If you have noticed, content marketing is no longer about writing. It’s not about having a team of writers or mining for keywords and having reams of text written based on those keywords. Today, a content marketer has to think more like a publishing house or a studio. And for that matter, the skills and talent needed are of a vastly different kind. Some you can develop within your team, some you would want to outsource to other departments or entities.
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing Institute (CMI) defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” The key here is to have a strategy, create content that is relevant and of value and to do this consistently, all the while speaking to an audience that is clearly defined.
So who are you talking to?
If you are a baby clothing store for instance, you would obviously be talking to mothers. Let’s define mothers – expectant mothers, mothers of new born babies and mothers of little children would include your immediate universe. The fathers and the grandmothers would form the extended universe. But you would be speaking primarily to mothers and expectant mothers. You’d do well to do a little profiling to get your picture right. Talk to mothers, dig for what they are looking for in a baby clothing store. And while you are doing that, ask yourself if you want to speak to all mothers or only mothers of a certain locality, or socio economic background etc. Once you have this in place, you move to the next big task.
What kind of content would be relevant for your audience?
Staying on the baby clothing store example, would it make sense to provide mothers content beyond clothing styles? Would it be a good idea to involve fathers in your content strategy? Should you discuss baby skin type and allergies? Skin care too? Does it add value to your conversation with your audience? These are questions you need to find out – most of which you could easily do as part of your profiling, mentioned in the previous paragraph. Simply ask mothers what they want.
How must your content be packaged?
Today video is king. But content types are vast. So you have not just video, but visual content in the form of memes, GIFs, infographics and then voice content like podcasts or simply audio files of blog posts. On social channels you could do live videos and stories. You could even have interactive visual content like this Virtual Reality (VR) piece by Shopify that helps shoppers customize shirts in virtual reality. It’s a great content marketing piece that also converts. Look how best you can package your content – how best you can make it an experience. The need of the hour is innovation, while still staying relevant.
How do you stay consistent?
If you think about it, content marketing is about putting heads together. But then not everyone can have a sizeable team. What then? The key is to put content out there that is valued and to do it consistently. That begins with charting out a calendar for content creation. You can then decide how you want to bring a spin to each topic on the calendar that no one else has thought about. Next is the packaging of the content to get maximum eyeballs – you’d probably need extra hands here. Lastly, comes distribution, including paid distribution. You could produce one piece of valuable content every month and still stay relevant to your audience, wow them and drive them to “profitable action”.