There’s a lot of noise about content marketing today. Everyone seems to be talking about it. There is a ton of content out there about it. But many marketers are not totally sure how to define high-quality content marketing and how to really fit it in as part of their marketing strategy.
Content marketing is the process of creating valuable, relevant content to attract, acquire, and engage your audience. Now this is just one of the many possible definitions of content marketing. I think it defines and exemplifies some of the great aspects of what content marketing can do for your business.
Businesses today need high-quality content marketing. It’s a critical aspect of being visible in our digital busy world. We all have an abundance of information available to us out there on the internet. Your customers are sifting through tons of messages each day, whether it’s doing their own research online, push messaging that’s coming across from marketers, or emails that are coming into their mailbox. Information is everywhere and it is extremely difficult for you as a marketer to get heard through all of that noise.
We also live in a multi-device world. Your customers move seamlessly through their laptops to their phones to their tablet. They can carry information around with them in their purses and pockets and access it any minute at any time in a 24/7 world. So because there is such an access to information and tons of these multi-devices, it is challenging for you as a marketer to get heard from your customers.
We also live in a multi-channel world, so not only are your customers accessing information on multiple devices, but they are also accessing information across channels. What do I mean by that? Your customers are on
- social media
- search sites
- your website
- review sites like Yelp and Google
There are so many different channels today that your customers can access. As a marketer, it is important to be present and be relevant on all those channels.
What does all of this mean–this information, these multi-devices, multi-channels? It is a very complex world out there and all of that equals attention scarcity. This means that your customers’ attention is really divided among all of these different areas; therefore, the attention that they actually have for you and your messaging is scarce. But content marketing helps you actually break through that noise because you are providing thought leadership and you are differentiating your brand from all the other brands out there. By creating valuable, relevant, and educational content, you can be seen in front of your customers on those different channels, on those different devices, and really become that trusted resource through all of that information.
Content marketing has these seven qualifications. As you are thinking about planning out your content marketing strategy, and as you are thinking about content marketing in general for your business, make sure that these seven elements are present.
- Content marketing engages individuals on their own terms. This means being available and being relevant where your audience lives–that concept of multi-channel, multi-device.
- Your content marketing is based on interactions with your buyers. You should be creating content that is relevant to what your buyers want to hear and what they are searching for.
- High-quality content marketing should tell a continuous story. Your content should tell not only your business story but also the story of your customers. It really does have to be a story. It has to be a narrative that is interesting and engaging.
- Make sure that content marketing is the right fit for your channels. You need to create different types of content for different channels. A type of content that is great for your social media channel might not be right for email marketing or a paid program that you are delivering. Make sure that the content that you’re creating is you think about being channel-specific.
- Your content has a clear purpose. This means that all content that you create should have a goal, should have a purpose in mind. You’re creating content for thought leadership, brand awareness, lead generation, all of these things. Make sure it has a purpose.
- Your content marketing has predefined metrics. You should be creating content with end goals in mind, whether that is x amount of new customers, or perhaps it is new followers on your social networks. Whatever your predefined metrics should be, make sure you determine those before you go in and actually create that content.
- Content marketing is almost always evergreen. This means keep in mind your entire lifecycle when you think about your different content. Content should last months, content should last years. It’s not totally always like this, of course. For instance sometimes you’ll create a piece of content on a trend-related item for social media. That might not be evergreen; however, your large pieces such as your eBooks, should be content themes and arcs that span multiple quarters so that you can get the most bang from your buck.
Following are some additional stats to keep in mind as you are thinking about your content strategy:
- 71 percent of consumers trust solutions that provide useful information without trying to sell something. Your content should be educational. It should be thought leadership for the purpose of building that trust and building those relationships over time.
- 62 percent of consumers trust solutions that provide information and best practices for tools they have purchased. You want to teach your customers how to use your products and services better. You want to teach them best practices and you want to educate them. This over time will really enable that lifelong value and that lifelong relationship building from your customers.
Given our definition of high-quality content marketing and the seven qualifications, take some time to sit down and determine how you can fit your content marketing strategy into each of these seven items. By really mapping out your reasons for content marketing and defining what content marketing means for your business, you can create a high-quality content marketing strategy from A to Z.