By: Michael Scher

Content Marketing is imperative in today’s media landscape; it’s about creating interest for your customers so they’ll inevitably want to pay attention to you— ‘why your brand matters.’ It’s now a must-have component to any brand or company that wants to be successful.

According to Contentmarketinginstitute.com, they define it as “…marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Rather than sell your product or service through coercive advertising, it’s about delivering vital information in an engaging manner. The belief that, if consumers will remain loyal to us, we’ll make it worthwhile for them through rewards, entertainment and building an immersive experience (like never before).

Although this by no means is an easy task to accomplish, here are some essential steps to help lay down the foundation for a successful content strategy:

Tailor to your persona- A persona is the personality that best represents an actor, celebrity, brand or public figure. We all have one. It’s what makes each of us so unique. With this in mind, each client should have their own brand persona that should embody specific characteristics of how they want to be represented and perceived in the public eye. This will ensure the right people will find the right content, engage and hopefully, share it within their network rather than throw something at a canvas and hoping for something to stick.
Content Marketing is a sustainable investment- As they say, content marketing is part of a long term strategy and marathon race. It’s not how fast you can go, it’s how long you can endure the ups and downs of an unwavering environment. More importantly, a brand should build a narrative around a successful marketing program to help share your story and have all eyeballs directed at you (and only you).
Create a content focused culture- Buy-in must happen throughout the entire organization and everyone must play a role in these efforts whether you’re at the very top or bottom of the food chain. By way of example, have employees who are passionate about where they work write blogs to humanize your company, highlight any workplace events to show the benefits of comradery and having a work life balance. Even better, have Executive Leadership share their industry insight and trends on your company website and the trades to show that you’re an organization that is at the forefront of information. Thus, resulting in more credibility. And lastly, share testimonials of employees and have them provide a review of their work experience to help attract prospective talent.

Content Marketing is multifaceted- There are many forms of content besides written text. Video is a great component to engage your audience, especially when audience’s attention span is quite limited (i.e. I’d say a brand has roughly 10 seconds to win over their audience). Content must come to life and should ideally not only entertain, but provide a call to action with every channel and customer throughout their journey.

Quality is everything- If you’re not 100% invested in creating quality content, then don’t waste anyone’s time. Quality content can help differentiate your voice among a cluttered marketplace and be the voice of reason for consumers (a top of mind brand).
Conceptualization vs. Promotion- Keep in mind that creating content is only one piece of the puzzle. A true marketer must spend equal time and footing promoting the content to drive traffic. Oftentimes, this is overlooked. Therefore, create an action plan to get the most out of your content strategy to deliver a robust ROI.

Repurpose- The best way to maximize the most value from your content strategy is to repurpose content on different platforms to ensure the best viewing experience possible. Not to mention, you’d be surprised that you can even reuse certain assets again for our forthcoming projects, business proposals, social media posts, etc.

In today’s marketplace, the content business is making more noise than ever. However, what was once controlled by gatekeepers, publishers, editors and big budgets have quickly dissipated. This is because anyone can create content now, write a blog or even create a tweet. But just because you’re amongst good company, it doesn’t mean that your audience will want to listen. Be smart and become a storyteller. Marketing doesn’t win over your audiences, storytelling does! And with 2016 right around the corner, we will have bunch more trends to keep on the lookout such as Virtual Reality, Communication Platforms on the rise (i.e. Kik and WhatsApp), and Pre-roll adds to become more interactive.
What are your thoughts on how to create a successful content strategy? Any trends on your radar for 2016? I would love to hear your input on this topic and as always, if you like what you read, be social and share. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @michaelscher27 @IndraPRGroup