How does a modern brand develop and sustain its competitive advantage? By creating and curating original content that connects with its audience. For years marketers have been saying “content is king”, but the reality is content isn’t just a king anymore… it’s now emperor!
What has changed is the media landscape. Today, brands must create smart content that is optimized for sharing across a wide array of customer-facing media channels – websites, magazines, tv, youtube, facebook, etc. Furthermore, the distribution channels are in constant flux. What’s a resource and/or budget-strained brand to do? Focus on the core message and use the brand’s voice to craft platform-aware content supported by high quality visuals and and you will never venture too far off target.
Marketers must look at their paid and owned channels in new ways and employ an an “editorial mindset”. Gone are the days when a brand could create a single message or campaign and reach all of its target customer segments. People simply have more options when considering how to spend their time, and they can detect inauthentic land grabs from a mile away. To overcome these challenges, view each element of the “marketing mix” as a unique property that has its own rules of engagement. Focus on the brand’s core value proposition before tailoring campaign messaging for specific media platforms.
People are social and as such are more likely to engage with a brand that they respect or view as having authority to tell them the who, what, when, why and how to take action. If a positive association can be formed with a brand (through its content) targeted users are more likely to make a purchase or become an active participant in the brand’s world. Nimble Division guides brands to form emotional connections via compelling and unique messages so that the brand, in turn, sees actionable results. Check out the case study. We call this engagement strategy “storyselling” (a term coined by author, Dan S. Kennedy).
Content marketing engages an audience and it can work (when done right) for all brands (big or small, B2B or B2C). In this world, quality trumps quantity as word-of-mouth will amplify a high-value message to a greater degree than can be purchased with tonnage. When the correct editorial ideas/the stories are delivered in the appropriate context, brands enjoy loyalty that will propel their message further.
Creating original content doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but it does require focus and patience.
Facts & Figures
So, now you might be thinking, “This sounds interesting, but how does content marketing impact my bottom line? What is the ROI?”. Consider these recent facts*:
- Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages. The real-world result? Strong, sustainable and organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who don’t.
- 62% of companies outsource their content marketing.
- 78% of CMOs think custom content is the future of marketing.
- 86% of B2C marketers use content marketing.
- Companies with less than 10 employees allocate 42% of their marketing budget to content.
- Organic search leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound marketing leads have a 1.7% close rate.
- 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement.
- Companies with active blogs receive 97% more leads.
- Marketers spend more than 25% of their marketing budget on content marketing.
As you can see, the creation of ownable content that is relevant to a business’ target audience yields marketable results!
Elements of the Content Marketing Mix:
Social Media Marketing & Channel Management – Do you subscribe to only one social media service? Probably not. There are dozens to choose from, meaning that your business needs to be active and well represented on as many relevant channels as possible.
Editorial & Content Development – It’s no longer enough to claim a Twitter or Facebook account. Engagement occurs when relevant content is delivered in a way that truly connects with your audience.
“Modern PR” – Control your message. Bypass blanket distribution and deliver your most important messages directly to the audience who is waiting to hear from you. If you need to target print magazines, enlist our friends at Strategic Market Partners!
Digital PR – Take your message online. Without a digital presence, your brand will fail to stay relevant in the modern business world. Use the outlets at your disposal to curate impactful and original messaging.
Publishing – Ship it! Use programs such as Tracx (a client of ours) or Hootsuite to schedule cross-platform posts for maximum exposure.
Blogging – Employ a company blog to communicate directly with visitors on your website. You can repurpose longer posts to bite-sized items for social media channels.
Hyper-targeted messaging – As your audience grows you will be able to enact targeted campaigns. Speak to niche markets and a layer of relatability to your content marketing strategy.
Community Building / User Generated Content – Nurture a fanbase who will vouch for your product or service. Referrals are one of the strongest marketing tools because they are grounded in trust.
Reputation Management – Be honest with your audience, and they will be honest with you. Check in with your outreach platforms on a regular basis and provide feedback or a response when it is warranted. There is no place to hide online. (Note: We do not provide “scandal management”)