Quite a few marketers hardly have an insight into the consumer need they are trying to satisfy and the place of content in that process. All too often, marketers use social media as an amplification tool. And the success of content marketing is preferably measured on the basis of improved sales results, often one month after the start of the action. How can you avoid these common pitfalls?
Don’t produce content that starts from your brand only to send it in a classic way, possibly through your own channels such as a newsletter or LinkedIn updates. Also, don’t try to outwit the classic channels. Native advertising is a total gimmick. But... it’s still advertising. It won’t help your brand as long as you don’t deploy content to help your audience.
Be relevant within the context of your audience
The power of content marketing lies in the possibility of setting up communication that listens, learns and helps. Good content is information that is relevant for and within the context of your audience. This means that marketing should no longer think in terms of deliverables. Relevant content is service content or content as a service (CaaS). Besides, your audience doesn’t mind when a brand releases content. On the contrary. Just as long as the content is helpful to them. More even, they will reward a brand for good content by sharing it with others or even by paying for it.
Be aware of the fact that you’re not communicating alone
Communication is not the prerogative of a company or the marketing department. Everyone in the company is a potential communicator about your brand, your products, your services - and that also goes for everyone outside your organisation. This means that marketers are losing control: they come from a controlled environment where they try to reach a specific target audience with campaigns via paid and owned media. And earned media - ‘what others say about your brand’ - is too often viewed as a risk and too little as an opportunity.
Facilitate owned and earned media
Many marketers like to fall back on their familiar controlled environment and reduce content marketing to the publication of a series of content pieces in owned and paid media. However, content marketing is about building an audience by creating relevant content pieces that fit within the scope of a customer journey. Those content pieces can originate from anywhere. And although paid media will definitely continue to play their part in the future, owned and earned media are crucial. Marketing should help facilitate the development and use of these owned and earned channels.
Marketing as a bridge builder
Content marketing also demands close collaboration between all silos in the company. For instance, sales staff and customer service are by definition good listeners. They are used to recognising the consumer’s pain and they know how to alleviate it. What sales needs are qualified leads to make their action (and also their content and narrative) fit closely with the customer journey of specific leads. However, marketing and sales & customer services are no longer in the same silo, nor do they work together in the lead generation and lead nurturing phase. Also, the transfer from marketing to sales often leaves a lot to be desired.
We’re not about to tear down those silos. But what we can do is set up a structure within our own organisation where marketing listens even more closely to sales and customer services and uses their knowledge to deliver content that sales and customer services can use to help their customers and leads. Marketing can play a key facilitating role in this bridge building process.
Would you like to know more about content as a service?
Our content experts will be happy to create a content approach for you tailored to your audience. Our content generates impact on your business thanks to a data-driven content strategy founded on sound project management.