When I first heard about Content and Marketing getting together, I couldn’t image a better-matched couple. If you think about it, these two were often ignored as individuals. Content used to be just a bunch of old photos sitting in a shoe box, and a diary hiding under a pillow. Marketing was loud and disruptive, it and often just got in people’s way. Now, that’s all changed. By combining forces, Content Marketing is a powerful team — one that everyone wants to hang out with.
Here’s a little history about how these two got together
Content has always been a collector of knowledge but lacked the right support to share that information with the right people. Content is often associated with others. For example, a lot of people want to couple Content with Public Relations, but Content needs to spread its wings beyond what one form of promotion could offer. Content can take on so many different shapes and mediums; it didn’t want to be limited.
Marketing, on the other hand, spent years yelling and screaming buzz-worthy slag that didn’t have any substance. People put up with all the less-than-desirable attributes of Marketing because it usually paid for the entertainment or information. However, in recent years being noisy just wasn’t working for Marketing. Buyers found ways to filter out the noise, and Marketing knew it had to offer buyers more.
While it has been rumored for years that Content and Marketing belonged together, it wasn’t until some fancy advertising folks got together and decided to announce to the world that Content Marketing is a thing. I personally have always thought those two went together and didn’t need the paparazzi tell me so.
Now that Content and Marketing have officially gotten together, here’s how this marriage benefits for you:
Start with research — Answer the questions: How are your customers getting industry information? What kind of content do they consume the most and what is their rate of response?
This is where you want to spend your marketing efforts: Follow the buying process and determine all the key touchpoints of your customers.
In many cases, the most effective way of influencing your customers' buying decision is by engaging with your distribution channel
Determine what media outlets your distribution channel and customers are consuming
Decide what platforms to use and which one not to use
Because you’ve spent the time researching habits of your potential customers, you now have a better idea of where and how to engage with buyers.
Now it may be tempting to put all your efforts in one or two areas, don’t do that. Instead, you need to use a mix of marketing to surround the audience. This approach will help make sales now and build trust with customers in the future.
Decide what platforms/approaches will not work is just as important as determining which ones will. For example, if your research tells you that your audience isn’t using Instagram, don’t create an account. Free platforms are trendy and hip to use, but if your customers aren’t there, then you don’t need to be either. Your time is just as valuable as your marketing dollars.
Make a key messaging checklist
Write down what’s important to your audience.
It likely will not one be a single thing, and the list will vary by the number of industries you serve. Be sure that all your content addresses one or two of these areas
Remember, it's not what you want buyers to know, it’s about what they want to know about you
Your checklist should serve as a reminder and a litmus test for all of your marketing efforts
List out the content that needs to be created, include deliverables deadlines, project timelines and contact information
While this feels like you are building a marketing plan, there are very few marketing plans that include details about how a company plans to secure and/or create content. And, without content your marketing is just noise
Your list should include high-quality photography, video, audio, graphics and illustrations, as well as written materials such as customer testimonials, case studies, product information and training documents
Content needs to be aimed at building trust and helping solve a problem of buyer
Put your content to work
The beauty of quality content is that it’s easy to be repurposed a lot of different ways.
Get the most of out your content investment by reorganizing it to be relevant to multiple customer segments and marketing platforms
If your company’s Content and Marketing haven’t made the connection yet, let us know. We’d be happy help you introduce the two to each other.