What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the latest buzzword in the digital marketing sphere. It's a solution to connecting with today's savvy consumer who has become very good at tuning out media noise they're not interested in. Traditional advertising is no longer effective and rather than telling the consumer to "buy now", brands should be telling the consumer what they want to know.
Brands face new challenges like the difficulty of cut-through in a crowded online market, competing in the social media sphere and the fragmentation of audiences. Content marketing aims to address these challenges by finding new ways to connect with the consumer.
Creating and sharing free, valuable and relevant content on websites, mobi-sites apps and across social media attracts the consumer to your brand by offering them information they find useful. This could be news, "how-to" articles, videos, podcasts, or whatever else it is your audience consumes the most online. The trick it to target them - you need to know what they want in terms of content so that they keep coming back for more.
Keep it fresh
Updating your content often is also vital when it comes to attracting and keeping your audience. At the same time, it will also drive up your Google rankings, which has a domino effect. Streaming your content will also help draw in a bigger audience. If your content is useful or interesting to the consumer, they will "like" it on Facebook and retweet it on Twitter, attracting more people to your brand. Interaction across social media will also help you monitor the effectiveness of your campaign.
Tracking content is the final stage in a successful content marketing strategy. Social media shares and "likes" can give you useful information about the consumer's habits and interests, as can tracking when your site is busiest and which topics generate the biggest response and the most traffic. This will help you adapt your strategy as needed over time, making sure it's catering very specifically to what your audience is looking for in terms of online content.
Analysing the data you gain from the tracking process will allow you to make any necessary changes in strategy. If you don't understand the data you extrapolate and how to use it, you can't adapt your content marketing plan to what your consumer wants and needs. Content marketing should be completely driven by what the consumer wants. Knowing what this is will draw the consumer to you and away from the completion.
This is where content analysis comes in. See our next opinion piece for details.
About Athar Naser
Athar Naser is head of Juice Content. 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, iafrica.com. Follow @JuiceContent on Twitter.