This is the first in a series of posts featuring information presented at Social Media Week events happening this week in Chicago. I attended some of the sessions of the Washington, DC events in spring of this year and am participating in the Chicago sessions remotely.
I have written many times that content is key in marketing. I believe those of us with a broadcasting background understand that as we have ‘dual marketing’ experience. We have to market ourselves (personalities, station branding, etc.), then market other businesses to our audience. The key to success on both fronts is providing content relevant to a specified audience.
Content marketing is not new, but how it’s viewed has changed. Businesses have created pamphlets, brochures, and other handouts for decades. Now, the mention of content marketing conjures up discussions about likes, shares, and comments. But, proceed with caution. First, metrics are important but not an end-all-be-all. Setting a goal of likes on the company Facebook without a content strategy is silly and unproductive. Second, we are equipped with data and tools to scale conversations, but sometimes deeper engagement with fewer people produces a better outcome. Again, the number of your Facebook likes is useless if you have no content plan. Finally, trust is still lacking when it comes to branded content. A recent survey cited by Cramer-Krasselt revealed only 15% of Americans trust branded content.
Why Create Content?
Cramer-Krasselt officials presented 3 objectives to creating good content. First, build trust with your audience through usefulness of content. In other words, you supply them with useful content now and they will likely seek you out later (delayed gratification). Second, great content drives measurable consumer action. This action can come in various forms (sharing it with others, signing up for a loyalty email program, making a purchase, etc.). Finally, great content has to satisfy a brand’s business needs. In an ideal situation, your content creators will develop something engaging with consumers that will ultimately lead to an increase in revenue. Those of us with a broadcasting background know that even if you build a station that excels in ratings, the life of that station will be limited if revenue is lacking.
How To Do It
You might be asking “what content can I create?” Well, I’ve offered content ideas previously (here and here, among others). Conversely, the folks at Cramer-Krasselt offered the following suggestions as a guide to creating content.
Furthermore, you’re surrounded by content already. Some other tips from Cramer-Krasselt include telling your company’s history. Regardless of industry, consumers enjoy knowing “how the sausage is made.” So, offer details behind a business decision (this can work with consumer-facing websites or internal communication). Also, share your company’s culture, causes supported by the company, or new uses for existing products. All these content items are FREE and already within your grasp.
I’ve said countless times on this site that content is key to connecting with your target audience. Growing a successful business is comparable to cultivating personal relationships, you need to find and develop connections with people. Content is a way of bridging that gap. Not just once, but for the life of the business.
Cramer-Krasselt advises content should be beneficial to your customer, reflective of your brand, and optimized for Google. My next post will dive into SEO.