As more and more brands and marketing firms gravitate toward content marketing as a great way to speak and interact with their audience, they’ve also brought some assumptions with them about what the “marketing” part of “content marketing” should deliver, and when.
A content marketing program is fundamentally unlike many traditional marketing activities in that it really isn’t a “campaign” with an end date. It’s hard to look at content marketing in its totality and say, “that worked” or “that didn’t work.” Ardath Albee, the CEO of Marketing Interactions, Inc., wrote just that in a smart piece on the Business 2 Community website this week. As a result of this old-school approach to marketing initiatives, where things are measured over three-month fiscal quarters, it can be easy to lose sight of the long view.
Content marketing is a long-term play. It value takes time — months, years, even — to emerge. Building a following, creating brand loyalty, increasing search-result positioning and search engine optimization — none of that happens overnight.
Albee warned against “shiny object syndrome,” whereby marketing managers and companies grow bored of their bread-and-butter content, eschewing it instead for an all-in play on the newest social networking site. “Shiny objects in marketing are like catnip,” she writes. “And they will send your content strategy adrift if you let them. … I’m not saying that marketers shouldn’t incorporate new options into their content strategies, I’m asking you not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. … So keep the content marketing.”
Here are a few other smart pieces on content marketing we came across this week:
Mark Johnson, the CEO of Zite, an app that creates a personalized, curated magazine-style presentation of stories on your tablet, spoke with Journalism.co.uk about what’s in store for content curators as people consume more and more media online and especially on tablets. An interesting element in this is where brand publishers fit in — in Zite’s case, some branded content (blogs, primarily) are included in the editorial mix. It’ll be interesting to see whether aggregators like Zite, Flipboard and the like start to embrace branded media. — Journalism.co.uk
Deanna Brown, the CEO of media and advertising company Federated Media, brought up some interesting points in her video interview with Mashable’s Brian Solis about what branded content ultimately aims to do: “The outcome doesn’t always have to be a click to a destination website, and in fact in many cases staying within the conversation and continuing the conversation probably could be received as more valuable,” she said. “The age-old click is really passe; it’s really about engagement. … That could range from commenting on a branded comment, it could be sharing and asset, it could be recommending a product, and even a click to commerce, but it’s really a spectrum.” — Mashable
Not long ago, lots of people assumed that media would follow the trend set by game companies like Zynga, which made millions by building itself within Facebook’s architecture. But so far, it hasn’t really happened. That has to do with some internal changes at Facebook (de-emphasizing news sharing, trying to avoid news feed “overload,” etc.), but it’s also worth noting that most of those companies would rather simply refer users to their own site than to present them with content within the social network. — Adweek
Scott Aughtmon presents us with his 21 types of content we all crave: from things that “remind us life is short” to “content where David defeats Goliath.” It’s worth remembering what makes people tick — emotions — even in a B2B marketing environment that can feel a little boring. — Business 2 Community