Many people and companies are turning more attention to content marketing. This growing field brings an interesting discussion to the table about where it should fit within your organization. Is it a channel like SEO, a tactic within a channel, part of a social media program, or a strategy to support your overall marketing goal? MarketingLand columnist Rachel Lindteigen weighs in on the matter:
It’s not a standalone tactic
Content marketing shouldn’t be part of another practice or channel, such as SEO, social media, or paid ads.
“To me, content marketing should actually live above the channels and bring unity and cohesion to all messaging,” writes Lindteigen.
Done correctly, content marketing is more important than any single channel. It tells your brand story to your target audience, who is interested in your company. It’s also telling that story in a useful manner for your target audience using both online and offline marketing channels. Your customer should be able to understand your cohesive brand story, regardless of what channel they are using to view it.
Think about planning a birthday party
You typically choose a theme for your birthday parties. Once the theme is chosen, you can start the search to find the right invitations, decorations, food, goodie bags, and games that fit the theme. Your theme is your overall content strategy. Tying your party decor in with your theme makes your celebration not only fun, but sensible and well-thought-out. Your party-goers will enjoy it more.
That’s why you choose the cake that matches your child’s favorite cartoon character and the colors associated with its branding. Content marketing is making sure everything involved aligns with the overall theme, right down to the sprinkles and frosting colors.
A complete, cohesive story
Say you run a cosmetic surgery and medical spa, and your overall goal is to sell more skincare products for the next three months — then your content marketing strategy and tactics should focus on this season’s skincare products. So, creating a newsletter for your brand that mentions skin rejuvenation procedures and treatments — not skincare products and tips for use — doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Even your website should focus on the overall strategy at hand. If your website is all about skincare products for the season, but your blog posts are discussing the best times to have breast augmentation or tummy tuck surgery, and your social media posts focus on the benefits of liposuction and body lift procedures, your customers are going to get confused. Your content is too scattered and needs more focus.
Consider your marketing mix as your birthday party and all the pieces of your marketing as decorations to pull it all together. Unify your channels with a common content marketing goal to keep them focused on your theme: skin care products.
Pulling it all together
If your content strategy is executed correctly, it may look something like this: Your website has the updated list of trending, seasonal skin care products for the next three months; your blog has a post on the best products for your skin this season and an in-depth piece about how to apply these products for successful results; your Facebook has sneak peek information on the product specials you’re running for the next three months; and your Pinterest has a board dedicated to the trending products and makeup products to pair with them. Your target audience is now able to view a great presentation of your cohesive story.
Each channel you use offers content that is useful and unique to how the information is displayed for that platform. Your consumers want engaging content they can find on any channel they frequent. That means quick reads, fun pictures, and inspirational images.
“As a brand, it’s important to create content that’s unique to each channel but supports the overall goals and maintains a unified message. Consumers don’t buy something the first time they see the product; they need to see it multiple times in order to convert,” Lindteigen explains.
Ready to find out how inbound marketing can help you meet your marketing goals? Contact us for a free marketing assessment!