What should be your content marketing strategy in 2015?

Posted on Monday, January 12th, 2015 by

With the start of a new year I was thinking about the real successes (in a marketing sense) from the last 12 months. What will be the highlights of the next 12 months? What considerations should go in to your content marketing strategy for 2015?

First, ‘content marketing strategy’ is a bit of a buzz phrase. Like ‘core competence’ or ‘synergy’, it’s a bit vague. It’s actually a combination of two principles:

  • Content marketing – This is the creation and distribution of relevant and valuable content. The outcome is to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
  • Content strategy – This is the alignment of content to business goals, analysis and objectives. The strategy influences the development, production, presentation, evaluation, measurement, and fade out of content. 

So there’s clearly an overlap in some areas but put simply: 

Content marketing considers the ‘why’ and content strategy considers the ‘how’.

How to get it right

The Content Marketing Institute suggests that the overlap in these two disciplines is the ‘what’ and ‘where’. With the need to get this right becoming critical (due to the capital outlay and the potential financial gain), I thought I’d offer some basic advice.

Below are checklists to help anyone aspiring to promote their business or service successfully. Whether it’s a one-person set-up or an international blue chip, you can never repute that sometimes it’s all about getting the basics right!

Content marketing checklist

1) Who is your target audience? (Age, affluence, gender, social group, passions, etc.)

The more accurate this is, the better you can tailor your content to attract and identify the best platform to reach this group. For example, it’s not prudent to focus aggressively on video for social media if your target audience is in the 70+ age bracket.

2) Why do they need your product/service? What’s its benefit/USP?

Ask yourself: Will it make their lives easier/quicker/simpler/more successful? Whatever the point, the more succinct and simply you can communicate it, the easier your audience will be engaged. The worst promotional material/ads are the ones that get bogged down in trying to communicate to many benefits.

3) How will you get them to share the content?

There are options, ranging from good old fashioned humour, to baiting with discounts and gamification. What has proven to be the most effective method to encourage sharing is content that’s designed to entertain, shock and delight more than it’s designed to advertise!

The most viewed video of last year was First Kiss. One of only 19 campaigns to date to pass the 100 million views mark. Completely unbranded, this was a masterclass in subliminal advertising as the video was actually an ad for a clothing company’s fall line. The subjects weren’t real and neither was the experience, but it connected with people.

4) How do you drive traffic, attention or business your way as a result?

Once upon a time the option you had was a call to action, an invitation to follow up the experience. Though still valuable in traditional production, First Kiss proves that there are far more creative and successful methods to achieve this marketing cut through. As a result of First Kiss, the company’s website saw a 14,000% increase in traffic and a 13,000% increase in sales with nothing but people’s curiosity fuelling it.

Content strategy checklist

1) What are you hoping to achieve?

This needs to be clearly identified before you start. There are so many incredible marketing routes and platforms that can swallow up your time and budget. So put the planning in upfront. Ask yourself the right questions and it’ll help you be sure that you’ve selected the best solution.

  • Is it important your company feels cool/trendy? You might not want to brand too heavily.
  • Do you want to attract more first-time users? An introductory discount offered in your video might work.

There is an infinite amount of potential desired outcomes. The more accurate you are in identifying this, the easier you can plan and monitor the success of your strategy.

2) How long do you want this content to be used for?

Be clear on the timelines involved in the campaign. It’s not just about hitting a deadline, but also about thinking of what happens AFTER the deadline.

  • Is the content designed to be usable year-round/reusable for other purposes? Avoid planning anything too season specific.
  • Is it going to be repurposed for internal use? Shoot a lot of B-roll to give you variety for additional content and follow-up campaigns.

3) What are you aligning your content with?

Is there a specific business area or subcategory that this marketing content is aimed at? Consider the branding influences it draws from and how the audience will read them, based on their wants, needs and influences. Think about how the customer journey will roll out if they are communicated via other channels. Will they all line up with the master brand identity?

4) How are you going to measure the success of your content?

With technology providing us with near limitless avenues for tracking our success, the options to measure are plentiful. Either dedicated phone lines, email responses or – king of digital marketing – the mouse click! Google Analytics can track click-through from content along with the time spent on landing page and journey of the user on arrival.

It’s not just yes/no data that is captured, but a further insight into the habits of your intended audience and the platforms that they engage with.

And what can you do with this data? Well, start the whole process again with even greater knowledge of your marketplace!

Good luck for 2015! 

Hopefully the above proves useful for anyone who’s made it this far! Just some thoughts on breaking down something that, if not approached clearly, will only result in more time and money being thrown at your campaign.

If you need guidance, advice or the expertise to produce any of the content you need, get in touch. We’re happy to chat and help get your message out there!