Are You Content with Your Content Marketing Strategy?
Content marketing has been buzzed about for years. Business leaders, including savvy marketers and PR practitioners, know that speaking at consumers doesn’t get you nearly as far as engaging with them. But finding the best ways to engage can be a struggle. Enter content marketing. From compelling stories, delivered via releases, bylines, blogs or case studies, to visually-appealing infographics, videos, webinars and live presentations, content marketing helps companies emotionally connect with their target audiences. When done correctly, compelling content does a nice job of telling (not selling) the story, even influencing purchasing decisions, all without the traditional sales pitch.
But how do you know what will work and what could flop? Which of the avenues do you pursue and invest time or money into? Do you develop a great video with hopes customers will find it engaging? And once you do, how do you communicate the existence of such a video? Do you pitch it to media, set it up on your company YouTube channel, website, promote it on social media or all of the above? Even more so, how do you continuously come up with that fresh content and find the right delivery channels?
There are a few things to consider. First, as with any PR strategy, it’s important to identify the purpose, the ultimate goal. What are you trying to accomplish here? Are you looking to elevate your experts, grow market share, launch a new product? Secondly, which of communication tools is right for your business? If you’re in the B2B space, your target audience may not be (most likely not) getting news and information from the same channels as consumers. Similarly, if your target audience is thrill-seeking millenials (note: two buzzwords in same blog!), who love to share videos, then your strategy may be different than if you’re looking to attract an older demographic, who is interested in the facts about your product and would prefer to join a webinar or read through a case study.
When planning your strategy, consider your content and delivery method and ensure that any customer touch point clearly and consistently communicates your brand value proposition, regardless of the delivery vehicle. And of course, to stand out from all the other brand feverishly putting out content and truly connect with your target customers, make it compelling. Also, make sure you research what your consumers are doing, what they are reading (and when) and how are they engaging with others, and create a content plan along with a timeline. Similarly to building out your social media content pipeline via a calendar, create a calendar to make sure all the bases are covered and you aren’t continuously coming up with content that will be irrelevant to your target audience. It’s sometimes better not to say anything, that add confusion to the marketplace. So, be strategic and get creative!