Addressing the discontent in content marketing
Nov 22nd 2017
Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking at Kaizen’s Fintech breakfast seminar on the subject of content marketing. Pete Reis-Campbell gave an excellent talk sharing real world practical advice that any marketer could take away and immediately action – a rarity in the world of conferences these days. Check out Pete’s key takeaways here. My talk was a mixture of theory and practice in which I was able to throw open the doors of my content confessions box; sharing stories of the good, and sometimes not so good, content ideas we’ve produced. I started by asking why the subject of content marketing is such a hot topic. I think there are three reasons for this. Embrace the digital revolution The first is the digitisation of all media channels. If you’d wanted to create a branded radio show ten years ago, it would have been prohibitively expensive and beset by restrictions. Today you can record and distribute a podcast easily. eBay has made a success of podcasting as a channel to target SMEs with Open For Business, now in its second season. Seize the means of distribution The second reason is distribution. The irritating adage ‘if content is king then distribution is queen’ holds true. If you’d wanted to make a film ten years ago, the distribution costs would have been enormously prohibitive. Nowadays you can pop something on YouTube for free. I gave the example of H&Ms short film directed by Wes Anderson, and starring Adrien Brody, which garnered 10 million views (its commercial success is an unknown). Engage with engagement The third is Google. Ever since they amended their algorithm to consider more engagement metrics as signals to rank websites, brands have been littering the web with everything from infographics to whitepapers, often without a strategy. Content marketing is not a strategy, it’s not even a channel. If the content you’re producing is not answering one of your marketing goals, be that to raise awareness of your brand or drive sales, then you’re likely to fail. Set goals, make content The very best examples of branded content never started with a bunch of marketers thinking about what content marketing to produce. They started with the age-old principles of who is our audience, what do they like and where can we reach them. Once you have your marketing goals set out, picking the right channel is the easier part, be that making a film or publishing on Instagram.