When you spend your days working as a marketing consultant and content creator, you can only imagine the number of articles, tweets, blog posts, white papers, newsletters, email communications… (need I go on) read on a daily basis. For some, it could be overwhelming, but for me, it’s what I live for and love… scouring for good content, thought-provoking ideas, and inspiring marketing. So with that said here’s my list of Top 5 Content Marketing Matters of the Moment. This is what’s been on my mind…
1. How Much Personalization is Too Much?
A little while back I read a HubSpot article addressing the question, “How much personalization do you want as a marketer and a consumer?” The subject still lingers with me as I watch the industry continue down a path of personalized content. Through advances in technology and with the use of analytics, online experiences are more customized than ever. My music lists are curated based on previous listening sessions, news content is tailored to what I was reading last, ads are targeted at the products I’ve browsed, but the devil’s advocate in me can’t help but wonder when does it all remove the fun of discovery? Will I ever get back to being a blank slate consumer where I freely decide what is for me?
2. Content Marketing Applies to You Too
Many brands get confused and think, “Oh content marketing is for someone else. What stories do we have to tell?” Sometimes that takes a little bit of an effort to discover for some brands more so than others. We often spend time with our partners talking about what their buyers and consumers want to know in order to determine what type of content is relevant. And other times we just simply ask! One category that hasn’t fully embraced content marketing opportunities is the restaurant category. The whole aspect of food is social and shared. Granted for some brands it may not be appropriate, but without a doubt some of the best content marketers out there are food service brands like Chipotle, and my personal favorites Sweetgreen and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. What makes them so successful with content marketing? A compelling brand story at the heart of it all. Spend time crafting that and you’ve got something to share.
3. “Content is King, But Distribution is Queen”
This quote provided by BuzzFeed’s Jonathan Perelman makes a valid point for everyone involved in content development. It’s less about just churning out content, but making sure that your strategy for distribution is just as strong as your strategy for creation. If you’re going to spend the time investing in capturing and telling a story, you have to plan to have it heard or you might as well have not started at all. There are over 20 different tactics to for distributing your content, use an editorial calendar to keep your efforts organized, and this will also help you see where you can repurpose for other sources.
4. PR is Still Powerful
Leading off the previous point about the distribution of content, PR is one tool that shouldn’t be left in the dust. Each day 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared (AOL & Neilson). I’ll let you digest that for a moment. What does that mean? Cutting through the content clutter is even harder than ever. It’s one thing for you to make sure you’re sharing with the followers of your social media networks, email subscriber lists, etc, but there’s no denying that there’s value in having someone else help your voice be heard outside of your network. Utilize online publications and resources to help spread word of mouth about your brand. Yes PR still requires effort, but often times these resources are accessing or helping expose your brand to what could be an entirely new audience.
5. Creating “Interactive” Content
The whole point of content marketing is to create valuable, engaging content with your audience. And what is more engaging than actual interaction? It’s one thing for people to read a blog post or share an article, but motivating someone to respond (either good or bad) is when you’ve truly created engagement. Determined to break the model of traditional blogging, Gawker set out to create the online platform, Kinja, to let users rewrite headlines and re-frame articles published on the site. While their creation of the tool may be intended for a less honorable cause (hello, snarky comments), it raises the question, what if it were created for the use of good—essentially you and your reader’s building and creating content together. It’s another layer of depth to the traditional blog post. Granted this opens the door to maybe closer monitoring of content, but as blogs move away from traditional posts to being more interactive conversations, with a thoughtful approach it could be something to watch.
Photo Credit: Search Engine People Blog