Un­der­stand­ing con­tent mar­ket­ing

How can brands make sure their con­tent is rel­e­vant, en­gag­ing and timely enough to cut through the noise con­sumers are si­mul­ta­ne­ously try­ing to ne­go­ti­ate and con­trib­ute to?

Campaign UK - - PROMOTION - Richard Townsend, CEO and co-founder, Cir­cus Street

“59% of mar­keters are un­sure how to de­fine suc­cess when it comes to con­tent mar­ket­ing pro­grammes” (source: Con­tent Mar­ket­ing In­sti­tute re­port)

We are knee-deep in con­tent. More than 250,000 sta­tus up­dates are posted to Face­book ev­ery minute. More than 400 hours of video are up­loaded to Youtube in the same time. Twit­ter per­son­al­i­ties, so­cial-me­dia in­flu­encers and con­sumers are cre­at­ing con­tent. On top of this, brands, pub­lish­ers, me­dia-own­ers and agen­cies are adding even more, pro­duc­ing never-end­ing posts, blogs, news­let­ters, videos… but how of­ten is this done with a clear un­der­stand­ing of what mat­ters most to those we as­sume will read, watch, or lis­ten?

Fig­ur­ing out the right con­tent mar­ket­ing strat­egy for a spe­cific busi­ness is now one of a mar­keter’s big­gest chal­lenges. The re­cent Con­tent Mar­ket­ing In­sti­tute re­port found that the pro­por­tion who are clear on what a suc­cess­ful con­tent mar­ket­ing pro­gramme looks like dropped from 45% in 2016 to 41% in 2017. The re­main­ing 59% are

un­sure how to de­fine suc­cess. It is easy to see why. For in­stance, how do you choose the right chan­nels in which to in­vest? Tread­ing the fine line be­tween ed­i­to­rial and com­mer­cial op­por­tu­nity is a con­stant strug­gle, and with­out real and con­sis­tent def­i­ni­tions of where ad­ver­tis­ing ends and con­tent be­gins, siz­ing the mar­ket is hugely chal­leng­ing. Then there’s the mil­lion-dol­lar ques­tion: how do you mea­sure the fi­nan­cial re­turn of the con­tent dis­tri­bu­tion ef­forts when you don’t know what suc­cess looks like?

There are ex­am­ples where brands have man­aged to cut through the clut­ter. Lidl UK made a bril­liantly timed price re­duc­tion on a One Di­rec­tion-branded Easter Egg, when Zayn quit the group. It slashed the price of the egg by a fifth, from 99p to 79p. This so­cial-me­dia con­tent got global me­dia cov­er­age and more than 20,000 retweets within a day. Then there is In­tel iq, a con­tent­mar­ket­ing “ex­per­i­ment” that started five years ago when In­tel de­cided to tell its story “be­yond PCS and pro­ces­sors”. With nearly three mil­lion unique monthly vis­i­tors, In­tel iq — seen by many as a tech cul­ture mag­a­zine — is now the envy of many.

WHAT ARE MAR­KETERS TO DO? 1. It is not about vol­ume

Con­tent cre­ation on its own is no elixir for cus­tomer en­gage­ment. To break through, cre­ate au­then­tic, ef­fec­tive and cre­ative con­tent val­ued by the con­sumer.

2. Think about the re­ac­tion

Be­fore cre­at­ing a piece of con­tent, sim­ply ask: what are my goals, and what do we want our con­sumer to do next?

3. Power up your teams

Ed­u­cate your­self about the dif­fer­ent types of con­tent, the means to cre­ate them, the guide­lines around na­tive ad­ver­tis­ing, and the chal­lenges sur­round­ing the mea­sure­ment of suc­cess. Suc­cess will hinge on your brand’s abil­ity to add value to your con­sumers’ lives. That will come from un­der­stand­ing the plat­forms they use, the con­tent they cre­ate and con­sume, and the brand’s role in those con­ver­sa­tions.

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