The C Word - why content marketing is so much more than a Facebook update

When Social Media marketing became a ‘thing’ it is fair to say that any junior marketing graduate (or senior marketing manager for that matter) who had a Facebook account, pinned their favorite outfits on Pinterest, or followed Shane and Liz on Twitter considered themselves a ‘content marketer’ – but that couldn’t be further from the truth, so what is it that makes for a content marketing gun?

What is content marketing?

Blogs, articles on the website, eDM’s, research reports, social media conversations – there are so many platforms that can contribute to quality content!  Content marketing has become a hugely important element to any marketing mix, but it needs to be multi faceted and can no longer be the sole responsibility of the marketing coordinator.

Whilst almost every brand has metrics around their website visitation, and actively drive this through website search strategies, the broader content piece is where many brands are still falling down. Research suggests that only 52% of Australian Marketers have a documented content marketing strategy (King Content) – how can this be?

What it all comes down to is that SEO is highly dependent on the quality of the content on your website. If you are wanting people to visit your brand’s website, then Google AdWords will no longer cut it in isolation. Content is king and it can no longer be ignored.

What makes an effective content marketer?

Good content marketing really comes back to the most basic of all marketing principles – knowing your customers.

Content marketing is all about engaging with customers in meaningful dialogue which addresses their needs and wants, not pushing brochures or touting product features at them. It’s almost as though we are going back to the good old days when personal conversations mattered (gosh I sound like my mother) rather than cold, text book 4P’s marketing. To be a good content marketer you need to have an understanding of how online user experience teamed with tone of voice, communication style, customer demographics and psychographics can really influence a consumer’s desires.  Without it the communications to your customers can be shallow and meaningless and consumers are expecting more than that in the digital age.

With this reflection in mind, ask yourself honestly, how is your brand delivering on meaningful content? More importantly, how can it be improved?