Key takeaways

  • For content marketing to be successful, a broader understanding of context is essential in order to produce impactful information
  • As the amounts of content available to users becomes unmanageable, there is an opportunity for businesses to build brand and trust through curation and customisation of this information
  • Content marketing needs to be complimented with a solid strategy for promotion, syndication and sharing and needs to be considered as a part of broader business strategy

 

Heralded as the ‘silver bullet’ of the digital marketing world and with more businesses’ moving online, content marketing is quickly-becoming a digital tool to differentiate and attract attention. However, just slapping up an unpolished, uninformative, keyword-packed, block of text will no longer suffice from a consumer or search point of view.

With search engines becoming ever more stringent with their algorithms to deliver relevant results and more importantly consumers trying to find the ‘needle in the haystack’ when it comes to engaging content, the pressure for marketers and businesses to deliver context adaptive content is on!

Content may be king, but will be de-throned without context

What most businesses fail to understand is that when it comes to content marketing a significant investment is required from a resource point of view in order to deliver contextually relevant and audience appealing information.

From a B2B perspective, if the individual/team producing your content does not understand the fundamentals of your business and its strategy – they can produce copious amounts of content that may get traction, but ultimately deliver little to no commercial value back to the business.

Content may be ‘king’ online, however without context it can be rendered meaningless and be even more damaging to a brand.

Curation and customisation key to differentiation

With copious amounts of content being produced on a daily basis and relatively easily available online, users are swimming in a veritable smorgasbord of information.

A trend which initially came to popularity in the retail sector with the growth of niche online retailers (such as Fab, Etsy and the various daily deals sites) providing access to specialised products or services and targeting specific audience segments – curation is an element that is evermore important in the world of content marketing.

Curation means being able to group together relevant information and distribute this to your audience in a timely manner. If you get it right, curation can be the bridge to gaining consumer trust and provide uplift in terms of brand awareness and loyalty. Examining the success of daily deals sites, such as Groupon, Spreets and others, when launched these sites provided a trusted avenue for shoppers not to have to scour the world wide web looking for the best deals.

Just as various consumer research indicates that personalisation is the ‘next step’ in the evolution of user experience, this is also equally applicable to content marketing. By having a firm understanding of a target audiences’ psyche and/or personas (through broad trends, research and analytics) and using this strategically will lead to the production of customised content which (in theory) should result in better penetration and engagement.

It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen!

The most common misconception when it comes to content marketing, particularly with regard to social media, is that there will be an immediate response from users to content, with the expectation that it will automatically ‘go viral’.

While it is every marketers and businesses’ dream to get an instant positive response to content, this return is often seen over time. As with other digital marketing activities such as SEO and SEM, content marketing whether through a blog, social media channels, website and/or any other digital mediums takes time to be indexed and organically discovered.

That is why the notion of ‘if you build it, they will come’ is simply not true – content is one part of the equation and needs to be complimented with a solid strategy for promotion, syndication and sharing.

Achieving a mix of the right content ultimately comes down to:

  1. Strategic integration of content into broader marketing and business plans
  2. A firm understanding of who your audience is and what types of content engage them
  3. Developing a range of multi-media content mediums that are curated specifically for your audience

 

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Contributor

Nirosha Methananda

With a marketing and communications background, Nirosha is the former marketing lead for PwC’s Technology Consulting services.

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