Content marketing has come a long way from its humble beginnings. What was originally a simple shift of resources from interruptive advertising to providing helpful information for customers has now become the foundation for many organisation's marketing strategies. So where is content marketing at in 2020? What are some of the interesting, new strategies that content-based marketing organisations can try? To find out, ClickAcademy, in association with Amazon Web Services, recently held roundtable discussions with client-side marketers at its annual Digital Cream event. At the Content Marketing Strategy table, hosted by Lydia Yang, Founder, Lydiascapes, brand marketers discussed their current approach to content marketing and the strategies that were working best for them now, in 2020. Below is a summary of the topics covered on the day. 1) Content marketing must solve problems The table started by discussing the purpose of content marketing - what makes it different from other forms of brand communications? The answer is that content marketing exists to help people, not persuade them to buy. If a brand's content focuses on selling, then its content marketing is no different from interruptive advertising. So instead of focusing on driving conversions, content marketing must identify problems consumers face and offer solutions to make people's lives easier. It must, first and foremost, be helpful. Of course once brand content has provided value to the consumer, then it can ask for value in return. But the order is important - be helpful to the consumer before you ask anything from them.
2) Content influencers are not 'influencers'
Another current content marketing topic is influencers. Content influencers, however, are different from what comes to mind when most people think of 'influencers'. Content influencers are not Instagram celebrities but people who have deep knowledge of a particular topic and have established themselves as experts in the field. They may write for a publication with high authority or have high authority themselves. Working with the right content influencers is highly recommended for both B2C and B2B brands. If marketers can find the right influencer for their category and he or she is willing to work with the company, then the brand can benefit by being associated with the authority that the influencer has established in the market. Regardless of whether they intend to use content influencers, though, content marketers should research their industry's influencers, read their content and discover industry trends which they can write about in their own content marketing.
3) Beyond social listening Finally, participants discussed the best ways to ensure that content marketing remained fresh and relevant to the brand's target audience. One suggestion was to use social listening as a way to keep on top of the current topics of interest. Discovering new industry buzzwords and their relevance was a good way of keeping on top of what mattered to people in their industry. Listening on social media, however, should just be the start of the process. Content marketers should also leverage tools such as Google Trends and Keyword Planner to see which words people are using to talk about their category. Content marketers should then plan their content marketing around trending keywords and avoid rehashing the same topics they have covered in the past. Looking ahead at trending topics was the best way forward and ensures that a brand's content marketing does not lag behind that of its competition.
A word of thanks ClickAcademy would like to thank the Content Marketing Strategy table host Lydia Yang, Founder, Lydiascapes for moderating the day's discussion on content marketing. We'd also like to thank all the marketers who made the effort to attend and share their insights about how to plan content marketing and keep brand content relevant and interesting for its target audience. We hope to see you all at future ClickAcademy events!