In context of content marketing, marketing is understood as an ongoing process revolving around creating engaging and useful content.
Smart brands have been in the business of content marketing for more than 100 years now. Perhaps the most legendary example is the Michelin restaurant reference guide, originally created to increase demand for cars and, subsequently, tyres.
Digitalisation has further emphasised the demand for content to serve the needs of target groups. Content marketing has become a standard requirement.
- Search engines give high rankings to quality content.
- Automated processes and utilisation of data are not enough – precise targeting and timing set increasingly high demands for content.
- Great content helps to connect potential customers with your brand by their choice. This is completely the opposite of conventional marketing, which can be perceived as not relevant and, in worst case, even irritating by the recipients.
Customer insight is the key
Content marketing means managing the brand and making it alive in a multichannel world where content is consumed on the customers’ terms.
The focus is on a story created on the basis of customer insight and enhanced in continuous interaction with the target audience. However, the content is not believable unless the brand actively supports the same story in all its channels.
The story makes the content of the brand recognisable, regardless of the channel. The story can be understood as the ‘sound’ of the brand: it’s unique and helps to distinguish the brand from all others. The rhythm, however, has to be adapted to the needs of each context and target audience to make the story relevant and authentic. The key is in finding the shared themes of the brand and the target audience and then building the content strategy around those themes.
Towards content plans and sustained efforts
All too often, content marketing is perceived just as content pushed through all channels. A campaign begins, a campaign ends. There are hundreds of thousands clicks and views and maybe even some deserved media coverage. So what?
In too many cases, content marketing efforts concentrate on the beginning of the sales process. No thought is spared for the next step: how the potential customer attracted by the content can be led to the next level on the way towards customership.
Successful content marketing does not consist of isolated campaigns. It is a sustained effort – content programmes that lead potential customers gently but dynamically throughout the purchase process. Only then does the actual work begin: to live up to the expectations of your customers, day in, day out, time and again.
– Emilia –