Anyone can plainly see how digital marketing has expanded exponentially. And one of the most important facets of digital marketing that has exploded in the digital era is content marketing.
Content marketing, despite what some digital marketing people would like to think, has been as old as marketing itself. It is a way of marketing by providing free value without emphasizing the "sell". In short, it is an ad that doesn't feel or look like an ad.
This has been done before, as I mentioned, but in the new era of social media, it has definitely found fertile ground. Social media's first rule is that content should be interesting or of value to the audience.
Ads do not have as much power, for example, in your Facebook feed if they are plain, simple, straightforward, and boring ads. This is why viral videos that are inconspicuously branded are doing better than videos that are just using the same old hard sell strategies.
"Content is King"
If content remains as king, then content marketing is certainly the way to go. It will be in vogue this year till next year. Google, for example, still and will most likely always prefer sites that have good, original content that is shared organically.
So what are the most important characteristics of content marketing that you need to take note of if you plan to inculcate it within your brand strategy?
- Various quality content in many forms and media (video, podcasts, great graphics, engaging posts, top quality blog content).
- Focusing less on hype and more on interesting information that people will actually want to consume.
- Great story telling - a good story is not something you will only find in one kind of content or medium, you can actually find it in all forms of media. An image, for example, that tells or invokes a deeper "story" when you look at it carefully, is more powerful than one that you can take on face value.
- The human touch needs to be felt in all your content. This means that you are making something that does not feel churned out en-masse from a soulless content factory.