When it comes to content marketing we’ve moved from questions like, “Is it effective?” to “How to enhance the deliverability of content marketing?”
With 77 percent of B2C marketers and 86 percent B2B marketers using content marketing, there is absolutely no doubt about the huge role this marketing technique plays in driving brand awareness and customer engagement.
But one of the problems content marketers face is that content marketing is a comprehensive field with a truckload of intricacies; it is also labor intensive and time consuming. What’s more, it does not deliver results in a hurry.
No prizes for guessing that marketers who are using the production and distribution of content to enhance brand visibility are a harried lot. As a content marketer, I can attest to the fact that it’s difficult to get on top of each and every activity that is a part of content marketing.
There are some activities that will come naturally to you as a content marketer, while there are others you need to remember. Many a times, it is these ‘others’ that decide the fate of your content marketing campaign. These are factors that give your content marketing strategy the added impetus it needs, to deliver the returns you are looking for.
At times, content marketers tend to ignore these aspects thinking they are unimportant in the scheme of things. You ignore them at your peril.
Let’s take a look at three important aspects of content marketing that, I think, often get overlooked:
1. Getting inspired.
There are some big brands out there generating tremendous returns from their content marketing campaign. Make it a point to learn from them. You might have your content marketing strategy all worked out, but it makes sense to check how it matches up with the strategies implemented by other businesses, especially your competitors. You might come across a particular tactic that is paying them rich dividends and which you should be using as well.
For example, say you have ignored making visuals an intrinsic part of your content marketing plan; but when you do take a look at the content marketing campaign run by your competitors, you realize visual content is working for them. This, essentially, gives you the confidence to come up with a visual content marketing strategy of your own.
2. More "you," less "me."
A content marketer needs to do a fine balancing act between distributing branded content and content with absolutely zero brand affiliation. Very often, branded content takes center stage and the need to push out useful, actionable and user driven content pieces is ignored. Marketers who are making this mistake constantly need to remind themselves that their target audience is looking for information that focuses on their needs and requirements.
Your content marketing should be more about your brand’s audience, than your brand. The brands that are scoring big with their content marketing begin by identifying the problems their potential customers are searching to solve, and then delivering solutions through high-quality content.
If you’ve been talking more about your products and services and ignoring the "real needs" of your audience, it’s time you started focusing on the latter.
3. Creativity and innovation.
In our search for measurable results from content marketing, we sometimes see this marketing tactic through a narrow prism defined by a set of "must-follow" rules. We forget the very essence of content marketing - creativity. We tend to create content silos, and refuse to look at the world beyond them. This reduces the scale and scope of our content marketing strategy.
The whole idea behind using content as a marketing technique is that it allows us to push the marketing envelope. Make no mistake, it is important to follow rules, but not in a manner that limits your creativity. If you take a look at some of the successful content marketing campaigns doing the rounds, you will realize that at some level, they are breaking new ground. They are exploring new content avenues, distributing diverse content formats and revolutionizing content marketing.
Over the long term, you will find your emphasis on creativity and innovation paying off. However, if you choose to stick to the “rule” book, you’ll find the results ordinary at best.
If you’ve been ignoring these aspects, it’s time you started giving importance to them. They should be fundamental to your content marketing strategy.