Content is far more than words on a page. Globally, businesses are increasingly realising the importance of content in their marketing. Whether they are using it to gain new customers, retain customers or improve brand awareness: the budgets for content marketing continue to grow. It’s been estimated that the average mid-sized company now spends an average of £150,000 per year on content marketing and this is expected to increase by 10% year on year until 2024.¹
So, how do we use this budget wisely? What do we need to consider?
While we all share a desire to create relevant and timely content that speaks to our clients’ needs, investment marketers face a number of challenges in this regard. With the most common issues in mind, here are some considerations for improving content efforts.
- Earn your audience’s trust
With a plethora of information sources available these days, it has become clear that clients are putting more and more trust in select ‘bubbles’ or publishers. Users no longer trust any result on Google simply because it is there. Instead, they now search within their preferred content providers, or ‘bubbles’, to find information. This means that as companies, the first thing we need to do to engage an audience is to earn their trust.
- Use data to inform your writing
Informing your writing goes beyond understanding your audience’s needs. It incorporates data and analytics to pick up on the preferred formats for your audience, the structure readers respond to most positively, and the complexity of the language you use.
- Editorial discipline
The role of marketing, especially content within this, has grown significantly over the last decade but is still often put under great internal scrutiny. A content strategy is there for a reason, guiding content creation to be aligned with business goals. Disregarding these strategies for the sake of pushing certain people’s ideas and agendas (as is still happening all too often) poses a major risk to a marketing strategy. Marketers should be able to manage interruptions, reiterate the focus of the pre-defined strategy and confidently maintain editorial discipline.
- Create for platforms and needs separately
The onslaught of content since the start of 2020 has seen content without purpose and without a home being shared here, there and everywhere. Take a step back to get clarity in your content creation process. Understand where you need to consider differences depending on the target platform for its publication. Combining this with data and analytics can help stakeholders understand why these changes will be beneficial.
- Measure content effectiveness and value
How do you measure the impact, effectiveness and return on interest of content when standard quantitative metrics can’t cover everything? Is this a case of setting one or two clear metrics to work against? Is it a measure of the effort vs reward of a piece? Marketers need to make sure those stakeholders who review their performance understand clearly what the purpose and goal of content is.
- Source: SEMrush 2020