Recently, we’ve had a lot of conversation about content marketing.
First, what is content marketing really? The formalized definition states that “content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” A translated definition spells out content marketing as the way your business plans to attract and retain customers with consistent and relevant creation of content (words and/or images), spurring the customer to either change their perception of your brand or enhance a previous view. However you or your company defines it is relative to the message or action you want to see from the content itself.
There are a few things to understand in any content marketing strategy or plan. According to a report published through LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community, the top three aspects of content marketing are:
- Audience Relevance (58% of respondents said this was an important factor)
- Engaging and Compelling Storytelling (57% of respondents said this was an important factor)
- Triggers a Response or Action (54% of respondents said this was an important factor)
The marketing industry has finally come to the point where it is universally understood that content is extremely valuable, but they run into a problem because there is a shortage of talent and resources for quality content production. So, to produce the most common and effective marketing content (blogs, social media posts and case studies), companies are making large investments to step up their game. Ninety-one percent (91%) of the best business bloggers publish at least one article a week, if not more. Typical household or freelance bloggers are only posting at this rate 70% of the time.
There is one area in particular that is garnering more attention within the content marketing world, and that is visual content. While the words are important and always will be, the visual aspect of our online presence is garnering increasing amounts of attention. In 2014, the amount of video in any given Facebook feed increased 3.6 times from the previous year. And 87% of posts receiving the highest amount of engagement (in a study of 30,000 profiles) contained a photo or an image.
The use of images, photos and infographs in social media is at the top of the tactic list of importance for today’s content creators. These images include video, which is garnering a huge amount of press. It is said that content marketing platforms that leverage digital video are seen as the ideal way to form and grow “authentic consumer relationships” due to the perception of it being a personal storytelling medium. Visual content is increasing traffic to blogs, social media and websites, while producing more conversions and inbound customer interactions.
At the end of the day, in 2015, there are five areas of priority for content creators:
- Creating more engaging content
- Having a better understanding of what content is effective and what isn’t
- Finding more/better ways to repurpose content
- Creating visual content
- Becoming better storytellers
With content marketing getting more attention than it previously did, it is important to remember not to bite off more than you can chew. If you cannot commit to a multi-tier implementation plan due to lack of resources or staff, start with the most relevant piece to your marketing puzzle and expand from there (and don’t forget the images). In time you will build upon your content marketing platform to reach maximum engagement from your target audience.
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