Content Marketing is one of the most overloaded terms in the world of Digital Marketing. Let's begin by taking a look at the difference between Content Marketing and Content Strategy and then explain how effective Content Strategies work.
Providing content that the target audience is interested in is the key to effective Content Marketing. This includes blog posts, social content, some advertisements, TV programs and even films. It is simple to understand, but very difficult to do well. A Content Marketing Strategy defines the story or stories that represent the brand, product or service. Your Content Strategy defines the production and management of the content that delivers the story.
Content Marketing Strategy
Even if you are a one person business, the key to content marketing is consistency. Documenting your goals, the value you intend to provide through your content, and the details of your business model will help keep the campaign on track and if you are a larger business, will inform your Business case.
You will need to define three things:
- Audience, the type of content they will be attracted to.
- Brand story - the ideas and messages you want to be associated with your brand.
- Content Channels - the platforms you intend to use and how they relate to one another in service of the strategic goals. For example - A video might be hosted on YouTube and promoted via Twitter and Facebook.
The relationship between the channels is what brings the strategy together. Don't fall into the trap of treating each channel as an independent entity.
A Content Strategy deals with the production and management of content. Effective content strategies list the types of content that will be produced, who it will be produced by and how it will be distributed. Lets take a look at some types of content.
How-To videos, Recipes and Tutorials are great examples of what marketers call Utility Content. They provide content that is useful to the viewer but is closely related to the brand, for example by featuring a product. This type of content is very popular, is placed on You Tube, Twitter, Facebook and web sites and represents a low risk entry point into the world of content marketing.
We created a photograph of a can of beer surrounded by ice for the Birmingham based Indian Brewery. The photograph was posted to Twitter at 5:15pm on a swelteringly hot Friday evening. Just as people were leaving the office for the weekend. The Tweet accumulated 5.5 thousand hits in the first half hour. Great business for the Indian Brewery and a savvy piece of Content Marketing for us. We published the image through our own Twitter feed. It is now being featured in a central Birmingham exhibition. Good marketing pointing back to both the Brewery and us.
Everyone of a certain age remembers the Hovis Ad directed by Alan Parker. Arguably this was the first example of content marketing using film. The advertisement built a story, painted a short picture of struggle and reward dressed up as early film footage complete with flickering screen and crackling soundtrack. The product was only seen at the end. This technique has morphed via MTV's influence on the music video into a new field of advertising, fuelled by social media. The Lego Movie is probably the best known example. Back in the business world, brands started to explore the possibilities of stimulating demand via association. The Farrow and Ball blog - The Chromologist is a great example. The content is interesting, useful and devoted to the use of colour in interior design. Nowhere does it explicitly reference Farrow & Ball except in the credits at the bottom of the page. It includes articles, photography and video, all about the creative use of colour in various contexts.
As businesses and individuals embrace content marketing, we're seeing some changes in the way people approach content creation. Some organisations have in-house teams that produce corporate video and photography, infographics and advertisements. When it comes to story telling though some organisations prefer to outsource to production companies because the experience of story telling is better established. YouTube audiences generally demand high production values and production companies know how to deliver this type of content on time and within budget. In the same way, professional photography adds a polish to your content that reflects the values of your brand. A luxury brand needs luxury photographs!
Effective Content Strategies
Effective Content Strategies weave multiple platforms and channels into a narrative that supports the Content Marketing Strategy. Helter Skelter Studios have the skills to deliver content across multiple channels consistent with your Marketing strategy. We also have a business model that maximises flexibility and is responsive to our clients requirements as they evolve. If you are interested in finding out how we can help your brand support a Content Marketing Strategy with an Effective Content Strategy, pick up the phone, we'd love to talk!