Marketing Directors are searching for that something that will help them measure things in a more scientific way, but don’t want data for data’s sake, they want something that will actually start to shift the needle for business growth but that is clearly linked to ROI. A big ask, but something the digital space is really starting to live up to, especially with the increased emphasis on content marketing.
There is a danger of getting distracted by the shiny ball and I don’t for one second subscribe to the view that content marketing is going to kill advertising. But it is certainly changing the landscape significantly. The funnel has become more complicated now and we all know how savvy consumers are these days. It’s no longer possible to put lipstick on bad business. As agencies we need to help our clients to do more and move people from being strangers to customers and ultimately promoters of their products.
Content marketing is an incredible tool in your armoury. It is not a shallow advertisement, a blatant self-promotion or an attempt to trick readers. It is about great content that is interesting and engaging. Content that people want to share with a friend, or that makes them feel differently about a brand. Many brands are engaged in a race to the bottom and competing on price, but this isn’t a strategy for the long term, it doesn’t make people feel anything, you are just something on their functional list of “to-dos”.
It is brining relationship marketing into the connected world and offers relevant scientific data that allows you to make informed decisions on. The days of people saying that “50% of my advertising works, I’m just not sure which 50%” is over. Even the biggest of companies can and should now act like lean star-up’s, testing and tweaking and amplifying what is working to drive better leads and convert more sales.
Shiny Ball warning again. There is of course a danger of getting distracted by a creative shiny ball. As Patrick Collister, a creative director for over 25 years and now at Google says “Within some digital agencies, people tend to think platforms are a substitute for ideas, but you need both. Technology drives creativity, but it doesn’t lead it”.
These are interesting times and I certainly believe that a content marketing strategy should be forming a part of your companies digital strategy.