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The Modern Marketing Blog covers the latest in marketing strategy, technology, and innovation.

The Rise of the Unread: How to Avoid the Burial of Your Content

Sylvia Jensen
Sr. Director of EMEA Marketing

The​ ​Unread​ ​(content)​ ​has​ ​risen​ ​and​ ​is​ ​stalking​ ​the​ ​internet. Your​ ​content, yes​ ​that​ ​blog​ ​post​ ​you​ ​spent​ ​hours​ ​crafting​ ​(and​ ​even​ ​more hours​ ​getting​ ​signed​ ​off)​ ​is​ ​already​ ​buried​ ​under​ ​piles​ ​and​ ​piles​ ​of​ ​unread.​ ​It’s​ ​gone,​ ​and​ ​what’s​ ​more​ ​no​ ​one​ ​cares​ ​(if​ ​they​ ​were​ ​ever aware​ ​of​ ​it​ ​in​ ​the​ ​first​ ​place) …

Content​ ​Marketing​ ​is​ ​Here​ ​to​ ​Stay

It’s​ ​plain​ ​that​ ​content​ ​marketing​ ​is​ ​becoming​ ​the​ ​dominant​ ​form​ ​of​ ​communication​ ​between​ ​companies​ ​and​ ​customers. Nearly​ ​8​ ​in​ ​10 (77%)​ ​companies​ ​planned​ ​to​ ​increase​ ​their​ ​content​ ​marketing​ ​budgets​ ​in​ ​2016, according​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Marketing​ ​Budgets​ ​Report​ ​published by​ ​Econsultancy​ ​in​ ​association​ ​with​ ​Oracle​ ​Marketing​ ​Cloud.   

Nearly​ ​8​ ​in​ ​10​ ​(77%)​ ​companies​ ​planned​ ​to​ ​increase​ ​their​ ​content​ ​marketing​ ​budgets​ ​in​ ​2016.

Content​ ​marketing​ ​has​ ​been​ ​evolving​ ​for​ ​some​ ​time​ ​and​ ​is​ ​now​ ​starting​ ​to​ ​touch​ ​every​ ​point​ ​across​ ​communications. Everyone​ ​in​ ​the organisation​ ​needs​ ​to​ ​get​ ​on​ ​the​ ​content​ ​bandwagon.

Content​ ​marketing​ ​is​ ​about​ ​more​ ​than​ ​an​ ​individual​ ​blog​ ​post​ ​or​ ​video​ ​that​ ​“goes​ ​viral”.​ ​A​ ​truly​ ​joined-up​ ​approach​ ​is​ ​needed,​ ​with different​ ​departments​ ​and​ ​disciplines​ ​collaborating​ ​for​ ​success.​ ​More​ ​on​ ​that​ ​later...

Content​ ​Marketing​ ​is​ ​Everywhere

Some​ ​are​ ​even​ ​saying​ ​that​ ​content​ ​​is​ ​​marketing. ​Everyone​ ​from​ ​big​ ​multinationals​ ​to​ ​your​ ​local​ ​pet​ ​store​ ​is​ ​engaging​ ​in​ ​some​ ​form​ ​of content​ ​marketing.

So​ ​amid​ ​the​ ​never​ ​ending​ ​​proliferation​ ​of​ ​blog​ ​posts, ​​eguides,​ ​videos,​ ​white​ ​papers,​ ​SlideShares​ ​and​ ​infographics,​ ​how​ ​can​ ​you​ ​make sure​ ​your​ ​content​ ​rises​ ​above​ ​the​ ​groaning​ ​mass​ ​of​ ​The​ ​Unread?

How​ ​to​ ​Escape​ ​the​ ​Fate​ ​of​ ​The​ ​Unread (or ​Get​ ​Your​ ​Content​ ​Seen!)

There are two crucial components to keeping your content captivating and compelling. First of all, you need to give people content they find truly and totally useful. Secondly, you must provide content that is highly personalised.

  1. Provide Useful Content

Only by creating and delivering really useful content can you truly capture customer attention and engagement. This is why how-to guides, advice forums and budget calculators are so popular. Content that helps your prospects and customers to answer questions, fulfill needs and make their lives easier, will win every time. One of the easiest ways of doing this is using employee generated content. This content is based on feedback from the service department on commonly asked questions. This way you can be sure that the content you produce is hitting your customers’ pain points.

  1. Provide Highly Personalised Content

In this age of detailed customer insights and user data, there’s no excuse for broad-brush communications and one-size-fits-all marketing content. CMOs must harness the power of knowledge — knowledge about individual prospects, their behaviours, preferences, past activities and interests — in order to deliver targeted and effective messages, especially when you consider the following, according to Demand Metric:

  • 82% of customers feel more positively about a brand after reading custom content.
  • 90% of customers find custom content useful.

What Makes Great Content Marketing?

Marketers and organisations are always looking for new ways to grab the customer’s attention. In the fast-moving world of marketing communications, novelty counts for a lot. But it’s also about high-quality execution. Shoddy, poorly-researched or unattractive content is doomed to quickly join the massed ranks of the Unread.

Exploring new channels is essential. As new platforms and networks emerge, the best content marketers experiment to discover new ways of reaching customers. Tailoring content to different channels while maintaining a coherent brand experience overall is the balancing act that CMOs must excel at.

For example, email marketing is great for sending targeted sales messages or tailored offers. Meanwhile, informal social networks can provide the opportunity to highlight new facets of the brand, or build customer relationships by showcasing behind-the-scenes content.

Multichannel

Truly great content can work on many different channels and in different campaigns, creating a common, interlinking thread that is shareable and lives on beyond initial release.

Multidiscipline

This is about how the team works together. Dynamic, effective content is often the product of multiple departments and disciplines. For example, creative for a video may be distributed via an advertising agency, get framed and promoted by the social media team, leveraged for email marketing automation, and so on.

Intelligent

Winning content campaigns absolutely have to encourage sharing and interaction. With so much audience insight at CMOs’ disposal these days, these interactions are trackable and measurable. These can be harnessed to move customers along the buying and advocacy journeys, with a definitive end goal in mind.

Authentic

Customer groups and community marketing are highly crucial aspects of modern marketing. Don’t underestimate the huge potential that can be drawn from adding value to customer groups and their shared interests. However, the key thing for any brand to bear in mind is authenticity and legitimacy. Be helpful and interesting, not intrusive.

Data-driven Content Marketing Is the Future

The most essential change to impact content marketing now and going forward is the fact that it now absolutely must be data-driven. Companies have too much data at their fingertips to simply put together content on a whim, or on the off-chance of success. Instead, there is an ever greater move towards tailored content, targeting of individual customers, and personalisation.

With content pervading all aspects of customer interaction, It’s no exaggeration to state that the future of content marketing is the future of communications. And that future is one in which technology delivers detailed insights to help guide and direct the creativity of marketing teams towards greater efficacy.

Takeaways:

  • Content marketing is becoming the dominant form of marketing, with the consequence that customers are becoming swamped with content
  • Providing truly useful content is vital in order to rise above the noise
  • Tailoring and personalisation of content are increasingly necessary approaches
  • Exploring new channels and approaches helps to maintain interest in content
  • Great content marketing should be multichannel, multi-discipline, intelligent and authentic

You’re on the right path to creating content that will survive and be seen. Your next step is finding out the crucial trends and essential insights for CMOs. Download The Future of Content Marketing today.

The Future of Content Marketing

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