Can we be sure that content marketing isn't just another irritating marketing invention, new buzz and latest fad for the Twitter social media gurus to bleat about?
Categorically, yes. Content marketing is really just a new term for common sense. At its heart, what content marketing means is helping different types of people on different types of buying journey to find information that is relevant to them. Content is king. It hasn't always been that way in the online world, but today content marketing has come into its own.
If it were called information marketing perhaps that would help to alleviate some of the 'bullshit bingo' undertone of content marketing. But, to be fair, content comes in many forms: words, video, information graphics (infographics), private, encrypted, public, dispersed, tagged, blog, social media, even sounds. In this context, sometimes the content is the medium, and perhaps information doesn't cover the vast range of content types and publishing media available to today's content generator.
Some people refer to content marketing as search plus (SEO plus). Certainly content marketing complements search optimisation programmes (SEO), keyword research, logical website structures and information architecture (IA). At FortuneWest, we're not precious about what it's called but we are interested in what good content can achieve for our customers.
The good news is that content marketing should not be a drain on resources as most companies have years of archived content that can be revived and are regularly generating up to date content. The new opportunity that content marketing highlights is that individual items and strands of content have a longer shelf life than previously, and they can be re-written or re-purposed for different types of reader and different media outlets.
The same core information, for example, can have assigned to it a narrative or commentary for viewers or readers from discrete sectors. A software product brochure or demo is therefore able to speak more directly and relevantly to prospects from multiple sectors such as finance, legal, manufacturing, who each has separate interests, perspectives and needs.
Fresh, slightly tailored, relevant content helps to overcome the blandness of generic sales propositions.
A sensible approach to content marketing is to have someone help you to conduct an audit of the content you already have and the content you are likely to need in the future to influence sales. Relatively new terms like content wrangling and content curation are filtering into everyday speak. They are really only terms for common sense activities like filing your stuff, preparing and organising it properly, then getting it in the right place, perhaps online, in a way that it can be found easily or promoted.
Another interesting aspect of content marketing is dissemination, or getting your stuff out there. Back in the day we were all victims of interruption marketing when advertisers could interrupt us in the middle of something else we probably preferred to be doing, watching TV or listening to the radio. Now we can generally avoid being interrupted, if we choose, and we go to look for information, especially online, only when it is relevant and timely to do so.
Plus, we can all be publishers. This is where content marketing works for your company and the buyer alike. If they are researching, you can provide relevant background content; when comparing suppliers, the same; looking for a demonstration, they can see your video on YouTube, perhaps; looking for more information about your credibility or SLAs, the same, and personalised too ... and so on along the buying path to enquiry or purchase, if your content is well structured.
As in all aspects of marketing, at FortuneWest we try to develop marketing programmes that are easier to use than not to use.
Please get in touch to talk about the latest in content marketing and how a content strategy could help you grow your business.
Content (information) is a valuable, frequently under-exploited company asset.
A small investment in content can have a positive, measurable influence on your business. Here's how:
Related topic Inbound marketing strategy