Last year, the BtoB Intelligence Center found that 55% of marketers had either no involvement with content marketing or were only somewhat involved. Things have changed rapidly; this year just 29% have no or little involvement with content marketing, while 34% are “very” or “fully” engaged. Content marketing is no longer in the early stages of adoption. It is now being used in brand awareness, customer relations, prospecting, thought leadership and to encourage sales. Now that most companies have some awareness of content marketing and are implementing best practices, it is time to dive deeper beyond the basic content marketing strategies:
1. The proper objectives MUST be in place. It is difficult to cut through the marketing noise and be heard. With directed goals, content marketing has the potential to cut through the clutter and noise.
2. Marketers must discern which content marketing strategies work for them. Once key objectives are nailed down, the correct method will reveal itself. Key objectives need to fluid, changing from client to client. The “bottom line” isn’t always the same.
3. While customer acquisition, leads, and sales are expected from content marketing, speedy results are an abiding challenge for marketers. Be sure not to place too high an expectation on content marketing as a be-all while realizing these objectives. Long, consistent campaigns have the best chance of showing results. Take Taco Bell for example, who’s recent long term advertising campaign made “fourthmeal” a pop culture term for late night snacking.
4. Savvy marketers should decide for themselves which methods are most appropriate for their targets. Are prospects seeking education, or on they on the verge of a sale? Are they visually or verbally oriented? Many factors determine the method of content.
5. It may be worth it to explore underused content methods in order to gain a competitive advantage. Games, tablet apps, Google+, and SlideShare are often underused but have superior performance investments. Scott Steinberg of Mashable points out E-books, Podcasts, and infographics as new mediums that marketers don’t often utilize.
Content marketing isn’t new. All creative is content; print ads have always combined text and image to convey messages. However, the way it has involved is important and marketers need to remember to keep up and stay ahead.