It’s touted as the most important marketing tool that companies currently have at their disposal, but it’s also perhaps one of the least understood.
First off, content marketing is a long-term strategy that builds long-term customer loyalty and trust, as opposed to just short-term profits. The purpose of a content marketing strategy is to create a brand that enables customers to see the value of their connection. Research has shown that it can sometimes take between 9-12 months before a content marketing strategy establishes its value for the company.
These days, it’s becoming more difficult for brands to reach their audiences organically – customers can simply exit a website if they don’t like what they’re reading, or block an ad if they’re disinterested in the offer. To counter this, content marketing is focused on creating material that is useful, informative and authoritative. This way, the thinking goes, customers will actively seek out the content and will keep returning as they come to see the value it brings to their lives.
The growing divide
While customers are more connected than ever to digital technologies and content, the divide between companies and their customers continues to grow.
Often, companies think that in order to keep up with the advances in digital media, they need to get their content onto every single platform that’s available to them. However, developing and implementing a content strategy shouldn’t be a quest for volume, and it won’t necessarily result in a high return on investment.
The Godfather of content marketing says simple is better
Joe Pulizzi, known as the ‘godfather’ of content marketing and the founder of Content Marketing Institute, says that a good content marketing strategy is all about saying no.
A company should make considered choices about platforms and mediums, stick to what they know best while saying a firm ‘no’ to the rest. This will help them to build an asset and a loyal audience. In a recent podcast for LinkedIn, Pulizzi says that many small businesses in particular have had a good success rate with content marketing because they focus on one audience only, and direct their content to just a small number of platforms. They also strictly adhere to consistent delivery times so that their customers know when they can expect to hear from them.
In fact, says Pulizzi, the big publishing companies have also built their success by following the maxim of less is more. Huffington Post, for example, stuck to one medium – text – and grew their business model from there.
All of this shows that, despite the popular thinking that more is more, a simple strategy is effective at proving you’re a company worth engaging with.