Content marketing gets a bad rap because a lot of it is so badly wrapped. What happens in the land of marketing and business (b2b marketing or B2C – it doesn’t matter) is that someone takes a good concept and sullies it with poor execution. A strong intention becomes a watered down effort to lure people into a sales funnel with search terms. While SEO is a useful part of earning attention, it’s not the soul of content marketing. Let’s talk about that.
Content Marketing Strategy is About Being Helpful
Attention spans in 2020 are shot. The COVID-19 pandemic and other world events pushed us into having to consume more than our share of news. It’s built an intention of shutting out too much information. But what types of content earn attention? Helpful material never goes out of style.
One way to help: brevity. People want the payload, not the fluff. Whether it’s business goals or personal pursuits, skip the backstory and cut out the fat.
Guide people by making all your content simple to scan, easy to read, and worth bookmarking for later. By this, I mean: use subtitles and bullets. Create transitions and straightforward messaging. Don’t make people work to consume what you create.
Content Types for Context Types
Video marketing is an undeniable part of 2020’s content marketing landscape. It’s useful for when we feel like being nurtured, or when people’s content needs also match a desire to lean back and simply absorb the material. But what if many of your target audience are in a car for long stretches (like truck drivers or suburban commuters)? Then a portion of your marketing methods would be better suited for audio. If not a full fledged podcast, then at least audio content you can invite the recipient to play while commuting. Remember that just because you might prefer text, the most effective way to reach people is the type to choose. Never let your preference guide this choice.
Use Different Types of Content But Tell the Same Story
While matching content to the customer journey, remember that it’s preferable to tell your story across a variety of marketing channels. If a prospective customer is evaluating your product, shoot an Instagram video showing why your product is the better choice for them. Follow it with an infographic comparison chart or the like. Remember that you can get quite varied in delivery methods. Make a Slideshare of “How to Convince Your Boss to Buy Our Product for You” and arm your internal allies with what you know. But be sure that you use an editorial calendar or content calendar (however you prefer to call it) so you have an eye towards optimizing earned attention.
Perform a Content Audit
It’s easy to mistake content marketing efforts and published material for being actually useful. But there’s so much at stake. All content is a reflection of your branding. If the content marketing your organization creates doesn’t serve both the consumer of that material and the sales team, it’s not content marketing. It’s just content.
A content audit investigates whether your organization’s marketing strategy and tactics align with its business objectives. If funny dance videos don’t make the phones ring, then who cares? But at the same time, if your company still pushes bland white papers circa 2000 because you’re “doing b2b marketing,” then you’re missing far too many opportunities. There are so many ways to reach more people and earn more customers. But it takes effort and it can’t be phoned in. It’s 2020. Let’s get you ready for the years ahead.
May I Help?
I offer consultation around business strategy and marketing as it applies to content marketing and much more. I’m quite available to help, should you want to talk that over and see how I can get your company’s content marketing to serve you better. Just drop me a line via this contact form and I’ll get right back to you. Or email me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org . Either way. I’m here to help.