The ascendance of content marketing
More and more companies are now utilizing the internet as a means by which to communicate with key audiences. And this communication is commonly referred to as content marketing. Content marketing utilizes a variety of forms of communication — including written, audio and video — often published on a range of social media channels.
Alexander Jutkowitz, vice chairman and chief global strategist at Hill+Knowlton has written about this trend, noting the “historic transformation for brands and companies” centered around content. In particular, Jutkowitz has detailed how “nine out of ten organizations are now marketing with content”. “The succes of content marketing”, he explains, “has radicalized the way companies communicate…mark[ing] an important new chapter in the history of business communications: the era of corporate enlightenment.”
With the importance of content’s role in modern marketing, those who might utilize it should first be aware of its’ essentials. This post is the first in a series dedicated to the Essentials of Content Marketing. It’s about getting the overall strategy right — before beginning any content marketing effort.
Content strategy tailors consistent messages to specific audiences
British public relations consultants Mackman Group have ably detailed the essentials of content strategy on their website. As they explain, a content strategy permits an organization to align their business objectives with meeting the needs of their customers via online engagement. Well thought-out content, as they explain, will be shared and more easily relevant in internet searches. This amplifies those key messages and ultimately leads to more interest and more customers.
The first step of a content strategy is research — which allows an organization to understand their key audiences. Once understood, content can then be consistently crafted to meet the ongoing needs of an audience. Too, companies should utilize platforms best suited to reaching and engaging with the audience that specific content is created for. In particular: “[Content] output must be consistently good…regular, original and varied, [while] in keeping with the brand’s overall style.” This is essential for building and maintaining an audience. And well planned social media is required to properly promote content and engage with an audience.
Importantly, “customers are not the only audience content engages… members of the media community – [including bloggers and writers] — should not be overlooked”.
A well-planned content strategy will lead to measurable results
Mackman Group concluded that a “clearly set out strategy” means content is easy to implement and measure. They recommend setting specific objectives which can be analyzed by using social media feedback and analytics from web traffic. This author would also note that content marketing, properly integrated into outbound business development initiatives, can be credited with a percentage of the sales proceeds firms generate from this unified effort.
While much more is available online about content marketing strategy, this post provides a basic overview of the central importance of strategy to content marketing. More of those elements will be detailed in this series in the future.
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