Every brand needs a great storyteller – someone who can create engaging content that resonates with their target audience. If we think back a decade ago, content marketing was on a much smaller scale because there were only a few channels to target audiences. Now content requires seamless execution using a comprehensive and consistent content strategy that is supported throughout the business and published across multiple platforms. Media-savvy businesses have taken note, which is why there has been a significant increase in the number of businesses and brands hiring content marketers or creators (both in-house and out) to help drive content across various platforms.
Hiring a chief content officer, head of content or content marketer can help transform a brand into a media platform in its own right – just by utilising the power of print and digital outlets, (including social media) at their disposal. It’s true that it can be difficult to put an exact ROI figure on content marketing, but the statistics show that it is money well spent.
According to Marketing Insider Group, content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional marketing. Even better, it costs as much as 62 per cent less. The average person consumes 11.4 pieces of content before making a purchasing decision, according to Forrester, and, when evaluating a company and its offerings, 95 per cent of B2B buyers consider content as trustworthy (DemandGen). On the blogging front, companies that do blog produce 67 per cent more leads each month than companies that don’t (DemandMetric).
When we talk about media, we can categorise them into three key areas – owned media (content), paid media (advertising) and earned media (public relations). Channels that are owned properties, include your website and blog; social media; podcasts, eDMs and even a branded magazine. Building your own media channels is a long-term game and needs investment – resources such as time, money and skilled professionals – but it can pay huge dividends, increasing brand awareness, trust and ultimately sales.
Often the challenge with owned media is getting the balance right. Because brands have complete control over owned media, it’s tempting to use the platforms as forms of advertising. However, consumers can see right through this. This is why more brands are hiring former journalists to execute their content marketing. They have the editorial mindset, a deep understanding of what makes a good story and the right approach to creating engaging content that will connect.
An audience-first approach is crucial to the success of your content marketing efforts. Businesses that focus not on what they want to say, but rather what the audience wants to hear about, as well as when, where and how they want to hear it, have far greater success. A skilled content creator will take the time to research and understand your audience so they can create content that resonates with them. After all, you want to separate your brand from the noise of mass marketing content that is circulating every day – more than 90 per cent of content gets no traffic from Google (Ahrefs).
Content should be a core focus of your business or brand, and a good content creator will outline a comprehensive content marketing strategy, with clearly defined goals. They will convey your brand messaging in a succinct and memorable way, build trust with your customers or clients, generate leads and improve conversions.
When you develop a relatable corporate persona and deliver an authentic voice through the right platforms, clients or customers will take note.
The original version of this article was originally published on B&T.