Last June 25, GetCraft Co-founder and Group CEO Patrick Searle opened the Manila Marketers Meetup (MMM) by asking the question: “Why does content marketing exist?”
The Content Marketing Institute defined content marketing as “the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling.” Still, consistently creating and publishing content that is relevant and adds value to the lives of customers is an approach that brands tend to underestimate.
Brands often fail to recognize the importance of including content marketing in their business plans. As Searle explained, content marketing sits at the crossroads of production, media planning, and brand planning, making it hard to recognize that it needs to be focused on.
To this day, businesses still struggle with content marketing. According to GetCraft marketing reports from 2017-2018, the number one issue that brands face is budget restraints. Not all companies have the capacity to focus on content marketing campaigns to reach more consumers.
In recent years, more channels have been made available and there are demands for more content. Yet the allocation for content marketing hasn’t changed. What changes should brands make in order to harness the efficiency of quality content? Let’s go through some points made at the event.
Investing in content marketing
Searle reminded marketers, “Don’t forget to invest in creative media and content.” Companies should dedicate more time and resources to running campaigns that will help them reap benefits like cost-effectiveness, customer loyalty, and increased sales.
How cost efficient is content marketing? Compared to paid media campaigns, which only allows brands to create 4-5 variations of the same message, content marketing and sponsored content campaigns will give brands more than 50 pieces of unique content.
Content marketing also helps businesses get better customers and ensure that they stay loyal by helping them become more intelligent consumers. This encourages customers to patronize the brand in return. Different pieces of content for every stage of the consumer journey also helps brands move customers down the marketing funnel, effectively converting them into paying customers.
As Searle pointed out, content marketing campaigns get up to 7 times more media efficiency compared to paid media. Since content compounds over time, it becomes more cost-effective. It can also be optimized based on performance, which you can measure through views, engagement, and actions.
One of the most popular ways to achieve this is through sponsored content campaigns, which includes influencer marketing. These campaigns have been proven to increase brand credibility, since consumers trust influencer recommendations and editorial content. This also helps brands leverage their consumers’ purchase intent and increase brand awareness.
Content marketing opportunities
Searle showed 11 different opportunities (divided into the different stages of the marketing funnel) where brands can run content marketing campaigns. These can guide marketers when developing their content marketing strategy and optimize distribution as well.
At the beginning of the funnel, where the goal is to increase brand awareness, sponsored influencer and publisher campaigns, thought leadership content, and video ad campaigns work best. These types of campaigns help brands cut through saturated channels through authentic content.
Influencer marketing is very popular because it offers the best return on investment. The price of running influencer marketing campaigns already includes the price of ideation, production and distribution, making it very cost-efficient.
When the goal is brand building, social media content, video portals, SEO and content portals work best. These will help educate consumers and increase brand loyalty until you can push them further down the funnel to take action. High-quality content and effective distribution are essential for these campaigns.
In addition, events and trainings also help. While these can be expensive, they offer the best experience. According to Searle, startups and small businesses can get better results from events because they can reach their audience face to face immediately, which also serves as great PR for trade press.
Lastly, for the product consideration stage, brands can create authoritative, thought-leading content in the form of white papers, e-magazines, case studies, corporate videos, and explainer and product videos. While these kinds of content are often time-consuming and expensive, they effectively help push consumers down the funnel to take the next step.
Creative thinking and storytelling
Before creating content, it’s important for marketers to understand the kind of story their brand should be telling. Searle mentioned “The Big IdeaL,” or the intersection between cultural tension and the brand’s best self, which helps brands come up with their own brand story.
Cultural tension is the conflict faced by the consumer in their current environment which the brand can help address. The brand’s best self, meanwhile, is that which makes the brand great. At their crossroads, these two enable a brand to work their magic.
In order to judge whether a piece of content is good and relevant, Searle said they ask two questions: Would I care? Would I share? High-quality content is the only content that’s worth publishing, so asking these questions can help marketers decide whether they should be published or not.
Searle also emphasized the importance of creating content for every part of the marketing funnel. Every brand should have key content areas, which are the categories content themes are based on. He also reminded marketers to use paid media to maximize their campaigns, which helps content gain paid traffic.
Regarding how to measure effectiveness, Searle said that it can be fixed but should be measured at creator, content, and channel levels. Views, engagements, and actions are common indicators used to measure content, depending on which part of the funnel it was created for.
Searle concluded the event by saying that content can always be optimized by measuring all its components.
Marketers should see which channels work best, which pieces of content perform well across channels, and which content creators produce the best work.
Missed this event? Not to worry. In this Content Marketing Masterclass Webinar, Patrick Searle shares how brands can create an effective content marketing strategy that will help boost overall marketing campaign performance.