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) …
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...
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?
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.