Content marketing is not new; yet it seems to be buzzing just everywhere. Many have been asking me, what is it all about? My simple answer is, “Serving a holistic meal to your audience!” Now let me explain that further; I may assume that my prospective audience will enjoy a seven course fine dining.
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However it is likely that they care for spicy food, which is hygienic and can be enjoyed in a casual place along with friends. If you think just the way I do, you may have realised that I am referring to three things, the ‘need’, the ‘place’ and the ‘experience’.
Identifying Needs: As a marketer, one has to identify the ‘need’ or the ‘motivation’ of prospective audience. It is no secret that there is a plethora of content available on the Internet. Why would your audience consume your content? What is that one unique thing about your content that will attract your prospective audience?
Determining Place: The next in row is identifying ‘places’ or ‘platforms’ that your prospective audience is likely to visit. Fine dining is not necessarily everyday choice, sometimes street food that is hygienic is the ‘need’. Good content fails to reach prospective audience due to incorrect platform selection. Facebook and Twitter is not necessarily the best and only choice. There are more considerations such as LinkedIn, Google+, SlideShare, Instagram, or interest-based and hyperlocal communities or user generated content (UGC) websites. A marketer should make his ‘place’ selection based on the ‘motivation’ of his prospective audience and type of ‘experience’ the content can deliver.
Creating the Experience: Lastly, identifying the ‘experience’ that your prospective audience is likely to relish is very important. And here I am referring to execution of the content marketing campaign.
However, I would like to stop here and draw your attention to the question people have been asking me. People have been asking me to define content marketing. But most times they miss the bigger picture. There is a need of a clearly outlined content marketing strategy! Why am I indulging in to content marketing? What is in it for me? How will I measure success? So let’s go methodically:
Outlining Objectives: Broadly any marketing organization has three major goals – brand building, lead generation and customer expectation and experience management. While devising your content strategy, it is important that you clearly define your objective. Here are few objectives that you may have:
- My campaign will help in increasing awareness.
- My campaign will help in increasing sales.
- My campaign will help in increasing loyalty.
Targeting Audiences: It is marketing myopia to believe that your customers and prospects are your only audience. There are several stakeholders including prospective employees, partners, influencers, investors and more. It is highly essential for any organization to communicate to all stakeholders. Before executing your campaign you need to outline the audience profile. You may either want to specify the stakeholder type or simply in terms of demographics, psychographics and other interests.
Communicating Content Unique Selling Proposition: As mentioned earlier, a marketer has to identify what is unique about his content that will address the need of his audience. Why would his audience prefer reading his piece? It is well appreciated fact that people read your content not to learn about your products and services; they read your content because they find it valuable.
Measuring Success: Defining success criteria at the very beginning of the marketing campaign is essential. The rule remains unchanged for content marketing.
Here I conclude the building blocks. To further appreciate what you just read, I have another blog that provides a real-life content marketing strategy formulation example.