Many executives today believe they employ content marketing, but very few have truly mastered the art. In most cases, content marketing is surface level and fails to seep into companies' daily marketing activities. Unlike traditional marketing, in which the biggest metric of importance is the number of eyes on an advertisement, content marketing operates under the impression that eyes are irrelevant and engagement is what matters. Advertisements, in this case, are not the centerpiece, but a very small sliver of the marketing pie.
The theory behind content marketing's success is that by providing multimedia content that addresses the pain points of a target audience, a brand drives meaningful engagement that will trickle down into sales growth. It may sound simple, but this is a drastic shift in thinking in the discipline of marketing. Rather than being a replacement for traditional marketing, content marketing is simply the next step in its evolution.
If a brand wants to compete in the 21st century, adding content marketing into the mix is quintessential to its success. This article will clear up some misconceptions about content marketing and provide a framework that clarifies what it actually is, as well as the benefits of properly executing a content marketing plan.
Why Content Marketing is More Successful
A traditional marketer will look at a post, see 1,000 people engaged with it, and believe they succeeded. A content marketer would ignore those metrics and focus on how many people read the post, followed its call-to-action, and performed the desired intent, such as filling out a form or making a purchase.
Content marketing breaks the ice. It gets consumers to engage with a brand on an emotional level by providing them with free content that holds actual value. With the opportunity to engage audiences with quality content, comes the ability to imperceptibly weave in how a product or service can address consumers' pain points. Subtlety is key here. When a mutually-valuable relationship has been established, consumers will become prospects and eventually customers.
1. Choosing Content Authors
Finding content authors who are articulate, skilled and speedy is no easy task. Ideally, a company will hire writers with experience in skills related to content creation such as coding, editing videos, Web design, graphic design, content management software, managing social media, SEO and PPC. It would be a tall order to find an individual who knows all of the above skills, which is why putting together the right team is so important. Once things are set in motion, companies should measure what content and channels are the most successful and adapt accordingly.
2. Choosing Content Types
Content marketing isn't just about blogging and posting on social media 24/7. Continuously posting content is only as valuable as the content itself. One of the things that makes content marketing unique is its diversity of content types such as infographics, social media posts, white papers, videos, case studies, graphics, GIFs, demos, search display and text ads, marketing collateral, tutorials, listings, landing pages, and much more. Another unique aspect is the channels where this content is distributed, and as new channels emerge, new content types emerge and the content marketing pie grows larger.
3. Choosing Distribution Channels
With such an assortment of different types of content - where do they all go? There is a never-ending list of places to post content such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Medium and various industry blogs. A brand should start out with the most common online channels and then eventually work its way up to the more sophisticated ones.
4. Assembling a Content Marketing Arsenal
A company can have the highest quality content publishing to the perfect channels and still fall flat if it's not using the right tools. To successfully execute a content marketing strategy, brands will need an easy-to-use website content management system to create landing pages, capture leads from content consumers, and generate reports on content and channel performance and conversions. Other helpful tools are social media aggregators, such as Hootsuite, Buffer and Sendible, which allow companies to schedule and publish content to a wide range of channels at once from a single login.
The most common content marketing mistake companies make, particularly across social media, is their inability to see the importance of publishing quality content consistently.
Brands can avoid making that mistake by using one of the publishing platforms mentioned above, as well as ensuring their quality content is scheduled to publish across all channels on a consistent basis. With this in mind, companies can go forth and bring their brands to the masses with content marketing done right.
About the Author
Shawn Moore is the founder of
Solodev and the driving force behind the Solodev web experience platform and Solodev Launch digital marketing services. A visionary leader, Shawn has strategically grown Solodev from inception to a successful company that services clients across the nation and has been named to the Inc. 5000's fastest growing private companies for the past two years in a row.
Shawn Moore is the Chief Technology Officer at Solodev.com, a position he has held for over 16 years. With a wealth of experience in the industry, Shawn brings a unique blend of technical expertise and business acumen to the company. He is responsible for leading the technology team and ensuring the company's continued success through innovation and strategic direction. Shawn is dedicated to staying ahead of the curve and continuously improving the offerings at Solodev to meet the evolving needs of the market.