or entertaining.
- Marketing backed – there is an underlying commercial objective for the publisher
- Behaviour-driven – seeks to maintain or alter the reader’s behaviour
- Multi-platform – can be across print, digital, audio, video, events
- Targeted at an audience – if you can’t name the audience, it’s not content marketing
And “content marketing” is being adopted by functions beyond traditional “marketing” as the enterprise organises itself around consumers.
- PRs create content for direct publication in the press, or as corporate communications, but increasingly in the form of blog posts, videos, and tweets.
- SEOs create content to make a brand rank well on search engines.
- Customer support teams create and deliver content to customers to solve needs.
- Marketers create content to position the brand an attract interest customers.
- Salespeople craft persuasive content to overcome sales objections and close.
- Advertisers create content that is impactful and shareable; as earned media rather than just bought media.
It is easy now to hear what people are saying. It’s easy to get directly involves in the conversation with new content, or recommend existing content. And these new platforms are free at the point of use.
So why doesn’t everyone do it?
- “We aren’t publishers!” – but many companies are now hiring editors and content strategists to do this job for them.
- “What happens if we say the wrong thing?” – but with good procedure and people, you will safely present a personality, rather than be left behind preaching to no one.
- “There are no tangible results” – good content marketing is measurable and produces real results. Just ask us.
- “It isn’t worth it” – your competitors are, or soon will be, doing it, and they will become the most visible, trusted and liked voice in your market.
Content Marketing Strategy
Although this clearly depends on the context of your company, idio’s basic content marketing strategy can be used as a framework:
- Connect with people by publishing relevant, quality content
- Build trust where they come back
- Gain insight every time they interact with you to deliver better value
- Become the authority in your market when they rely on you
- Develop a commercially valuable relationship
For more information about blended content marketing (authoring content alongside aggregation and curation of other people’s content), see this post.
For more information and some great experts on this topic, have a look at:
- The Content Marketing Institute
- The Content Marketing Playbook
- Post Advertising (by Story Worldwide)
- Content Marketing Today
- A list of top Content Marketing blogs
The Jargon Buster
In an industry which is littered with Three Letter Acronyms, idio is committed to making things understandable. The Jargon Buster is a series of blog posts that explain, and give context to, a range of industry acronyms and phrases. Please feel free to suggest new submissions.
If you are a brand or media company wanting to increase the value of your existing and future content assets, and deliver the right content to the right customer at the right time on the right channel, do give us a call. idio delivers strategic technology-driven solutions to organise your content around your customer. We help you solve problems and deliver tangible value. To find out more, see http://idioplatform.com.