Content Marketing – the Present and the Future 06 Dec 2013
Content is king – no marketer can ignore the dictum today. But the point of view taken by marketers differs. Is it about the quantity? Or is it all about the quality? Or is it a balancing act? Truly, a balance between quality and quantity is essential.
No marketing campaign can survive without quality content. If you fail to deliver high quality content, it isn’t received well by the target audience. Again, if you aren’t regular in your efforts, it won’t deliver the desired results either.
But even after you achieve this delicate balance, is the content appropriate and adequate to engage the right audience? And if it does, how do you measure this involvement? The trends of today will soon give way to new tendencies in the future.
Let’s take a look at what works now and what may work in the near future.
Leader of the Pack
What lead today’s content efforts? Today’s marketing sphere is ruled by content promotion via social media. The likes and shares on social media platforms generate activity for a piece of content.
But is it enough? If the number of likes and shares alone is the yardstick for success, it sure can be called successful. But in most cases, this isn’t enough. If a content gets likes and shares but generates no actual discussions, can it be deemed as successful?
Newsletters and blogs also feature as the leaders of the content pack. But again, the question is – does it create any real value? Soon, other content marketing pathways must be included in the mix to create the correct concoction.
Conducting case studies, hosting live events, utilizing branded tools and such others need to be introduced in the marketing efforts. What a simple share cannot do, a live event can – and that is to generate discussion, add to the brand value and get backlinks.
The Focal Point
The problem with content marketing is that it focuses more on the marketing portion and less on the content element. Another thing to worry is that it is more focused on the company, the industry it is in and the associated aspects.
Industry news and trends, profiles of the people behind the company, changes and improvements in the company and so on today form the core of the content created. But ask – how does it benefit the customers? Why will they pay any attention to it?
Relevance is one trait no content marketer can overlook nowadays. It is essential to create content that centers on the customer, not on the company. To get this approach, you need to understand what the customer needs at a specific stage.
Everyone reports industry news. Don’t go down the same path. Instead, translate it into something useful for your customers. Interpret the consequences of the news, how it can be used for their advantage, and how you can help to do this.
Measurement of Success
For social media promotion, the easiest way to evaluate success is to count the likes and shares. But is it really of any use? If it moves just within your circle of friends or colleagues, does it do much for the business?
To can be a burdensome, complex and expensive process. But it is what a business needs to do to understand the ROI of its social media efforts.
Again, traffic generation often becomes the criterion to assess the success of the content marketing efforts. Well, it does have an effect. But it isn’t all. If you are unable to measure the success with the metrics that matter, it won’t be of any good.
An ideal way to ensure success is to create personas that correspond to the target customers and create conversations that matter. You also need to identify the criteria to evaluate the success of your content marketing efforts.
Pay attention to what you do and find out what more you can do to attain results.
Don’t be misled; content still reigns supreme when it comes to the engagement of audience and the creation of opportunities to interact with the business. But the strategies of how you do it may have to be turned and tweaked to suit the future needs.