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Digital opinion

Where is your content marketing plan?

In the last few years, content marketing has become a hot topic for brands wanting to fight for their share of audience in the digital realm.
In an article by Joe Lazauskas for Contently's blog he discusses the "Content Arms Race", and focuses on the fact that many companies are seeing diminishing returns from their traditional marketing campaigns.

Lazauskas goes on to note that there are many brands trying to become publishers. The return on investment of traditional marketing spend versus digital marketing spend speaks for itself, the consumer has become very weary of media noise and brands cannot deny the importance of re-evaluating and optimising your message in the digital age.

© alphaspirit -
© alphaspirit -
Owning the conversation

The road ahead will come at a cost, but there definitely is no shortage of talented journalists who Lazauskas rightly notes would be "ready and willing to helm a brand publication, as long as it's authentic and ambitious".

Nearly all brands have competitors and, unless you have the luxury of completely owning your marketplace, your audience share will be your lifeblood in a digital sense.

Taking control of your brand, ethos and the stories you share are without doubt some of the most important things to consider in starting your content marketing journey, and are paramount in achieving the ultimate goal: to own the conversation around your product or service.

An effective plan

Putting content "out there" does not guarantee your audience share, and many factors need to be ironed out for your content marketing plan to be effective. In particular, quality content which is relevant, interesting or informative for your audience will always make you stand out from your competitors.

A recent article by Amanda Fayer for Newscred highlights the success of Chanel's digital marketing efforts through their microsite, Inside Chanel. In summary, the site "chapters" the evolution of the brand, their products and the life of Coco Chanel. The focus on narrative and the visually rich nature of the campaign have allowed consumers unique insight into the fashion house, resulting in "a home run when it comes to sharing their story through content".

As a respected brand with a rich history, Chanel is amongst the few that do have a head start with regards to the stories and content they will be able to share with their audience. That does not mean a start-up cannot have the same effect and influence; it just means you will need to get clever with your efforts.

Getting ahead of your competitors

Some brands will feel there is too much of an investment required to partake in the content marketing game, but ignoring it will not make it go away. One thing you can bank on is that if you are not doing it soon, your competitors will be.

From the above-mentioned article on Contently; "(Your) publishing efforts will give them a direct connection with consumers at scale, while their late-to-the-game competitors will struggle to compete, and find it more difficult and expensive to catch up each year."

We are not saying that traditional marketing efforts are mute, but they might be costing you more than you think.

About Athar Naser

Athar Naser is head of Juice Content. He is responsible for content strategy and content marketing across the group as well as for department clients. He brings a wealth of global media and digital experience to the content specialist division of Prime Media Online, as well as to the already rich talent pool at the publisher of South African web portal, Follow @JuiceContent on Twitter.
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