Developing an effective content strategy is increasingly becoming the difference between winning and losing against your competitors
As brands shift to becoming publishers, so does the role of content to drive social media conversations and SEO now becomes even more important.
Some of the successful brands today recognize that the way to take center ground in the lives of their customers is through great content, and not advertising or boring newsletters about birthdays and holidays. The secret of content marketing is to connect to the lives and passions of the target audience and not just to see the world through the eyes of the brand, which is natural and inevitable for most if not all in-house content teams.
Of course Enterprises LLC has a vested interest here, but as one senior marketer said at one of our clients: “most content produced by brands is rubbish”. Most brands today have a website, send out emails, have fans on Facebook, Twitter followers or even a Youtube Channel, but the real art lies in building a editorially-driven content universe where the end user gets a consistent, on-brand experience regardless of platform. That’s how brands deepen the affection people feel for them. The reality today is that for those brands who wish they were a little more loved, content can be the difference between winning and losing.
The point is that this is just one example of how today’s most successful businesses have cottoned on to the fact that great content is at the heart of a successful social media and SEO strategy. Content marketing works. But the content has to be great and innovative.
Why SEOs Should Care About Content Marketing
We demand budgets and resources from our clients in order to produce outstanding content. We are hungry for and passionate about content. And not just content that will rank for keywords, but content that will be remarkable and spark emotions- content that will earn links and content that will convert followers into customers. We should care about content at a high level. We should understand how it works, how brands produce content, and what innovation looks like. To be crystal clear, content marketing is not article marketing or spun press releases. We’re talking about editorial remarkable content that a brand can be proud of and make customers share.
Content is Hot Right Now
I recently was studying Coca-Cola and their seriousness about content. These videos below show the importance of content NOT being a newsletter or boring waste of inbox space. It is the heart and soul of the company’s ongoing initiatives and touches the company in every aspect of marketing. These videos are long, but essential watching if you want to understand how brands are going to be spending their marketing budgets in the coming years:
Of course, this isn’t to deny that great advertising will always play a part in the building of brands. But it’s not enough anymore. The world has shifted – often paid media is simply the trailer for a richer, longer term engagement through owned and earned channels, with recommendations driving search engine prominence.
Taking this forward to the next logical stage, the smart people at McKinsey have acknowledged that: “retailers, banks, airlines are rapidly recognizing the importance of great content to their brands…It’s a new publishing model, and one that brands may be heading towards even faster than traditional media companies. So, the time seems right to ask: ‘What is your publishing strategy and who is your brand’s editor-in-chief?'”
This just goes to show how content has shifted upstream from being a product of marketing to something that is very much a boardroom issue. From my many conversations with existing and prospective clients it is clear that we’ve moved on – from asking about the role of content, to asking how to make it happen.
The challenge now is how to create, manage, measure and monetize content in an ever-more complex world.
Clients need to recognize the opportunity that an effective content strategy can deliver, whilst also ensuring that it takes genuine skill to create content that consumers (or businesses) are happy to engage with. The trap that most brands fall into is trying to do too much itself. Creating genuinely engaging content that works across multiple platforms is a skill that few brands can manage internally.