Many top brands are focusing on creating omnipresent brand experiences to engage consumers and consistently deliver value. The focus has clearly shifted from sales model to engagement model. The focus is clearly on creating compelling content to engage the customers in an interesting way. Traditional one-way advertising is getting replaced for good with a more engaging and deeper two-way relationship between the brand and the customers. The idea is to create loyal customers over the period of time.

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action

— Content Marketing Institute 2014

The emphasis should always be on creating relevant and valuable content. In contrast of traditional advertising where the brands used to think only about themselves, its time to think more about the customers. (How the focus shifted to customer centricity, read my article Customer Centricity: The Future of Marketing.)

The latest data shows that around 90% of successful marketers are practicing content marketing. But around 65% of content marketers don’t feel they are successful. As easy it may sound, content marketing is really challenging.

So, the first challenge is content creation. Marketers are great at creating products and marketing these products. Content marketing is not their forte. Their creative agencies have been creating great ads for last many decades. But most of these agencies have not created content. So, they reach out to the content agencies. These agencies are really creative and can create most engaging content. But they may or may not really serve the brand objectives.

The best way to address this issue is to identify objectives and rely on data. Remember, the content has to be relevant to your audience and must resonate your brand values.

The next challenge is content distribution. Even if you have the most amazing content, how do it reach out to your customers. The distribution channels are easier now due to the rise of social media platforms and YouTube. So, its always beneficial to understand what your customers are looking for and create the content accordingly. This way you can assure that the customers are reaching out to the content themselves instead of the other way around. (Marketers and Brand Managers can reach out to me to understand how we make it possible for our clients)

Measurement is the next big challenge. How do you know if your content worked? If it did, how effectively? Marketers and agencies still struggle with this and don’t really know how to measure this. It is easy with other marketing techniques like SEM or Display marketing where you can just measure the impressions, clicks, CTR etc. This is not the case with content marketing. Every brand has different goals and objectives, content measurement may vary accordingly.

Content is the basis of marketing. Today the time has changed and it’s not like the past years where brands use to just talk about the product and its benefits. Smart companies and marketers are identifying their unique proposition and brand value. Like Nike stands for Athletics and Athletes. Its not just because they create and distribute content based on Athletics, but its everywhere in their brand communication from TV ads to social media to events. American Express is probably one of the best content marketers. They launched AmEx Open forum many years back, but it is still the best forum for small and medium businesses. They extended it to small business day and taking the content marketing to the next level. Same is the case with RedBull, Coca Cola, Johnny Walkers, The Glenlivet, GoPro and many more, creating better content every day.

Go ProGoPro is another great example of content co-creation. GoPro customers play a crucial role in the content creation and engagement. Many of their customers share video content that is breath-taking and aspirational. These customers are creating content that is meaningful and creates a remarkable brand value and affinity for GoPro. Hence its not a surprise that GoPro has one of the most successful YouTube channels with 6.4 Mn subscribers and as per an estimate, more than 10,000 videos tagged with GoPro are uploaded daily on YouTube. But what is the best thing this brand has achieved? GoProing is a noun now!

 

Want to up your content game, driven by data? Drop me a message below or email me at sbohare@touchstorm.com