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Content is King
The continual rise of content marketing, and why you should be getting stuck in.
Elyssa Fagan, PR and Marketing Manager at Cubiq looks at the continual rise of content marketing, and why you should be getting stuck in.
Utilising content as a sales tool has been a strategy used for decades, (way back to the days of the printing press!), but it seems that lately all anyone can talk about, in communications-led circles at least, is the importance of content, content, content.
Content creation from brands is growing at an alarming rate, as research by the Content Marketing Institute has identified, 9 out of 10 UK marketers are doing something around content marketing this year. This has actually risen from 2017, where content usage was at 85%, to 89%. So what about content is so important? Well, we’ve been exposed to and digesting content for hundreds and hundreds of years. We now know when we’re being sold to, often pulling away from this process, which can be a bit of a nightmare for a communications professional. This is why intelligently devised content, alongside a fully integrated marketing strategy has become such a strong area of focus for companies wishing to grow their audience interaction, as well as develop a longstanding, loyal customer base.
Content, in the form of (to name but a few) blogs, video, graphics, audio, infographics, web pages, public speaking, presentations, apps and books are on the rise. This content is all being developed with two key elements of a buyer’s cycle in mind. One, awareness of your product, business or personality and two, the research stage of a customer’s process, where they have been made aware of a solution to their need, and now they want as much information as possible at hand so they can make an informed decision to then consider and purchase.
The aim of developing this easily shareable content, which might sound obvious, is to ensure that what you’re creating actually adds value to the consumer digesting it. If you’re delivering something new, or something that adds a new angle, opportunity, information or insight to a consumer who is genuinely interested in your o ering, without constantly selling your product or company, which then lead them onto a new element of content, or drives them to engage, then you’re slowly and methodically pulling them through your marketing funnel, to achieve your desired goal.
The other two main areas you need to take into consideration with content marketing is that:
1. Content might be king, but it definitely needs help from its entire support staff. You cannot simply create content and let it be, you need to nurture and drive your audience to that content, and then use the content to continue their journey. So you could direct traffic, using creative content on social media to drive users to a blog on your site and then on to a landing page. Alternatively, you could use a variety of content, blog posts, video, and audio to all link towards, in an informative, and subtle approach, the products a company is selling.
2. Less is more. Trying to reach your target audience with great, relevant and consistent content on one platform, rather than trying to tackle multiple channels at one time. Test tactics to reach your audience, and not just for a week, but over longer term periods, so you can actually assess the results and measure the feedback. They key/issue with this, in terms of content creation, is doing this correctly, doing this with a plan and purpose, and understanding that a content marketing plan is not a campaign, and this is where many companies, marketers and agencies are actually getting it wrong. This process is a long-term strategy, which needs to be assessed along the way, tested, trialled and perfected to achieve objectives which should have been outlined before any content has been activated.
So content marketing is for those businesses that want to create a long-term asset, and grow and grow its revenue once they have an audience that is engaged and interested in the business. If you’re thinking about utilising content marketing for your company, after seeing some amazing examples of it recently (hello, The LEGO Movie!) you first need to ask yourself, what is the end goal? There’s no point in trying to get in on the party and create content if you don’t have an actual end result in mind. Once you’ve come to this, then you can build your content around that key goal, in a strategic, thought-out manner, which might just take months or years, but will lead to long-term repeat purchase from your audience.