Mo­ti­vate Con­nect’s Chris Cap­stick ex­plains why think­ing like a pub­lisher can keep your con­tent strat­egy on track

Campaign Middle East - - FRONT PAGE - CHRIS CAP­STICK Pub­lisher, Mo­ti­vate Con­nect

Mo­ti­vate Con­nect’s Chris Cap­stick on con­tent.

Don’t un­der­es­ti­mate how in­ter­nal road­blocks that de­lay the re­lease of your con­tent can af­fect the ve­rac­ity of your mes­sage.

W ith in­creas­ing num­bers of clients and agen­cies re­port­ing that 2018 is the year they will re­ally ramp up their in­vest­ment in con­tent mar­ket­ing, it is an ex­cit­ing time to be at the fore­front of re­gional con­tent cre­ation in so­cial, dig­i­tal and video.

The op­por­tu­nity is en­tic­ing – brands can es­tab­lish deeper con­nec­tions with their cus­tomers sim­ply through shar­ing their ex­per­tise. It is within reach for these brands to be­come the pub­lish­ers them­selves and reap all the ben­e­fits. But it is not with­out its chal­lenges.

From our ex­pe­ri­ence of pro­duc­ing con­tent for some of the re­gion’s largest or­gan­i­sa­tions the key chal­lenge fac­ing mar­keters is to turn their in­ten­tions for in­creas­ing con­tent out­put into a scal­able mar­ket­ing op­er­a­tion that pro­duces con­sis­tently great con­tent con­sumers ac­tu­ally care about.

It is not enough to pro­duce one blog post ev­ery six weeks and ex­pect read­ers to keep com­ing back to your web­site. That cool video you shot only works in the long term if your au­di­ence has a rea­son to keep re­turn­ing and en­joy­ing more of the good stuff.

For con­tent mar­ket­ing to be a suc­cess it must be viewed as an on­go­ing strat­egy rather than an ad hoc cam­paign tac­tic.

That means im­ple­ment­ing a cre­ative ed­i­to­rial process and main­tain­ing a con­tent pro­duc­tion frame­work to en­sure reg­u­lar de­liv­ery of en­gag­ing sto­ries.

In short, mar­keters need to think like pub­lish­ers.

Here are the top three things to con­sider when plan­ning your 2018 con­tent mar­ket­ing strat­egy: 1) De­cide who you are talk­ing to and what you want to say

Un­der­stand and doc­u­ment the buyer per­sonas of your cus­tomer base and ap­proach con­tent cre­ation with your dif­fer­ent tar­get au­di­ences in mind. The ba­sis of your con­tent mar­ket­ing strat­egy needs to be linked to the con­ver­sa­tions you want to have with your au­di­ence.

Are you writ­ing for ex­ist­ing cus­tomers or do you want to gen­er­ate new ones?

Does your au­di­ence need in­for­ma­tional con­tent to help them make pur­chas­ing de­ci­sions; or do you want to feed them fun con­tent to strengthen their affin­ity to your brand? Is it ap­pro­pri­ate to use short-form con­tent such as so­cial videos or in­fo­graph­ics, or does your au­di­ence need de­tailed con­tent in the form of white papers or pod­casts? When mak­ing these de­ci­sions it’s im­por­tant to act like a brand jour­nal­ist by cre­at­ing pull con­tent your cus­tomers want to en­gage with rather than push con­tent that forces your mes­sage onto them. Tell, don’t sell. It’s too easy for cus­tomers to switch off so give them con­tent that keeps them tuned in.

2) Es­tab­lish a con­tent pro­duc­tion process

The big ques­tion is: do you go all-in and hire staff for a ded­i­cated in­ter­nal con­tent stu­dio, or do you out­source to an agency?

What­ever you choose it is es­sen­tial you pro­duce a con­tent calendar to de­fine the fre­quency of your out­put, and set a pro­duc­tion process that al­lows suf­fi­cient time to cre­ate the con­tent, seek in­ter­nal ap­provals and pub­lish on the dates spec­i­fied on the con­tent calendar.

As all pub­lish­ers know, hit­ting dead­lines is a key suc­cess fac­tor in reach­ing your au­di­ence at the right time. Don’t un­der­es­ti­mate how in­ter­nal road­blocks that de­lay the re­lease of your con­tent can af­fect the ve­rac­ity of your mes­sage. Es­tab­lish a con­tent work­ing group and make sure daily, weekly and monthly dead­lines are ad­hered to and all in­ter­nal stake­hold­ers are aware of their obli­ga­tions, pro­vide timely ap­provals and are on-plan with the con­tent ob­jec­tives and how they re­late to the wider or­gan­i­sa­tional mar­ket­ing strat­egy.

3. In­vest in dis­tri­bu­tion

Dis­tri­bu­tion is a key el­e­ment of the con­tent mar­ket­ing mix, but a lot of brands ne­glect to pro­mote their con­tent out­side of their owned me­dia. What’s the point of cre­at­ing great con­tent if no­body is lis­ten­ing, read­ing or watch­ing?

Get­ting ROI on your con­tent re­quires per­sis­tent and con­sis­tent pro­mo­tion across paid me­dia. Do not as­sume your cus­tomers are flock­ing to your brand chan­nels ev­ery day. If you want to cre­ate a loyal, en­gaged and grow­ing au­di­ence, then find where (and when) they are con­sum­ing con­tent and in­vest in shar­ing your sto­ries with them through their favourite me­dia.

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