Content marketing and communications have come a long way. Just a couple of decades ago, marketing messages were pushed through newspapers, TV, radio broadcasts and print media. They were one-way push marketing. Journalist were considered elite and hard to reach. It was deemed a great feat to have a journalist write about your business in the local paper or an industry magazine, two outlets with limited audiences.
The Internet did not become public until 1994. But once it arrived on the scene, creative business minds saw the reach potential it gave them while opening up a means for two-way pull marketing. Marketing and advertising have not been the same since. The scale of both changed dramatically. The evolution of online content marketing and communications proved anyone could be a journalist, on some level. Reach went from small, local audience print distributions to the potential for an immediate, global audience. Content marketing will never be the same. If you want to survive in this day and age of content marketing, you have two choices: scale or fail.
Optimize Content to Win
As search-marketing guru, Li Evans states, “Content doesn’t win. Optimized content wins.” Marketers and business owners must research where their audiences are online and the types of content they engage with. They must not only produce relevant content but also optimize it properly to drive targeted traffic back to their online properties.
Become a Micro-celebrity
Keep your blog and social media channels up-to-date, engaging and timely. Digital communication consumption is the way of our world. Social and new media platforms have opened doors for hyper-curated Web experiences. Today’s consumers often turn to brands’ Facebook pages and Twitter channels before visiting their Websites, making brands the publishers.
Brands and marketers need to think like journalists. They must balance non-promotional and promotional content (generally abiding by the 80/20 rule), targeted audience(s), business goals and current events. Monitoring for brand, product and service mentions is crucial as well. Brands need to be at the center of any and all relevant buzz. Be sure your Google author tag is properly set, start writing and own the content. Become a micro celebrity.
Adopt an Omni-Channel and Brand Partnerships Approach
It’s time to go beyond the native ad, such as a paid placement in the SERPs based on user experience, to an omni-channel approach. Brands that merge their online and offline efforts already have more success than those who don’t. Those that take another step and partner with other brands will be even more successful. Those brands will find themselves standing out from the masses in the online content marketing world.
Get Creative and Unique
Tired of hearing this? Sorry. This part of the formula is never going to change. Fortunately, with all of the accessibility at your and other brands’ fingertips, you really do have an endless sea of options. Partnering with another brand may be the key. Think beyond your own business.
Need inspiration? Check out what Coca-Cola did. Rather than simply promote their own products, they have written the stories journalists should have been writing. They turned their Website into a sort of online magazine: The Coca-Cola Journey. Here the company shares stories of its own history, how it has helped improved communities and the environment and even its recent, valiant efforts to fight obesity. Bravo all the way around!
If you’re stuck in a content marketing rut, let us help. We sport some pretty creative hats over here.