Content Marketing: What matters?

By the term “content”, what do we mean? 

There are a myriad of definitions floating around as to what content is and could be but essentially, “Content” can be defined as substance that delivers brand engagement with your target audience.

There are multiple forms this content can take in a digital capacity:

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Content is not a channel in itself but lives across a variety of communication channels. It can range from regular website updates and monthly e-newsletters to content for ongoing conversations with your target audience.

And each of these can live in one or more environments and will impact all of them:

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WHY USE IT?

The main objective of using content is to facilitate a deeper brand engagement with the consumer.

Through doing this, we hope to achieve the following objectives (what I gather from my experiences any way):

  •  Increasing reach, brand awareness and consideration
  •  Improving product education experience
  •  Furthering our status as an authority in the brand category
  •  Providing opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell product
  •  Most importantly, empowering, inspiring and enabling conversation

So aside from the benefits, why all the interest in Content?

The story is not changing – the main reason for this is the increase in the number of platforms that are being used by users to consume and share engaging content. And these users are NEVER satisfied, well least in 60 seconds…

The internet world is a constant hive of content and so our collective job here (as Marketing Comms. community) is to ensure that we are meeting our consumers thirst for content – and more importantly, provide the best facility we can for our consumers to engage with our brand.

A solid content strategy is built on a platform of your “bread & butter” conversations

Developing a Content Strategy to earn that conversation:

Content it not just about adding a new shiny object to your Facebook page… it’s about deciding what you want to say, and why. Review these from both a user and business point-of-view.

User: What will the user get out of this? What’s the value exchange?

Business: What business purpose will this achieve? e.g. Does it generate advocacy through building a community?

Then ask yourself:

  • What are the key messages you want to communicate?
  • What tone of voice do you want to use?
  • How will this fit with your other communications?
  • How often do you want to deliver this content?

For example, Coca-Cola has committed to consistently create stories with their objectives being to provoke conversations and earn a disproportionate share of popular culture. They have laid out the following as a guide to content & budget investment and associated time allocations.

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Low Risk Content:Bread & Butter, everyday content plus the content you’ll have on hand

Innovate:Taking low risk/high risk content ideas and evolve them into new content stories

High Risk Content:The ideas that will be tomorrow’s 20% or 70%. These are ideas to test the market on new opportunities.

This is a good guide to use to group and plan content allocations.

With the objectives mapped out, work out the amount of content needed in each category (Low risk, Innovate, High risk).

You don’t need to think out all the “short term injections” in one go. Just think through the resources that will needed in time for each injection. More important at this stage is figuring out a plan for the ongoing conversation.

These questions can serve as a guide:

  • What sources can you use? e.g. external resources (agency partners), internal resources
  • For new content requirements, what resources do you call on and the steps required to produce it?
  • Who is responsible for reviewing, editing and approving?
  • What legal or regulatory approvals do you need?
  • What quality control measures do you need?
  • What is the cost to cover this? e.g. asset development, resources

Once the content is up and running you’ll need people to maintain and govern the conversation. 

Questions to ask here:

  • What happens to your content once it goes up on the site?
  • How often do you need to update the content?
  • How will you know if the content is doing its job?
  • What metrics can you use to track content performance? (e.g. Bounce rate, Dwell Time, Pages per visit, Engagement rate)
  • Should ownership be centralised or decentralised?

At the end of this, you should have your content strategy mapped out. The next stage is to start implementing it and get those conversations about your brand happening!

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