Ask any agency about content marketing and they will probably rattle off the a range of reasons they can write content for you. But why should you, as a business owner, want one?
Because customers want more content?
Nope. Just because the people want it (Brexit, anyone?), isn't enough to make it your business strategy. More importantly, not every business's customers want to hear from them. So, creating content because other companies are doing it, can't be the basis for a business strategy either. You need to have a clear why.
Because you want your business to stay relevant and maintain awareness?
Better, but still not it. Awareness is a great outcome to aim for, but an easy cop out when it comes to measuring the success of your content marketing strategy. The path from engaging with content and then converting is a long and complicated journey, so marketers often just stop at the first step. We reached these customers with our content, that's enough. But if you really just want to build awareness, then a content strategy is enough. Or a contact strategy. You don't need a content marketing strategy. The whole idea behind a marketing strategy is to drive business objectives, which means being able to attach a £ benefit to your efforts.
So then, is it because you want to deepen engagement (sell more)?
Almost there, but still not quite it. A robust content marketing strategy will drive more sales in the long term, and that's a great outcome. But it isn't why us marketers should be pursuing a content marketing strategy. I believe there is a more fundamental gain to be had.
The reason why you want a content marketing strategy - really really want one - is because everything about marketing today costs you. But with a content marketing strategy, for the first time ever, we have a proven way to turn marketing into a profit generating function. We now have the ability to monetise the same audience in multiple ways, beyond the product that is being sold. Case in point, Red Bull.
Sure, I'm buying the cans. But I'm also buying event tickets. And apparel. And magazine subscriptions. Those additional products were created by marketing, and are now generating new revenue streams all the time. This is the marketing model of the future. And this fundamental shift in how a business sees marketing is why marketers should care.
Easy? Nope. Proven? Yes.
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