Feb 29 2012

The Rise of Content Marketing

Published by at 11:43 pm under Idea Driven Marketing

It seems that every day one encounters another piece about the growing importance and use of content marketing in the overall marketing practice. I would agree that these are the days of content in the marketing mix.

Perhaps understandable with such a fast growing and developing marketing trend, content marketing is greatly misunderstood. Is it mainly used for B2B or B2C marketing (or both equally)? Is it about branded entertainment? Is it mainly blogs? Do brochures count as content. How do I deploy content marketing effectively and efficiently, and is there really any real ROI?

All good questions. I don’t have all of the answers, but I do have the requisite 6 point check list for effectively developing and deploying content as part of your marketing strategy:

  • The content MUST be high quality and relevant to the audiences you are trying to reach. Anything else is just a waste of time (and money).
  • Don’t even think of making the content a self-serving commercial. Just like in the first point, if you create commercially-driven content, you are throwing your marketing money down the toilet. No one will read or use it. And, it won’t have  the desire effect of causing either an attitudinal or behavioral change (or both) amongst your target audiences and prospects.
  • Make sure you budget for the content development. It ain’t cheap, and someone has to do it. You may need to use outside resources to build your content. Here is a good blog post on this subject of adequately budgeting for content development.
  • If you feel like you are giving away  the store with your content marketing strategy,  you are probably doing a good job with it. The whole point of content marketing is to give prospects something of value so they will strongly consider you when ultimately making a purchase decision.
  • Your search strategy is inextricably linked to your content marketing program. The content is the bait for your search activities. Make sure you develop both your search and content strategies in an integrated fashion.
  • Content marketing is also closely aligned with thought leadership, especially in the B2B marketing realm. Whatever content you put out there needs to position you as an expert and industry/sector leader.
  • Good content also becomes great fodder for your demand generation activities.

Content marketing is an essential fact of life in today’s marketing and communications department. If you do it right (and stick with it), content marketing can be a powerful weapon in your marketing arsenal.

The content marketing universe.

 

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