Content is the future of marketing says Anton Jansen van Rensburg. He looks at the pitfalls and solutions
More and more marketers, digital specialists and communicators are realising that content is the key to success. We’ve often heard content is king but with the growth of online campaigns it has become crystal clear that to be effective, a brand must disseminate valuable, compelling and relevant content consistently.
Moving away from the traditional view that publishing is the marketing of content in order to generate revenue, a relatively new thought is shared among the likes of Seth Godin, (author of Purple cow) and Joe Pulizzi (author of Get content, get customers) that marketers have had to adapt and are now in fact, the new publishers.
By creating and marketing content, companies create brand awareness and build loyalty. Even though they don’t generate revenue from the actual content, the revenue from the sale of products compensates for that.
Anton J van Rensburg of puruma business communications says, “With the vast social online realm and the technical and financial barriers to entry all but fallen away, the difference between owning a media channel (be it a blog, presenting webinars or having an online archive) versus renting one, in the traditional “media buying” sense of the word opens up a whole new galaxy of opportunities”. Forget about the tools and focus on the strategy and content marketing.
The marketers role has changed dramatically and content marketing is fast becoming one of the, if not, the fastest growing area of marketing in the world.
Brands that tell more stories, sell more products and the role of the marketer is to get your brand to a point where people are willing, wanting and waiting for your marketing material.
“In the States, roughly 69% of marketing professionals that have tackled a social media campaign feel that they were ineffective. Take into consideration that approximately 26% of budget is allocated to content creation and that South Africa can focus on content marketing right from the start and we can effectively avoid this confidence gap,’ says Anton who lists 10 reasons why your campaign is likely to fail, and gives suggestions to help you succeed.
1. There is a lack of organisational goals
You need a FB page because your competitor has one, you need to retain customers, you need to break into new markets are just going to detract from a focused approach. Decide on something – Choose one organisational goal and stick with it.
2. You are creating content about all and sundry
You are trying to position yourself as what? Decide what you want your company to be perceived as, your core messages, focus and go super niche! Position yourself as a trusted expert in your area of business.
3. Your content is about you, you, you
Deliver content that is relevant, informative and consistent. Make your audience want your marketing material because they see value in it.
4. Good enough is just not good enough anymore
You are no longer only competing with competitors but every content generator on the net. Cut through the clutter by being original in your content creation.
5. You lack a content calendar
If you were a buying agency you would have had one, if you were in marketing you would have had one, so why don’t you have a content creation calendar? A press release is written, FB status updates are done daily, tweets hourly prior to a quarterly event, all ending in a bi-annual webinar where your audience can download a whitepaper if they participate in your case study.
6. You are not leveraging off your employees’ content creation skills
Most of your employees are active online, involve them by creating an employee based blog, manage it properly and you might have struck gold.
7. You think that people will magically engage with you
Get involved. Listen and observe where people are talking about you, join in the conversation and don’t forget to take that conversation offline as well. Face-to-face has never lost its impact.
8. Your content has no owner
Appoint a spokesperson who people can associate with your brand. It makes your brand personal and more approachable.
9. You have no content creation experience
Not everyone is a wordsmith, if you feel that you don’t have the capability of crafting engaging content – hire a freelance journalist.
10. You have no C-level internal support
It doesn’t form part of their duties, they don’t have time and marketing should take care of it are usually the answers received from managers and CEOs but marketing and PR is just too important to be left to the marketing department.
Finally, Anton adds, “ROI has become very important however, very difficult to measure unless directly coupled to sales figures, which in some instances are difficult to do due to various external variables. If you can manage a campaign according to preset objectives, showing your value in terms of ROO (Return on objective) becomes much more valuable and measurable.