Content Marketing is a relatively new phenomena in the agency world and as yet, there are few brands that are doing content marketing in the MENA region. So what is Content Marketing, how can you do it and what benefit or ROI can brands expect from doing content marketing here in the GCC? Read on for the insights that matter.
What is content marketing?
According to Wikipedia, ‘Content Marketing attracts prospects and transforms prospects into customers by creating and sharing valuable free content. Content marketing helps companies create sustainable brand loyalty, provides valuable information to consumers, and creates a willingness to purchase products from the company in the future. This relatively new form of marketing does not involve direct sales. Instead, it builds trust and rapport with the audience’
Sounds good, but can you explain Content Marketing in plain English?
OK, in plain English, Content Marketing is a dialogue with your audience on topics they are interested in, rather than sales monologues that only your brand’s owners are actually motivated by. Shock. Yes its true, most advertising is suffered not enjoyed by customers. The better the content, the more engaged your audience becomes. Great content marketing relies on an old adage of ‘givers gain’ or the biblical narrative of ‘give so yea shall receive’.
As an analogy, consider a street performer you saw, last time you were in London. The performer provides a spectacle that captures your imagination. You stop, it draws you in and you’re interested to see more. The performer entertains you and other shoppers for around 15 minutes before their finale and at which point, they come around and put a hat in front of you for your kind patronage. Well content marketing is on the same tip. You give valuable and interesting content to your public and in return they offer your brand patronage by way of purchasing your goods and services.
How do we know if our Content Marketing is interesting?
Your audience trusts you to be a subject matter expert – no? For example; you are here, reading Unisono’s blog because it interests you and you believe Unisono is an expert on building brand value and the content the agency offers you has something you value, right? What your brands need to do is to find the mid-point between what your audience is interested in and what your brand has become an expert in – then build interesting content in that space. Should be simple as your brand is an expert in the products and services it offers – no?
How do we deliver the content to our audience so they will engage with it?
You have the intel and inside view on your market and the produces and services you sell, ok? So now you have to convert this intel into content in a way your audience will want to consume, through communication vehicles (email newsletters, social posts, blogs, vlogs etc) they are interested in using with your brand. It starts with the content first and then the vehicles you use to put this content into the way of your audience in an unobtrusive way.
Once your audience starts to engage with you content you can start to test how your audience is engaging – what content do they find most interesting and why? Make an assumption and test this. Try new ways of putting the content out there. Try an emailer with snippets linked to a web page and then try the same content but delivered in a voiced-over video – what content type does your audience engage with more. Test your approaches on a weekly and monthly basis as your data builds and voila, you will have insights on how to adapt to your audiences preference and hone in on the right approach to connect with them on their terms. Content marketing is all about the audience and their interests.
Content (marketing) is KingThe shy marketeer.
Content Marketing is all about sharing stuff your audience is interested in. Make it about things you really understand and your audience will come back time and time again to learn more and more. Then they will promote you to others by sharing your content for you.
All good Content Marketing approaches needs to be based on a strategy - you need to know who your audience is and where your commonality lies. Then test your assumptions again and again.
Content Marketing – a process
So you have learned a bit about Content Marketing, like what you read and now want to work this secret marketing magic into your communication mix. But you don’t really have a clue where to start. To help you kick start things, we put together a 10 step process to guide you on your way through the Content Marketing labyrinth. Enjoy.
- Agree the ‘conversation’ your brand’s audience wants to have with you – what we can call the ‘Interest’.
- Build content pillars to cover this interest. Keep your content pillars to around 5 – 7 – human beings like the number 5 for some reason (5 fingers and toes?) and besides, too many content pillars and you become a jack of all trades and a master of none.
- Source interesting content. Scan Global, Regional and Local news outlets. Discuss your content pillars with your brand’s Subject Matter Experts. Ask them for industry insights; what is happening under the radar that is of interest to your audience. Don’t forget the Corp Comms team – ask them what they are doing that is of interest to your audience too. Remember, we the content has to be of interest, not to the CEO or HR but to the Audience.
- Review your content with your team so you can tailor insights and inside views to the interests of the audience.
- Draft interest pieces for sharing as (1) Blog posts (dissect these posts as micro blog posts on platforms like twitter), or (2) White papers for posting on your web site (you can also promote these as a reason to sign up to emailers). (3) Create ‘Talking Head’ video pieces by filming your Subject Matter Experts in a neutral setting. They can share their insider view on topics of interest.
- Approve the final content pieces with the your Marketing Team or Corporate Communications team.
- Post your intriguing content via the appropriate channels (omni channel coverage, website, social, Youtube, emailer).
- Gather metrics data on your audience engagement – where their interest is currently. Review the following data: Views, Comments, Email openings, new sign ups to channels or email subscriptions Etc.
- Prepare an audience engagement report with metrics + analysis. Share this internally with the right authority – CEO and the CFO!
- Outline A/B tests you want to conduct to review efficacy & enhancement. Agree next steps or next phase of work to do. Brief agency or content team to deliver against new requirements. Repeat the cycle.
Unisono’s Content Marketing services include:
Research & Benchmarking, Audit, Digital Marketing Strategy, Content Concepts, Content Production, Video Production, Animation, Infographics, Management & Delivery. ROI & Metrics
Want to work with us on your Content Marketing strategy and delivery? Get in touch today.
Tel. (+973) 17558787
Content Marketing is about giving things of interest to your audience. As the old adage goes - givers gain. Give first to receive later... but keep giving! It is expected to two years for your content marketing to provide ROI.