By adaptive - June 10th, 2013
Is content still king in a marketing environment that is dominated by social media?
The creation of content has been the focus of all businesses since the inception of the Internet. Before social media, businesses were leveraging their organic search results to influence their in-bound marketing. Today the landscape has changed thanks to the social media networks that have changed forever what it means to create content with a commercial component.
In their study into how marketers intend to approach their content marketing this year, CopyPress concluded: “Half of marketers are changing their channel focus in 2013, and of those surveyed the biggest focus will be on content marketing. Over half of marketers are investing $2,000 or more on marketing per month this year. Featured articles still yield the best ROI across industries. Videos are an ROI rich media format, but marketers are having issues finding them, and within budget. And authorship is a big focus for marketers this year, but overall they aren’t willing to pay more for a premier author to create a piece of content.”
What is interesting is that the focus on purely SEO-based marketing has now shifted to a multi-channel approach with social media at its apex. And traditional mechanisms like email are also feeling the force that social media is exerting on this marketing channel.
Social media as a content creation platform has a while to go yet to reach the maturity that other traditional channels have enjoyed, but it’s developing at a far faster rate than the other channels did over their lifecycle. Key bloggers for instance offer the potential for a perfect storm of ideas, content and followers that brands can tap into. Care of course needs to be taken in order to avoid blatant sponsorship of this content, but even here, consumers understand that premium content has to be paid for at some point.
Gael Breton, Co-founder, Higher Click commented in the CopyPress whitepaper: “As soon as Google penguin hit, people knew they couldn’t rely on crappy link sources to grow their search rankings. It was a time of demise in the SEO world where nobody knew where to turn. Then SEOMoz and especially Rand Fishkin started to push the idea of generating traffic through long tail content marketing. Moreover, content could actually earn good links. Links that do not get you penalized and will stay for a long time if it was good enough.”
Content also need to have ownership. Forrester state: “Corporate marketing’s social efforts are often disregarded by sales professionals, regardless of how effective the efforts are. Sales and marketing are known to have a long-standing antagonistic relationship, with leaders from both sides expressing a lack of alignment between the two organizations that has been true for years. This remains true as sales begins to use the same social channels that marketing uses today.”
Also, “Sales professionals don’t want to be marketers, and the ability to schedule their content for their public social network pages enables them to limit the number of times per day they think about content creation; they’re freed up to have more personal conversations on both social and traditional channels.
“Along with content scheduling, this capability speaks to the complicated relationship between sales and marketing. Sales professionals know that when they handcraft content it is more successful, however modifying pre-created corporate marketing content for their personal audiences is still effective and both faster and simpler.”
The types of content that are being creating for marketing purposes are also expanding. Text-based content still has a place in the marketer’s armoury, but increasingly content is becoming more visual. The rise of Pinterest can be thanked for that. Video content is also highly popular, but remains difficult to create, but this will rapidly change as new tools come onto the market.
And of course no discussion of marketing content would be complete without mentioning the delivery mechanism that are now being used to access these materials. Mobile data devices are transforming this marketing channel. Content must be tailored to fit and deliver a good customer experience on multiple devices.
Content is definitely still king when it comes to marketing dynamics – it’s just that the creation of this content has shifted. Increasingly enterprises will court key users of social media to assist them. Their deep understanding the subject under discussion, and their standing in their communities makes them the perfect content creation partners.
October 2013, New York
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