A recent survey has found that around 60% of marketing professionals are planning to increase their spending on content marketing initiatives in 2010. First of all, a brief definition of ‘content marketing’ (thanks Wikipedia):
“…content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action.”
In other words, content marketing is a fairly broad term that covers the creation and distribution of relevant content (blog posts, video, podcasts, research, newsletters, etc.) across a range of media channels (online, offline, mobile, etc). It is often perceived as a less direct technique than traditional marketing methods although as consumers habits and lifestyles change, their expectations about exactly what a brand should offer them and how it should interact with them are also changing.
This personalised and far more interactive approach to engaging with consumers is reflected in the rise and rise of the mobile market and the acknowledgement by marketing professionals that a majority their target audience already own the perfect personalised marketing tool. As we have already mentioned in a previous post, smartphones have enabled brands to become part of the consumers personal digital space and have helped brands to increase awareness and relevance in the market place.
It’s all good news for organisations that are able to offer a genuinely good service to their consumers. Focussing resource on content marketing enables a level of interaction that traditional marketing methods have, historically, often lacked. The added pay off is that, in turn, this interaction can (and should) result in a more efficient and targeted approach across other marketing activity.
So, how do you make content marketing work for your brand?:
Look at your current marketing activity and review the content that you are already creating:
- Is it of real value to your target audience?
- Does it convey key brand messages at every opportunity?
- Can you make your content more personalised?
Ensure that you have resource and a process in place to maximise the opportunities of communicating your content:
- How does content marketing fit into your current marketing strategy?
- Is it more cost effective to outsource certain activity (video tutorials, research, podcasts, etc)?
- Can the responsibility for content creation be shared throughout your organisation?
Content marketing is a responsive and evolving strategy and works best when brands can truly interact with their target audience:
- Can you respond quickly and appropriately to customer feedback?
- Is your business model flexible enough to allow consumers to influence service and product offering?
- Are you able and willing to communicate via new channels?
Brands are now able to achieve far more consumer loyalty by using a range of content marketing techniques to work as a key part of their integrated marketing campaigns. The brand of the future is the one that understands and interacts through useful and relevant content.