Content marketing has continued to be the marketing tactic du jour, with companies creating whole initiatives and teams around this idea. According to the latest studies 76% of B2C marketers and 88% of B2B marketers claim to be using content marketing. The problem is that many of them are just not doing it right.
Content marketing is defined as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Since so many marketers think what they are doing is content marketing, let's break the definition down into its key parts.
1. Strategic Approach
At its highest level, content marketing needs to be aligned with company and marketing strategies. This is not just a tactic where you publish cat videos because you think it's cool. How does the content your team creates help you achieve your business goals? At the end of the day, can you report results to your CMO that don't embarrass either one of you?
2. Valuable, Relevant and Consistent Content
Prospects do not care about your products. If all your content is product-centric, they will not care about your content either. It needs to provide value to them. Can you help them solve their business problems? Does it address challenges that they face every day? If you know your customers and prospects, then you understand their pain points. And you need to regularly be producing content to be "doing content marketing." Even if you are only publishing one ebook a year and one blog post per month, but you are doing it consistently, that's better than nothing. Although with such a limited frequency, it may take a very long time to see any results.
3. Attract and Retain
These are two very different approaches to content marketing. Does your content try to get new customers? The topics and distribution go one way if that's the case. It all looks very different when you are trying to retain customers. This type of content can be more product focused, because the point is to make sure customers are getting all they can from your products and services.
4. Clearly Defined Audience
Creating content without a clearly defined audience is a fast way to failure. The right content attracts the right prospects, but you have to know who those prospects are. If you have an enterprise solution, but your content seems to attract small business owners, then you need to re-think what you are doing.
5. Drive Profitable Customer Action
The days of marketing arts and crafts are over. The use of content marketing needs to drive not just customer action, like a click or a download, but a profitable one, like a sale or a renewal. This is the point. The right content converts prospects to customers.
Modern Mark is back in this latest video where he helps the corporate content marketing team understand what kind of content they should be creating.
Don't get your self caught up in the shiny object syndrome of content marketing, but learn how to strategically approach it by downloading the Modern Marketing Essentials Guide to Content Marketing.