From the moment your alarm rings in the morning to the moment you wind up for the day, content follows you everywhere. Social media feeds, inboxes, mobile phones, hoardings - content is everywhere. Content informing you of more content is also everywhere. The shift in paradigm from creating awareness and promoting products to engaging the audience in a dialogue through creative content, has been a gamechanger in our industry.
From merely functional, content has now become an essential part of digital strategy, user journeys and overall marketing plans. This crucial shift has led many brand managers to rethink the way they operate, as content involves taking the art of words and using the science of marketing to create an impact. Brands placing the right content, in the correct format, at the right time and on the right platform, can influence decisions and even change customer loyalties.
That’s a lot to expect from a bunch of words put together, isn’t it? How does one decide what a brand should be talking about? Where should it be present? How does one create differentiation to stand out amongst the noise? These are profound questions, each of them deserving ample deliberation. But this mountain is not as difficult to scale as it seems. Here are some pointers.
No longer a numbers game
Developing influential content is no longer about the number of content pieces that your team churns out every day. Long gone are the days where more meant better. The only numbers that matter now are the ones that provide insights about what your audience likes, dislikes, engages with, or even refuses to touch. Focus on your social and web analytics as these are your entry points to the mind of your audience, eventually your consumer.
No longer about quick results
Irrespective of your platform, don’t expect quick numbers and results from your content efforts. Content is, and has always been, a long-term initiative. Focus your energies and efforts on creating a niche and establishing yourself as an authority in that area. Create content that addresses the needs and emotions of your audience; focus on being relevant. The reactions, audience involvement, and results will follow.
No longer just about information generation
The quality and relevance of your content matter more than anything. Just as you would set goals for your other marketing initiatives, set goals for your content initiatives as well. The one thing that needs to be kept in mind is consistency and belief. Look at the long-term objectives before thinking tactical, because not every campaign you run will be as successful as the last one.
No longer about being the jack-of-all-trades
For your content creation and marketing efforts to succeed, it is crucial to have focus. Find a topic or a domain and own it. Instead of talking about everything and sounding just like everyone else, find a specialization. Find a voice. Offer something that others can’t. It could be insights from the leaders of your company or the unique process of creating your product.
As our lifestyles change, the role of content will also change. It is important to understand the permanence of content in our lives and the lives of our customers. It is time to change the way we factor it in our long-term marketing strategies. And the first step is to ensure that it becomes an integral and essential component of our marketing efforts.