Monday, December 8th, 2014 | 5 min read
Today’s consumer is bombarded with thousands of marketing messages every single day.
In order to stand apart from the noise, many brands are shifting their marketing budgets out of paid advertising, which is ignored at staggering rates, and into owned media content programs.
First, brands need to take a step back and document their content marketing objectives. For some brands, that may include common marketing objectives like brand awareness and lead generation. For others, it might mean higher-level goals like we see with GE and their approach to publishing stories on today’s leading innovations that improve lives, or like what we see with RedBull and extreme adventures and sports.
But whatever the goals are, too often brands fail simply because they don’t document these goals. Despite the fact that every business is producing content, too few brands have a documented strategy. And most feel that they are not getting the results they should from content marketing.
It all starts with the goals. Breaking through the noise then becomes simply a part of the measure of success.
Once a business has documented their content marketing goals, success comes down to things like the volume of posts, the variety of the content, and the value it provides your audience. Volume. Variety. Value.
One of the biggest mistakes content marketers make is that they make the topic of the content too much about their brand, the products they sell or why they are better. And while content like this has a place, most businesses have too much of it. Your audience tunes this out. In order to break through the noise, a brand has to create content that is 100% for the audience. Take the brand out of the story. Make the customer the hero of the stories, and your audience will pay attention. Value is not negotiable in today’s hyper-competitive information landscape.
In today’s digital, social, mobile world, we are always-on and always connected. We don’t wait for news or interesting stories. We filter out what is not relevant to us and we tune in to the sources that provide a consistent experience in the channels we use, with the formats we like, with content that we want to read and share.
My advice to brands is to start with a goal, like publishing one piece of content every day for each major topic. And then figure out how to achieve that goal in a quality way and with the budget you have. And look for technology that can help with workflow approvals and editorial guidelines.
Once you have determined how to produce valuable content on a consistent basis, it’s time to start mixing it up. Text-based articles are the foundation of almost every content marketing program. Your audience is looking for information. And your brand can be the source of it.
But we are seeing an explosion of visual content. Videos on YouTube. Presentations on slideshare. Infographics. And images, images everywhere on Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and more. In order to break through the noise, the successful content marketing program will have a plan for creating visual and longer form content.
And some adventurous brands are even moving beyond informational content into entertainment and comedy to add variety and drive loyalty with their audience.
Once a business has considered the volume, variety and value of the content it publishes, paid media can be deployed on the best content that people want to read and share, instead of the ads that no one wants.
With strong content, your brand can begin the process of breaking through the noise on a consistent basis.
About the Author: Recognized as a Forbes Top 40 Social Media Marketer, a Top Content Marketing Influencer and Most Mentioned Marketer on Twitter, Michael is an accomplished marketing speaker, author of the B2B Marketing Insider blog, and a frequent contributor on leading publications like Forbes, The Economist, and The Guardian. Michael recently served as Vice President of Global Marketing and Content Strategy for SAP where he developed an award-winning thought leadership blog for SAP called Business Innovation.
Connect with him @BrennerMichael