- Content marketing
Many companies are dipping a toe into the icy waters of content marketing, but the sharks are circling and it’s easy to get out of your depth. But before we clumsily mix any more watery metaphors, here are just some of the BIG mistakes companies make once they’ve decided content marketing’s the route for them…
1. Money can't buy you love
Whether it's via Facebook Ads or tools like Taboola and Adwords, our clients have vast audiences at their disposal. Even with relatively low budgets a combination of the right platforms can see your content distributed on a significant scale. However, reach isn't much good without great content and relevant targeting, and companies often fail to strike the right balance. You can buy reach, but you can’t buy consideration and engagement; you have to earn it.
Remember, if your content and distributions strategies are not aligned with your target audience, and your content production and creative resources don't match your strategic aspirations, then 99 times out of 100 your amazing reach wont stand for much at all past basic awareness. Forget about building engaged audiences and growing brand loyalty – you may as well spend the money on banner ads…
2. ...but great content needs an audience
Simply having great content isn’t (normally) enough, even 'Gangnam Style' had an extensive seeding plan. On the flipside to the above points about reach not being enough on its own, it's still obviously very much an essential part of any successful content campaign. After all, what's the point in putting time and effort into content if nobody sees it?
This point is becoming increasingly poignant on social media, where organic reach is plummeting fast – particularly on Facebook and Twitter. After years of preaching to brands about the need to build a social community, these platforms have now turned around and said, 'you have your audience - but now you need to rent them back from us'. Despite this, a lot of brands are in denial about social platforms becoming paid rather than owned media tools, and they continue to put substantial resources into content creation, social media managers and community managers, all to achieve an average post reach of about 3,000-6,000 fans on Facebook when they have a follower base of circa 200k.
"Even with relatively low budgets a combination of the right platforms can see your content distributed on a significant scale."
3. Fragmented campaigns fail
The best marketing campaigns have an integrated process. Everything that goes into your content – from planning and creating, through to publishing, promoting, measuring and optimising – should all be part of the same thinking and working towards the same goal. Too many times we see content campaigns fail because earned and paid media tactics (and even budgets) are an afterthought, rather than an integral part of the process – a bit like planning a concert without figuring out how you're going to sell the tickets.
4. Every campaign needs an objective
Having clearly defined objectives from our clients is essential. What do you want your campaign to do? And why is that outcome important to you? You need to go deeper than ‘I want traffic to my blog and I want them to engage with content'– more like, 'this content strategy will be a success if my audience visits more than 3 pages or spends more than 5 minutes on the site. That's a success because it shows that they are engaging with my content in a meaningful way and are identifying with my brand.'
Are you looking to take a fresh approach to your content strategy? We’d love to hear from you – firstname.lastname@example.org