Strategy Chronicles: Content Marketing

Content-Marketing

” Content is the reason why search begins in the first place”

Why Content Marketing?

The Buyer is today’s expert! According to a CMI funded research, 90% of  all buyers will make purchasing decisions before reaching out to a brand (or Sales Person).  81% of all shoppers will search online before visiting any physical store. Invariably, potential buyers are already searching the web for something unique, your content is the answer to this hunt!

So, what is content marketing and why is it essential?

“It is a marketing strategy that seeks to promote your brand by creating high-quality and valuable content to inform, educate and delight an audience”

What are the types of Content marketing?

Marketing is a science now! Major brands like P&G , Pepsi, Coca-Cola are using content marketing techniques to build their brand image and increase their profitability. I’ll explain this science by highlighting types of Content (this is not an exhaustive list).

Organic Content

Paid media can’t turn a bad advertisement into creative content! According to Content Marketing Institute a majority (over 93%) of  B2B Marketers are using different content marketing techniques to increase their revenue. Organic content is one of the weapons in the content marketing tool kit, in fact it is a top driver for web traffic (trending).

So, what is an organic content?

Organic content marketing strategy  involves a process of creating an authentic audience/followers for a brand  Naturally rather than artificially”

*Artificially gained audiences are  directly linked to paid marketing tools like linkedin-ads or other paid ads.

There is an ongoing discussion on types of organic content, but there is a consensus that organic content includes blog posts, articles on websites, E-newsletters and social media posts. A recently published CMI research reported that 79% of  all marketers in its database identified blogging as their most effective SEO enabling strategy. Meanwhile, 58% of the same group suggested that articles published on their website is key to providing solutions to their customers at the right moment.

Organic Content

It is interesting to see that all these tactics have one thing common, they are all part of organic search technique. This also indicate that organic contents are driving real revenue rather than paid search, email and social media ads combined.

Viral Content

Viral content refers to those brand related stories (pictures/videos) that spreads fast. This content marketing technique creates a scenario where internet users, especially mobile phone users are inspired to share or spread a message which will result in multi-fold growth. Viral content can be in the form of video or picture with one or two lines of text. This content can be shared via email, WhatsApp, Facebook or other networking websites.

Getting your product noticed is getting difficult with each passing day. According to Fortunelords.com, 300 hours of videos are uploaded every hour and 5 billion videos are watched every single day on Youtube.  Apart from these, Gizmodo suggests that Facebook users are uploading more than 350 million new photos every day.

So, how will your content matter to the target audience?

The answer is, “Get Smart”. The human brain likes stories. Marketers can use neuroscience findings on storytelling to create engaging content.  A marketing professor at Stanford John Berger introduced the “6 STEPPS” (Social Currency, Triggers, Emotions, Public, Practical Value, Stories) rules to guide content creators.

Invariably, any content needs to have all these six elements to go viral or become a message that is seen as a  “word of mouth” information.

Social Media Content

Social media’s reach cannot be overlooked, it is estimated that Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest has up to 500 million combined user base.

S-M Reach
Social Media User Reach

Types of content commonly shared over social media includes – audio-visual assets like videos, pictures and, more recently instantaneous live videos.

Effects of Content Marketing

Lead Engagement

According to Curata.com, Marketers indicated that there are three goals for their content marketing operations – brand awareness, market education and lead engagement.

Content is King! It should have the potential to educate, inspire and generate leads.

I recommend that you should implement the following steps to ensure that your content generate valuable leads:

  • Do extensive market research.
  • Create high quality contents like landing pages/ blogs/ web-articles with compelling stories, headlines and captivating emotional connection.
  • Employ lead bait through email campaigns (73% of all surveyed marketers say that email is crucial to their marketing plans).

Linking Content Marketing to Return on Investment (ROI)

Is your marketing campaign contributing to real business outcome?

To answer this query , you will need quantifiable evidence, not squishy metrics like number of clicks or views (Click to Open Ratio).

In fact, you’ll need to justify your marketing spending by cross-referencing how much you’ve earned or revenue opportunities in the pipeline against the cost of all your marketing activities.

For you to appreciate your Content Marketing ROI you’ll need to break down your metrics into two main factors:

1-Incremental Profit:

Incremental profit will help you to determine the return on brand awareness, revenue through leads, SEO Profit and earnings through traffic generation.

2- Investment Cost:

Your investment costs are likely to include some or all of the following cost channels:

  • Cost of producing content
  • Cost of sourcing content externally
  • Time spent on planning
  • Managing your content strategy
  • Advertising cost and software cost

Bringing everything together, rolling out a Content Marketing Strategy has its own unique challenges, for instance, finding your brand voice through content assets might be a tough nut to crack, but measuring your operational effectiveness and return on your investment would be the most important challenge of this strategy.

Conclusively, I encourage you to be remain conscious of the fact that Content Marketing is primarily about attracting, engaging and continuing to delight your audience. It is also important to remember the additional benefits your business will gain such as brand reputation especially in thought leadership as you continue to churn out quality content at a consistent frequency.

Content Marketing is the only marketing left.

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