I feel like in the last 5 years (when social really has come to fruition) there has been much talk about “content is king” well actually in marketing it can pretty much be “[insert word here] is king”. “The king is dead long live the king” that statement alone confused me from an early age … I digress, so why is content king, or at least really really important, and what are some of the key points to take away from content marketing?Content is KingA quick description of content marketing from wikipedia:

Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer bases. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty.

This post focuses on the businesses content strategy and not that of facilitating user generated content and co-creation (that’s for future posts).The problem being that some businesses focus on the tools (or put them first) rather than looking at their (potential) audience and the content. Oh look what I did there now “Context is King”. As with all good marketing strategies (and even more so in social content) researching the value you can provide in the content you publish is really important. Customers are looking at content in it’s various forms to gauge, learn and discover businesses, brands, products and services. More and more content marketing is a proving itself as a great form of inbound marketing and brand awareness tool. Social media is a great way to publise, share and generate conversation, but you have to start with your content, you need a GREAT STORY and give TRUE VALUE to your customers within that content.Some quick tips for content.

  1. Include your audience from the outset, find out what their interests are and where they are online
    1. Send them and email
    2. Ask a few quick questions at your next meeting
    3. Do a survey
    4. Use social monitoring tools (like google alerts – a free place to start)
      1. Find where your audience is talking about your industry
      2. Where your customers are
      3. Where your competitors are
  2. Look at what content exists with in your business already
  3. Find some middle ground, i.e. match the existing content you have with those customer interests
  4. Create new content to fill the gaps, always keeping in mind:
    1. Finding a topic of true value that has relevance to your audience is going to be the hardest part of this process, you need to hit on a nerve!
    2. The resource your business has to do this i.e. Video and audio – DIY or do you need a outsource a production team for a more professional finish? Will you need to bring in a copywriter?
    3. The channels you wish to publish the content on with specific regard to their capability to handle specific media i.e. you can’t upload a video on scribd.
  5. Look for influencers and connect with them (we’ll discuss how to do this in future posts)
  6. Create a schedule to publish your content (we’ll be providing a content planning kit in the book)
  7. Publish the content
    1. In your channels
    2. Where possible in other communities that already exist
    3. Ask the influencers to re-purpose the content and boost its reach
  8. Listen to what people have to say about the content, engage with them to further strengthen the relationship and increase the longevity of the content.
  9. Measure the response rates, click throughs, sentiment, impressions (to name a few).
  10. Analyse your results and feed them back into your next content plan / campaign.

Do you have any other tips on content within social marketing or case studies on successful content marketing programs?