Why You Need A New Content Marketing Perspective
In 2017, content is the lifeblood of the digital world. It’s where most of us spend a good chunk of our lives. News articles and blogs flood our social media feeds and we watch one billion hours of YouTube video every day. Business strategies are increasingly driven by clicks, so it’s not surprising marketers in APAC listed content marketing as their number one priority this year.
But it is concerning that content ranks higher than ROI and accountability. Content fatigue is becoming a genuine problem as so many brands and publishers clamour for even a second of our attention. Producing content without considering the return on investment will just contribute to the masses of forgotten blog posts buried in dark corners of the internet. Or worse, ineffective content that’s actively turning audiences away. And with consumers increasingly getting wise to ‘fake news’ and marketing tactics, it takes a lot for content to stand out from the crowd.
A Story Driven Approach
With all this content competing for our time, anything created for the sole purpose of pushing an agenda won’t cut it. Neither will inauthentic content that your audience will see through in seconds (yes, I’m looking at you, Pepsi). The key is being able to find a story that resonates with your audience on a personal, emotional or intellectual level. Think about the last piece of content you shared, bookmarked or returned to over and over again. I’m going to bet that it wasn’t a product promotion.
Of course, this is easy to argue and far harder to execute, especially if your business sells something that doesn’t have instant sex appeal, or you have stakeholders struggling to move beyond a dreary direct sale pitch.
While content usually resides within the marketing department, there’s a lot of value in bringing people in from outside this field to expand your definition of content and tell more interesting stories. What about having a journalist or creative writer produce your articles and blogs? A social media expert will tell you how it’ll play out on Facebook and LinkedIn, while someone who knows digital channels inside out will help with distribution. Or why not a fresh-faced grad with a new outlook on the industry?
Here are a few different perspectives that will help you develop content that tells a better story.
A journalist has an instinct for a good story and they’re not afraid to delve a little deeper to ask the hard questions of a spokesperson or look for insights concealed by industry buzzwords. At Spectrum we’ve embraced a journalistic style of content because we want to approach every piece of work with a people-focused mindset and cut through the corporate crap. Someone who’s worked on the other side of the fence will help you get straight to the heart of what matters and knows what the media cares about.
2. Social Strategists
The content you create doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It can spread like wildfire for all the wrong reasons if it rings hollow with the audience or it’s misinterpreted. By the same token, you might think your latest blog post is wonderful, but it falls flat online. A social media expert will understand different audience segments and the way these groups interact with brands online, to help you tell stories with the right tone and get them directly in front of an interested audience using relevant platforms.
3. Data Analysts
As content exploded online, so did the amount of data we generated. Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data (and no, that’s not a made-up number). There are heaps of ways you can use this data to inform the stories you tell. For a start, find someone who can analyse your content performance and figure out what stories are most engaging. That way you can tell more of those – and spend less time on the stuff that isn’t working. And if you’re capturing insights in your own customer databases or day-to-day business, look for someone who can make sense of them and tell you the most interesting figures to turn into a piece of content.
Experienced creatives, whether they’re designers, writers or strategists, will bring new ideas and help you stretch outside your comfort zone. If your content always revolves around the same topics or one particular industry, it’s helpful to get an outside perspective. People from a creative background can offer some really out-of-the-box angles. They’ll make connections that you haven’t seen and question things that don’t make sense outside of the industry bubble.
5. Sales Professionals
The sales team usually have the most direct contact with customers so they’re well-versed on what’s on their mind. Involving sales doesn’t mean turning content into a pitch. But understanding pain points, hurdles, objectives and interests will generate useful stories for every point of the customer’s journey.
A successful content marketing strategy isn’t just about churning out blog posts and the occasional whitepaper. Embracing different perspectives from throughout the business will stop you from creating content for the sake of it. Instead, start telling interesting stories that actually mean something.