Is it me You’re Looking For?
Content marketing is a hot topic amongst brands and marketers, but what is it and how do you use it effectively? Leonards presents a top-line overview of what’s involved and how to develop KPIs and benchmarks for measurement. Learn how content marketing can fit into your marketing mix.
It is getting harder and harder to attract, let alone engage, with audiences these days. Movie goers arrive late, deliberately, to movie screenings to skip the ads and get straight to the movie, take bathroom breaks in TV ad breaks and flick through many pages of a newspaper past dozens of ads looking for articles that jump right out at them. Even the internet is not immune, with the younger generations having Ad Blocker set up on their devices.
Can you blame them? After all, people are bombarded with so many messages, through so many different media channels each and every day ranging from “Buy this” or “Do that” or even “Go over there!”. But if there is one thing that is immune to this level of disengagement it is the power of content. After all, content, whether in visual or editorial form, is the one thing that gets shared by people, especially in the realm of social media. Take a look next time you’re on LinkedIn or Facebook. You may have already been exposed to Content Marketing. In a way, you could say this newsletter is a form of content marketing.
But what exactly is content marketing? Is it an ‘advertorial’ but without the sell? Or is it paid editorial? To put it simply, it’s a newly developed component of the marketing mix that’s all about creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content in a bid to attract, engage and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving an action. It’s the art of communicating with your target markets (both current and potential) without the bombardment of sales messages. Finally, it’s about pitching your brand (whether it be a product, service or event) and delivering information to make your audience member more informed as an outcome.
“Okay sure,” you say, “But how do I go about it for my organisation?” Remember that movie ‘Field of Dreams’? “If you build it, they will come.”
The essence of any good content strategy is the belief that if brands deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to the audience, they are ultimately rewarded with the audience’s business and loyalty. With that strategy, think of it along the lines of building a song playlist for an event, say a wedding reception.
You’re going to need to dig out your record collection then draft a plan of what music will be played, how the event will be timed, who’s going to attend — so that you can make the experience memorable.
“Are you with the Bride or Groom?”
Before you go ahead and hit the keyboard, you need to know who you’re writing for. This will determine the tone while reflecting your brand’s style. Getting the tone wrong can be very detrimental, especially if you’re trying to reach either younger or mature audiences. This audience evaluation process also helps dictate how the content gets delivered in the end. To put it simply, in reference to the wedding analogy, you wouldn’t play ABBA on the dancefloor when the audience are hipsters.
“You’re the Voice”
Now that you have determined what audience you’re targeting, time to make a noise and make it clear. Whether you’re creating content for your blog, your website, or on social media, the style you write in will become the “voice” of your brand. But while you might adopt a more playful voice on Twitter, and a more professional voice in a whitepaper or on LinkedIn, consistency is the key. Such things to consider in this phase are the people you’re wanting to target, as well as tone, language and most importantly, purpose, i.e What are you wanting to do? Engage? Educate? Enable?
“Hearts in Motion”
By now, you know who you want to target and how you should talk to them rather than how you’d like to talk at them. Time to move onto the creation stage as well as establish what medium you’re going to engage with your target market. Start with an outline, such as a mission statement, of the main message you’re wanting to get across and go from there. Be warned, there will be revisions throughout the course of this process so always draw back to the outline as a reference. Once the content is ready to go, ask yourself what channel is best suited to this particular audience. Whitepaper, perhaps? Maybe something in the Sydney Morning Herald? Or what about a video? It’s up to you, but in the end, it’s whatever is going to best suit your content, objectives and audience.
“Greatest Hit or Greatest Miss”
So you’ve done all that and the content is now out to market. How do you determine if it’s a hit or a miss with your audience. Let’s go back to that wedding reception analogy. How many people are on the dance floor as opposed to in the bar? How many smiling faces can you see in the crowd over the loud ruckus by the bar complaining about how they ran out of the house wines? In the case of content marketing, you need to measure the following:
• How many times was your content watched/shared/mentioned?
• How many people Liked/Retweeted/ Followed your brand as a result of your content going to market compared to a certain timeframe when that content wasn’t in market?
• How many people provided feedback and/or interacted with that content?
• How much traffic was generated to your website? Also, where did they go afterwards on the site?
• What was the brand resonance as a result of your content going to market? Did it improve your brand’s image? Lift brand awareness? Increase ticket sales or foot traffic?
The basis of success is determined by your objectives, so as a benchmark, best to look at past campaigns for the same target audience to compare numbers.
“That’s all, folks”
While this may be a new method in order to get your audience’s attention, content marketing is gaining serious traction in Australia across a number of industries such as retail, FMCG and, most recently, tourism (Tourism Australia are proof of that) and it’s only a matter of time before government bodies start utilising this method of engagement. So, to the tune of a very popular ‘Frozen’ song, “Do you wanna build a playlist?”
Melissa Guajardo is the Digital Marketing and Strategy Lead at Leonards Advertising.
She has extensive experience and knowledge in developing and implementing Through-The- Line Campaigns for the Local Government, Retail, Recruitment, Tourism, FMCG and Technology Industries.