Posted on Monday, January 12th, 2015 by

When sat in Geneva Airport (which, unfortunately, I am, for the next 3 1/2 hours), two things jump out at you. It’s actually the same in most airports, high streets, on the internet or anywhere really – It’s the variety of marketing channels that we’re exposed to ALL of the time, and secondly, just how much content needs to be generated to fill them!

What’s the plan for 2015?

With the start of a new year I was thinking about the real successes (in a marketing sense) from the last 12 months, then about how the successes of 2015 will come about. What will be the highlights of the next 12 months?  The starting point is, 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 principals:

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’ suggest that the overlap in these 2 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 is a checklist 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 exmaple, 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 simple you can communicate it, the easier you’ll find it to get your audience 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 here, 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 almost 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 almost a master class in subliminal advertising as the video was actually an ad for a clothing companies fall line. The people aren’t real, neither is the experience, but it connected with people. Read more here

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.

So how about the second of the two, ‘Content Strategy’?

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 up front. Ask yourself the right questions and it’ll help to be sure that you’ve selected the best solution – Is it important your company feels cool/trendy? You might not want to brand to heavy. Do you want to harvest 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 / re-usable for other purposes? Avoid planning anything too season specific. Is it going to be re-purposed 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 sub category of your offering that this marketing content is aimed at? Consider the branding influences it takes 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 market place!

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, give us a call, email,  or check our website – www.outlook.co.uk – We’re happy to chat and there to help get your message out there! Anyway, best go get my flight!