Today’s consumer is bombarded with thousands of marketing messages every single day.
In order to stand apart from the noise, many brands are shifting their marketing budgets out of paid advertising (that we all ignore at staggering rates) and into content programs.
These branded content marketing hubs are creating owned media properties that deliver value to brands over time vs. the short-term blips from a Superbowl ad or any short-term campaign
What are the best practices for standing out in today’s attention-starved world?
First, brands need to take a step back and document their content marketing objectives.
For some brands that may include common marketing objectives like brand awareness and lead generation. For others, it might mean higher-level goals like we see with GE and their approach to publishing stories on today’s leading innovations that improve lives. Or like we see with RedBull and extreme adventures and sports.
But whatever the goals are, too often brands fail simply because they don’t document these goals. Despite the fact that every business is producing content, too few brands have a documented strategy. And most feel they are not getting the results they should from content marketing.
I can’t seem to be able to say this enough: It all starts with the goals. Breaking through the noise then becomes simply a part of the measure of success.
The 3 Vs of Content Marketing Help You Break Through The Noise
Once a business has documented their content marketing goals, success comes down to things like the volume of posts, the variety of the content and the value it provides your audience. Volume. Variety. Value.
Start With The Value You Provide Your Audience
Let’s start with value. One of the biggest mistakes content marketers make is they make the topic of the content too much about their brand, the products they sell or why they are better.
And while this content has a place, most businesses have too much of it. And your audience tunes this out. In order to break through the noise, a brand has to create content that is 100% for the audience.
Take the brand out of the story.
Make the customer the hero.
And your audience will pay attention. Value is not negotiable in today’s hyper-competitive information landscape.
Today’s Consumer Is Always On. Is Your Brand Part Of The Conversation?
The next challenge to consider is volume. In today’s digital, social, mobile world, we are always-on and always connected.
We don’t wait for news or interesting stories. We filter out what is not relevant to us and we tune in to the sources that provide a consistent experience, in the channels we use, with the formats we like, with content we want to read and share.
My advice to brands is to start with a volume goal, such as “publish one piece of content every day for each major topic.”
And then figure out how to achieve that goal in a quality way and with the budget you have.
And look for technology that can help with workflow approvals and editorial guidelines.
Variety Is The Spice of Life. And The Lifeblood of Content Marketing
The other piece of the puzzle is variety. Once you have determined how to produce valuable content on a consistent basis, it’s time to start mixing it up.
Text-based articles are the foundation of almost every content marketing program. Your audience is looking for information. And your brand can be the source of it.
But we are seeing an explosion of visual content. Videos on YouTube. Presentations on slideshare. Infographics. And images, images everywhere on Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and more.
In order to break through the noise, the successful content marketing program will have a plan for creating visual and longer form content. And some adventurous brands are even moving beyond informational content into entertainment and comedy to add variety and drive loyalty with their audience.
Even Great Content Needs A Little Push
Once a business has considered the volume, variety and value of the content it publishes, paid media can be deployed on the best content that people want to read and share vs. the ads that no one wants.
And your brand can begin the process of breaking through the noise on a consistent basis.