Content has become king in online marketing as savvy audiences can spot a hollow sales pitch a mile away and instead look for content that educates, informs and entertains them. As a result, brands have been tripping over themselves to deliver thoughtful blog posts, educational infographics, fresh mobile apps, and exciting live events. However, in their haste to one-up the competition, some campaign managers have lost sight of their goals, metrics, or a combination of both.
Solving the right problems
Content marketing is already attracting a double-digit percentage of marketers' budgets, according to Ad Age researchers, and more than half of these teams are calling for additional investment in 2013. But research also shows that a surprising proportion of online marketers are pushing ahead a bit too fast and embarking on elaborate projects without a solid strategy in place.
"More and more clients and brands are realizing they need content to be part of the checklist, but they haven't figured out how or why," PR agency executive Kyle Monson told Ad Age. "Clients come to me saying they need a content campaign---that's a solution. When we ask, 'What's the problem,' often it's that every other CMO has one."
Aside from a lack of clearly defined goals, brands are also struggling to get their in-house teams and priorities in order. With few reliable and standardized metrics for clearly measuring content marketing success, many teams have a hard time getting management support for their projects. Plus, a shortage of dedicated creative resources is forcing companies to stack new content project work on top of existing staff workloads.
Staff assignments will always vary depending on budget, scale and content types, but it’s essential to clearly define the roles and expectations for every partner in the content creation process.
Like many marketing initiatives, content marketing can be a numbers game, and companies will have to publish enough creative material to establish a meaningful presence in already crowded online media channels. However, smart targeting can help even limited campaigns pack a punch.
Before production begins, the intended audience and desired reaction should be clearly defined and understood. Tired perspectives and repurposed sales copy will only lead to high bounce rates. Instead, advertisers must find original ways to demonstrate or imply how their goods and services will benefit viewers to build engagement, as this CMSWire article shows.
Once your internal team or content partner has come up with a product that’s ready to go, it’s time to pull out all the promotional stops. Promoting the piece via corporate social media channels is a proven way to put content in front of prospects, but most brands will want to cast a wider net as well. At that point, it's all about who you know. Any readymade content communities open to submissions? Any developers capable of optimizing for mobile viewing? Anyone who can get your content closer to the online hangouts and preferred channels of your target audience could be worth a call.
Finally, supporting your content marketing efforts through a complementary media campaign gives you additional opportunities to reach your target audience and showcase your great content. We offer a wide range of creative ways you can leverage Yahoo! content or your own content to make a connection with your audience across PCs, tablets and mobile phones at unmatched scale. To learn more, call your Yahoo! representative.
(Image by zandwacht via Flickr CC 2.0)