With the advent of smart technology (TV, cell phones and other portable devices), people are now more connected to each other than ever before. They can fast-forward ads, skip them or simply overlook them, making traditional marketing less effective by the minute. Therefore, marketers are now looking for a better way to interact with their consumers.
Marketers now understand that it is time for content marketing to take its due place.
What is Content Marketing?
But what exactly is content marketing? Here is a definition from the Content Marketing Institute:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Informally speaking, content marketing is how you attract, engage, and re-engage your customers. You need to be careful of the fact that content marketing is not about selling your products. Selling is the last piece of the pie. It is an intriguing aspect of consumer behavior that has now become an integral part of business goals for companies looking to engage with their customers online.
Content marketing is the means for justifying the end. It is based on the belief that if we, as businesses, provide valuable, and consistent content to our customer base, then they will ultimately reward us with loyalty and business.
Align Your Content Strategy with Your Business Goals
Take a closer look at the compass. The compass defines 6 goals you should be concerned about if you are serious for your business’ success. The six points of the compass are:
- Brand Health
Perception is stronger than reality. If you are not aware of your customers’ perceptions regarding your brand, then your brand’s health is near deterioration. The best way to diagnose your brand health is to have an in-depth knowledge of how people are talking about your products.
- Market Optimization
Your content can assist you in finding the right target audience. You need to analyze what your target audience is looking for and how they are landing on your website. From then on, it is the quality of the content which engages the customers. Try going for different social media channels to fine-tune your target audience. This will help you in defining the future strategies of your business.
- Revenue Generation
When it comes to content marketing, you must understand that revenue generation comes in the form of relationship building. As I stated in the informal definition, it is all about attracting, engaging, and re-engaging your customers. Monetary benefits should be at the bottom of the pyramid when you are constructing a content strategy. However, I am not negating monetary value of the content. If your content is properly aligned with your business goals, then it would reap monetary benefits for you. You should be able to easily analyze the ROI you generate with your content if you have the proper tools in place.
- Operational Savings
Your content will help you in saving considerable costs. It has the power to turn your customers into your inexpensive brand advocates. One of the major advantages you may reap from a content strategy is the instantaneous communication with your customer, something that was missing from traditional channels of marketing.
- Customer Experience
When a social media team from Kraft discovered trends like "cut," "blood" and "salad dressing," they were startled. These are not words you would associate with their foods. When they dug a bit deeper into the trends, they discovered that the customers were going onto the social media and complaining about cutting their fingers while opening a new bottle of salad dressing. an issue solved quite easily, but a solution would have never been possible if a content marketing strategy was not in place.
The most important aspect of your business is innovation. The question is: What value can your content add to your business? Almost everything! You must remember that your content needs to be unique and it should look engaging to your customers. From then on, you can listen to what your customers are saying about your company and in what context are they talking about you.
Sean McGinnis sums it up beautifully:
Why You Should Measure Your Content Marketing?
Go back to the definition for content marketing and read it again, but this time, remove the words “valuable” and “relevant.” Yes, it is true. Content has been there since times immemorial. However, much of the produced content was either without direction or aim. Because such content failed to connect with the appropriate target audience, hence the term “spam” was introduced. Content Marketing is the antidote for spam. If your content marketing is done correctly, it would make a person (or customer) stop, read, think, and behave differently. Content Marketing is measurable. You just need to assess as to what are the proper metrics for your type of content. To have a proper in-depth knowledge of how your customers are landing on your pages, from which sources and who is actually reading your content, you need to have proper metrics in place. Content Marketing Metrics There are many ways of measuring content marketing. Check out this discussion on Quora to learn about some of them. There are four types of content marketing metrics. They are: Consumption, Sharing, Lead generation, and Sales. These metrics combine together to help you assess the impact your content is having on your business goals. These metrics are defined comprehensively in this report by CMI. Below, you will find a brief overview of the four metrics. Don’t take only my opinion. Let’s see how Andy Crestodina summarizes the Content Marketing metrics: Read Quote of Andy Crestodina's answer to What are the 10 ways to measure content marketing? on Quora
No one tool can help you measure the impact of content on your business’ performance. You need to spend sufficient amount of time thinking right through your set goals for success in order to select the right metrics for measurement. You need to set specific business objectives and strategies (not tactics) before finalizing a content calendar. Once accomplished, you can then organize your resources around those metrics.
Remember, content marketing is not the end; it is only the means to reach to the end.
What are your thoughts? What metrics would you deploy to measure your content’s effectiveness? How do these content ideas help you align your business goals? Leave your ideas and suggestions in the comments section below.