Although most journalism and marketing has shifted to the Internet, only printed content seems to trigger an aura of devotion. But what is the reason for this? There is a fundamental misunderstanding to blame: Just because content on websites and social media is easy to consume, its production is not automatically as fast and incidental. We show you the strengths of Content Marketing and explain why there is more to it than perfectly staged selfies.
The familiar images that show passengers in the subways of modern cities while collectively staring at their mobile phone screens, have become a symbol of media change. Traditional direct marketing in the form of advertising posters at train stations is passing by these people unseen.
The modern discourse has shifted to the internet and the digital world. And there, it is at least as fiercely contested as in the analogue world. The overstimulation that originally made marketing in public spaces so difficult, has long since spread online in the form of pop-ups and banner advertising. Clever Content Marketing is therefore not just a sub-form of online marketing. Marketing book author and university professor Seth Godin once said: "It's the only marketing left".
Content Marketing: the invisible genius
Content Marketing goes its own way when it comes to bringing messages closer to the target group. The idea: customers find their way to your company organically through appealing content! Articles, videos and images stand out from the flood of stimuli thanks to their relevance and creativity and provide added value for the target audience. A target audience that is carefully analysed and targeted in advance. A paradigm shift from product-centered to customer-centered marketing, which has become standard practice.
Content Marketing thus also becomes the perfect medium for the digital reality. By focusing on content, the whole range of formats and strategies of presentation can be used. Whether blog article, podcast episode, Instagram post, newsletter or webinar: with the right strategy you can communicate successfully on any platform and with any medium! This allows even more complex industries, which otherwise struggle with simplifying advertising messages, to find their stage and audience.
The wide range of services also shows: Content Marketing is already everywhere! Content offers that provide added value and thus say something about a service and a product are sometimes so intertwined with our everyday media consumption that we no longer notice them. But there is much more to a blog article or a Facebook post than is apparent at first glance.
The content governance of the 😊
Content on Social Media is a good example to explain the value of Content Marketing. Although Social Media platforms have become increasingly important for advertisers of all industries in recent years, especially for younger customers, content especially for this medium is often still treated as secondary. Most of all people in decision-making positions at companies have still not updated their image of the internet as storage for cat videos.
What is often forgotten in this simplistic view of online and Social Media: The work behind a blog article or an Instagram post is not significantly different from a cleverly launched press statement in an established print medium. The only difference is that the Instagram post is actually being read. Apart from that, Content Marketing involves the same editorial work as classic PR or editorial offices do:
Especially on your own platform, unprofessional and boring content falls directly back on the originator – meaning your company. The correct categorization and rendering of facts is the minimum requirement. But finding new topics and sources also costs time and resources. If external sources still have to be found for interviews or very demanding topics have to be prepared, the organizational frame grows additionally.
Target group work
Without an audience, even the most exciting blog article and the most entertaining video will fade into nothingness. That's why you need a relevant target group that is both relevant to your business and interested in your content before you start your first research. Focus groups, interviews with people representing the target group and coordination with the sales department can be valuable groundwork for a suitable content strategy.
Typing a post or an article into a template is one thing. A well-curated web content with an attractive layout is another. To ensure that your content doesn't have the appeal of a homepage of the local bowling club that hasn't been updated for years, you need extensive knowledge of website platforms such as WordPress or content management and marketing automation tools such as HubSpot. But also expertise in podcast players, video editing, image processing and sound editing. Depending on what is required, this can add up to a pretty long list of necessary skills.
How do my customers get to my elaborately produced blog article? Relying on random site visits would probably be a bit risky. Instead, one could link the article in the weekly newsletter, share it with additional sources on Facebook, target interested parties on LinkedIn or refer to their Instagram biography. Or to the story? How do I address the target group consistently and adequately? The answers to these questions can all be individual, but one thing is clear: these are all questions of content governance. And they require a well-considered strategy. How much planning there ist behind a social media strategy is revealed on our blog.
Help! An iceberg!
Even at this brief glance, it becomes clear that there is much more behind a Facebook post or a blog article than meets the eye. Because if you see even the shortest tweet as part of a content strategy, the randomly typed emoji becomes just the tip of the content iceberg. Besides a lot of thoughts and creativity, this form of strategic work often costs time and requires more than one person.
The good thing is: If you decide to break new ground in the content communication of your company, you are not left alone! And you don't even have to let all your responsibilities go. In a cooperative partnership we generate new content together with you. Our strategy expert René Neubach will be happy to advise you in a non-binding meeting.
In the second part of our series on the true value of Content Marketing, we will show you what lies behind our content work using concrete examples.