How much value is in a single piece of content? Convention holds that a perfectly optimized web page or a fascinating case study can go a long way in driving traffic and ultimately leads.
But it’s 2020 and convention means nothing anymore.
From marketers to sales reps to the c-suite, the entire funnel ecosystem has been thrown out of whack. As the world grapples with multiple crises, and as individual and professional pressures mount, the content marketing trifecta of reaching the right audience at the right time with the right piece of content has felt even more elusive. At our current pace, it’s increasingly likely that any content published today could be obsolete by tomorrow.
Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group, put it into perspective in a recent Q&A with PAN.
“Content is king and will continue to be king. But it has to follow a few rules; it has to be helpful. It has to make the customer the hero of the story.”
Effective, empathetic and lasting content marketing requires the right digital foundation. It lives and breathes, shaped by the unique opportunities and challenges of your core audiences. It is the method by which you drive new meaningful conversations – on your terms.
To address these concerns, we’ve developed a comprehensive, digitally agile framework to modern content marketing. Data-driven and customer-centric, this 5-pillar approach not only helps brands identify which content excites its audiences most but also answers why they are so hungry for it.
In fact, our own research has shown that 78% of marketers believe that content marketing and storytelling is a top priority for the second half of 2020. When the world feels upside down, meeting customers where they are, with what they need, can make all the difference.
So, as you dive into our new content marketing framework, remember to be smart about your content. And as Robert Rose of the Content Marketing Institute says:
“Our job, as marketers, is not to create more content. It has never been about that. It’s about creating the minimum amount of content with the maximum amount of behavior change in our customers.”
Proper discovery involves taking inventory of your content assets and evaluating their strength with respect to brand perception, competitive positioning and impact on inbound efforts. Only by assessing the breadth and quality of your content across multiple departments, (sales, marketing, customer experience) can you surface the level of insights and guidance needed to improve before-the-funnel metrics and map content to audiences you need to reach and influence.
When developing your content strategy, do you assess it at the same time? Without a full-blown assessment of the past and present, you won’t be able to see the gaps. For example, if you haven’t evaluated your content format performance, then you won’t know which formats are most consumable for your audience. Where we are now living in a truly always-on world, is it the right style with the perfect message at the right time?
Connected content is where the rubber meets the road. One of the goals of content marketing is to create a connection with your audience(s) built on trust, values and support. In a news cycle saturated with fake news or just unnecessary noise, standing out is paramount. Building trust enables your audience(s) to see your brand as an expert and a thought leader. As we know, this translates to brand equity, credibility and revenue. You can accomplish this by enhancing your audiences’ experience and helping them find their authentic voice. Ensure these characteristics and goals are part of your content marketing strategy so that you have a holistic approach to developing trust when building your library. Start by mapping content to each stage of the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration and decision.
Determining if your strategy is performing as expected isn’t easy, and without understanding the impact of the content, you’re just making content for content’s sake. Mastering content analytics and identifying content’s specific effect on how you attract and convert new customers is challenging. It takes time to craft the right approach so that you truly measure the metrics that matter. The best rule of thumb is to measure early and measure often.
Even if your content may be performing well, your content marketing strategy may still need adjustments. Optimize your strategy with data. As you execute the strategy and begin to gather analytics on your content, you’ll understand what your audience is responding to the most. These are insights we can use to our advantage. We can then leverage this to build upon a strategy that’s already working well.
Download the free framework below to get started.