In January 1996, Bill Gates wrote an essay titled “Content is King”, which was published on the Microsoft website. He begins by saying:
“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”
“Content is King”, and it is expected to play an even bigger role in 2016 digital marketing. Developments in publishing, creative and targeting technology have made content creation increasingly accessible for all marketers, from small businesses to the large enterprises. When it comes to digital marketing strategies or integrated marketing strategies, Content Marketing just has been crowned King, far surpassing search engine marketing, traditional marketing, public relations and even print, television and radio advertising as the preferred marketing tool for today’s era.
2016 will see content’s expanding role, an increased need for tailored and personal content. Content marketing has the unique ability to allow brands to connect with customers in a helpful and entertaining way.
“Content is the New Ad”
According to Marketing Insider Group, 2016 will be “The Age of Ad Blocking”. As more and more consumers download Ad Blockers on their computers and smartphones, opt-out of telemarketing lists, marketers will be forced to consider creating and publishing content their customers actually want.
Traditional paid advertising still has its place in marketing, but content’s role is demanding. Marketing of your content doesn’t have to necessarily mean paid promotion or advertising, content cuts through ad blockers, offers material that audiences want and drives qualified traffic and conversions.
“Content is the New Creative”
Many organizations plan to increase their content marketing budget in 2016, which is leading to an increasing need for superior creative strategies to stand out from the rest of the pack.
Expanding on the role of traditional “creative director”, content directors in 2016 will be tasked with communicating without directly selling, and doing so with converging, targeted media. Content should be educational, entertaining or enriching, rather than a message centred on a direct sales pitch.
Content marketer tasks now include:
- Re-purposing content
- Finding a new way to say something
- Finding creative ways of targeting audiences
- Engaging audiences with content
Content marketing will be seen as the art of communicating with customers and prospects without selling, which means, raising the Creative Bar to break through the clutter.
Content’s magic is that it can be repurposed across many media. For instance, a white paper can become a webinar, an article or a video. There is a growing expectation for multimedia communication. As Content becomes the new Creative, creativity will become ever more important. The content fans use 8 different tactics on average (e.g. social media, e-Newsletters, case studies, blogs, white papers, events, surveys, conferences, perspectives, webinars/webcasts and videos). If you publish compelling unique and timely insights in all the right places, synchronized for maximum impact, it will become part of your brand and establish you as thought leaders in the industry and open the door to the entire market space.
“Content is the New SEO”
Google rewards high-quality content and the only way you are going to rank for the keywords you want, is, by providing useful and unique content people want to see and share. Now, how are people going to find you? You have to want to be found! So what does it take to claim your spot? Pair content marketing and SEO. The beauty is that content marketing and SEO are so interdependent that both can be considered as B&M (bricks and mortar).
When SEO (let’s call SEO the mortar here) fills the gaps of your content marketing plan, it is providing that overarching goal for your strategy. Writing and creating with SEO in mind provides plenty of opportunities to tactfully implement SEO best practices into your content, such as:
- Identical titles and headlines
- Properly labelled photos
- Optimized meta-data
- Article URLs/permalinks that reflect keywords
Let’s now switch up the pair. SEO is the bricks and content marketing is the mortar. Google demands certain things from sites if they wish to rank well and therefore, SEO is the practice of knowing and meeting those demands.
- Google wants consistent, fresh updates? Done.
- Does Google want to see the keywords on your page? Done.
- Google wants to see shareable (and shared) content? Done.
Content is an SEO machine. It creates shares, keywords, backlinks and consistency just by being a part of your marketing strategy. To truly be effective at content marketing, SEO must be in the foundation of your site, images, posts, and URLs.
“Content is the New Social Media”
In recent years, digital marketers have been hearing about how essential social media marketing is in order to achieve success. Now, the buzz is content marketing. It doesn’t necessarily mean content marketing is supposed to replace social media as a major digital marketing strategy. Creating a social media content marketing strategy that resonates with your audience will be the right tact, more than just starting a conversation with the audience randomly. Strengthen the impact of the content you create by following these key parameters.
- Align content creation with social media metrics and goals
- Market content with a big-brand mindset on social media channels
- Increase daily updates
- Delve into data from social media channels
- Engage in real interactions
- Question readers/audience for more engagement
- Let audience find your content with hashtags
- Introduce content with infographics
- Expand your content with relevant tips
In conclusion, the main content marketing metrics include:
The phrase “Content is King” has become a mantra repeated over and over again religiously by digital marketers. It implies that unique, high-quality, interesting and relevant content contributes significantly to the success of companies digitally, should say on the web. Marketers should, therefore, primarily think of great content before they take further measures in their digital marketing strategy. In content marketing, the quality of the content offered will decide the level of your success.
Ambili K Pillai
Group Manager – Client Success, Managed Services