July 16, 2018 · 4 min read
Understanding Content Marketing – Trends, Tactics and Strategy
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing has the power to engage, persuade and influence. Simply stated, it’s the process of curating and sharing content to attract the desired target audience based on a series of objectives.
Content can take on many forms – the usual infographics, case studies, surveys and reviews or the more experiential such as live video, podcasts and virtual reality. For organisations (particularly those that don’t have larger marketing teams) the creation of content can seem like an arduous task where the rewards are not instantly visible. Don’t expect to see results from a single piece of content. By influencing decisions over time and creating a stream of regular content, targeted at each stage of the user journey you can establish a long term relationship with the customer. This relationship builds trust and credibility, helping to nurture and secure new leads.
The importance of creating regular content for SEO is nothing new – but the formats available and the way in which we engage with customers is changing. Customers are becoming more open and accepting of personalised content and are used to consuming content on multiple devices. They expect things in real time and content to be tailored. They want to be entertained and educated – and with this it is more important for brands to adopt experiential formats and take advantage of the latest technologies.
Trends to explore
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a fast growing area – rapidly becoming top of marketing agendas! Brands and major companies like the NHS and Starbucks have rolled out AI chatbots within the last year with AI fast becoming top of marketing agendas. AI is powerful and makes it possible for brands to deliver content in real time, increasing effectiveness. As shown in the case of Washington Post robot Heliograf (select free option to view article), this bot keeps up to date with sporting events in real time and publishes the results. AI is also making it possible to produce hyper-personalised content which takes into account real-time data and browsing behaviour.
The rate at which AI is evolving and becoming part of everyday lives means that marketers now need to address this as part of their content marketing strategy. Presenting a significant opportunity for businesses.
Tactics and Strategy
While some brands may pay lip service to creating content – producing something one off etc.– it’s the joined up thinking and serving content overtime that really makes a difference. A typical user journey consists of multiple interactions. In the B2B lead gestation and nurturing process, customer touch points can span numerous channels and include several face-to-face meetings before a conversion is made. In this context, content marketing builds brand-trust, establishes brand position and re-enforces authority. Tactically content needs to served across multiple channels and call to actions may alter depending on the step in the journey the customer is at. Thus, a cohesive multi-touch point strategy must be clearly defined from the outset.
For your strategy to be effective, you will need to discuss your plan for broadcasting regular content over time; have an in-depth understanding of your audience and personas; and work to SMART objectives.
When creating your content strategy look at the following areas:
- Content Audit – Identify your best and worst performing content and any gaps
- Objectives – These will vary by industry and sector
- Target Audience – Identify your target audience and outline buyer personas
- Tactics – What problem will this solve and how it will be unique?
- Formats – What formats best suit your audience and objectives?
The effort you put into your strategy will be worth it. A clearly defined content strategy coupled with a sound tactical approach can help you break through an overcrowded sphere and achieve content marketing greatness.
The Cite Effect – Strategy, Delivery, Results
We look to harness new opportunities and technology that will generate the best return for your business. We are experienced in crafting effective content marketing strategies that stimulate interest and generate results. We work in partnership with brands to explore and develop a clearly documented strategy, forming the foundation for future activity.
We develop compelling content to support the ambitions of your company, working within your brand position and values. Gearing content to the needs of your target audience and shaping messaging that is excitable and accessible.
We’re creatively results driven. We continue to monitor your campaign thinking creatively about how we can improve results and exploit opportunities for future campaigns.
We have evangelised the importance of creating high-quality content and work with numerous clients to deliver this including…
We’re a UK digital marketing agency located in Leicester and have an experienced and dedicated content marketing team. For support, development or delivery of your content marketing strategy, get in touch with the team at Cite. Even better pop in for a visit. We’ll put the kettle on.