Defining the purpose and goals of content in your marketing strategy
Content marketing, at its heart, is the creation of relevant, valuable content intended to attract and retain a specific audience. The purpose, ultimately, is to build brand awareness and drive conversions. There seems to be some confusion about content marketing vs. digital marketing, and the terms are (falsely) used interchangeably.
Digital marketing is the umbrella term that describes the very use of the internet to reach consumers. Content marketing is one of the many tools used in digital marketing. Given our internet-based society, a digital marketing strategy for your company is a necessary tool unless you wish to remain virtually anonymous.
COVID-19, 2020 and the Rise of Content Marketing
Content marketing was valuable well before this strange Twilight Zone episode we call 2020, but it now plays a broader role in digital marketing strategies for companies and firms of all sizes.
Clarity about the importance of telling a brand’s story, the realization that quantity cannot repace quality, and understanding that search engine optimization (SEO) relies on the value of the content has businesses around the world rethinking their content marketing strategy.
Given that the coronavirus, and the subsequent need to work, shop, and educate remotely, has pushed us further into the digital world than ever before, the demand for content has grown exponentially.
The Most Important Changes in Content Marketing
As the need for more and better content has driven businesses, across every conceivable arena, to seek new ways to provide value-oriented content, a struggle to align content with digital marketing goals has emerged.
- Companies of all sizes realize the need for a cohesive content marketing strategy across multiple platforms.
- Paid advertising, while it still has its place, has lost ground to the rise of driving organic traffic with excellent content.
- Marketing departments are addressing the need for an integrated digital marketing strategy that reaches across all marketing channels, and they realize that content is the glue that holds the strategy together.
These changes may not seem significant to those who do not follow marketing trends closely, but it is revolutionizing digital marketing from the most basic blog to sophisticated social media campaigns.
What is Your Content Strategy?
Every customer or client is on a journey, and whether you sell one type of widget, or you are a multi-national corporate conglomerate, your marketing strategy needs a cohesive message for each stage of the journey.
B2B marketing usually has a more complex customer journey, and therefore, the content needs to focus on the entire lifecycle of the relationship. In B2C, marketing is becoming more hyperfocused in acknowledgment of the importance of customized content for each customer base. B2C content needs a strong call to action that creates:
- A straightforward solution to a need or want
- A sense of urgency
- A means to grow brand awareness and loyalty
Most importantly, CTAs need to not sound like every other CTA out there. A unique CTA is one of the biggest challenges for B2C content creators.
Content Tune-Up or Overhaul
When was the last time you gave all of your content a thorough evaluation? 2020 is the time to rethink your content strategy, and in doing so, determine what can stay and what needs to go. Even the most carefully crafted content rarely remains evergreen without the occasional tune-up to make sure it aligns with your evolving brand story.
Some content needs a complete overhaul. It may be time to rethink your entire content marketing strategy, especially if your goals or business model have changed since the content was created. Take some time to evaluate the story you want your content to tell.
Take a fresh look at the impression your content leaves across all avenues of digital marketing. If you have one chance to make an impression on a potential customer, does each piece of content fit the impression you want to make?
Content, for both SEO purposes and marketing, needs a healthy balance. Evergreen content should form the core of your content marketing strategy, but you also need a healthy stream of new content geared to each stage of the customer relationship lifecycle.
Think of content as the fuel that drives the engine of your digital marketing strategy. Without excellent content, any efforts expended on digital marketing will be in vain.
Content marketing is also playing the long game, so it is important to remember that content that sparkles today will need revisions and updates to remain relevant for marketing purposes.