The last couple of years have been marked by the rise of content marketing. There is a push on branded, published or influencer content since conventional advertising content is perceived to have become comparatively more expensive. There is a demand for better-quality content as more marketers are motivated to use content as a primary marketing strategy.
However, if you have not been a part of this movement, content marketing may seem both intimidating and inaccessible, even more so if your competition has a head start while you are figuring out your big idea. Fortunately, the basics of content marketing are easy to understand and if you are willing to make the investment, you can deploy the strategy for massive gains. Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing content for information or entertainment value, with the purpose of growing an audience.
If you are producing digital content because you think it costs less to produce or that if it turns out to be a success, you can then take it to TV, these are wrong filters to go about doing this.
Every brand is creating digital content and half of them find it difficult to produce engaging content. They find themselves in a rut trying to create enough content, getting the desired engagement and finding interesting ways to innovate.
Brands need to understand that it takes time to develop a content marketing strategy. First, learn about the intricacies and then execute the strategy. Content marketing has become a big part of consumer engagement and of attracting the right audience online. This means that a lot more companies are doing it and it is becoming harder to stand out amidst a sea of audio, video, images, documents, blogs and more. A brand must create a content strategy and the most effective content marketers are likely to have a documented strategy in place. Create a strategy for content promotion and always have a plan for building your audience. Viral content doesn’t happen; viral content is created on strong insights and emotional connects. Create content as if you are having a conversation because audiences are far more likely to engage with content that is conversational in nature. Speak on their level. If you have to force your audience to see the value in the content, it won’t work. Build content around a takeaway for the audience.
Many brands turn to social influencers for content. The influencers promise to produce a sasti, thekaoo and guaranteed-liked video. Does it work? The process does tick the innovative box, yet, I have rarely seen it do anything for the brand. Personally, I feel the entire social influencer scene is overrated and once they are given a brief to do anything that is brand funded, they tend to go overboard in terms of acting and the final product is completely off from the brand personality.
This is where content specialists come into play. Digital agencies have yet to come of age when it comes to creating engaging content. While they champion creating effective posts and banners, they struggle with the narrative part. Furthermore, the creative industry is in a transitional phase, moving from fantastical to simple storytelling. When producing content, it is a must for brands to always keep the focus on the target audience. It is important to keep a good balance of trending content and evergreen content that will continue to create brand connect month after month, year after year. The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing. You can’t force good writing. Try different conditions, influences and times of day for writing.
Many brands turn to social influencers for content.
The influencers promise to produce a sasti, thekaoo and guaranteed-liked video. Does it work? The process does tick the innovative box, yet, I have rarely seen it do anything for the brand. Personally, I feel the entire social influencer scene is overrated and once they are given a brief to do anything that is brand funded, they tend to go overboard in terms of acting and the final product is completely off from the brand personality. There is still a huge gap when it comes to social influencers and going forward it can only be filled by credible personalities and not comedians who have just graduated from college.
Production houses are playing their part by creating dedicated set ups to produce cost-effective content. In the recent past, a lot of advertising people have migrated to the production side of the business which has helped production houses churn out quality content and bridge the creative gap between digital agencies and brands when it comes to producing content audiences want.
All said and done, content marketing is the new frontier when it comes to engaging with your target audience on a long-term and cost-effective basis but only if you have a strategy in place to engage with audiences. It is not about the duration of the content but the big idea within the concept. Get this right and the shares and views will take care of themselves. This is where stories are told; while traditional media gives you reach, digital is where the content lives.
Ali A. Rizvi is Founder & CEO, What’s Next Entertainment. firstname.lastname@example.org