CRUNCHY NUGGETS: A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a conference about Content Marketing. My thought going in was “oh good…I’ll learn about how to make Facebook posts richer and more engaging.” Um, no. That wasn’t it at all. It was bigger…much, much bigger. Instead, I learned about a new, strategic approach to marketing. One that is just being pioneered. Like I said, it’s big. And a number of major brands and agencies are heading in it’s direction. To give you the short of it…
Tell me a story — Content Marketing based in really good brand strategy. Knowing exactly what your brand’s mission is all about. And then telling that story in the form of content. Whether it’s content to entertain, or to inform, or to help out a potential customer (or influencer, for that matter).
Who, what & where — Content marketing is also about knowing exactly who your targets are…identifying them by specific persona…and then understanding what kinds of information and content they would like or need. It also means knowing the purchase cycle very, very clearly — who is at what stage, what do they care about at each stage, where they connect with your brand.
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should — One of the most important lessons about content marketing is that sure, you can have a blog and a twitter feed and craft white papers and generate videos. But if none of this “tells your brand story,” and none of this makes sense nor is wanted by your targets, no reason to have it.
Curated vs. original — Another ah-ha (for me, anyway) was defining curation. I’ve heard the term curated content used in conjunction with Pinterest. And now I understand why. Curated content is taking your brand’s story or focus, and then pulling in whatever is the most relevant content (information, articles, images, etc.) to share with your audience. So Pinterest takes themed boards and enables you to curate around the theme. A smart approach, from what I learned is to make sure you have at least some of your own original content (15%) and then go ahead and curate (85%).
At the conference, we heard about really big brands and companies with whole departments dedicated to content marketing. As well as services that help to publish and organize content. People, this is big, it really is. At the very least, best practices such as having a written, clearly defined brand mission, knowing your targets, knowing your purchase cycle, having a road map of what gets shared when, are all good things for any brand. No matter how big, how small, even if the words “content marketing” are never spoken. By the way, I should mention that my selected image is a snack buffet…so if “salty” if your brand focus, that’s your content! TASTY TREND: Content is King