An Introduction To Content Marketing.

WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING?

Content marketing can be seen as a daunting task; however, it is really any strategic activity that focuses on the creation and distribution of interesting, useful and engaging content for the purpose of building brand awareness, influencing purchase decisions and acquiring and retaining high value customers.

Business-to-business (B2B) marketers have long understood the importance of content marketing. But in recent years, more business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers have begun using content marketing strategies to attract new audiences and further differentiate their brands.

One challenge facing both B2B and B2C marketers comes after quality content has been created and they are faced with trying to reach an audience large enough to justify the investment.

To improve the economics of content creation and produce a measurable revenue contribution, we are focused on the intersection between digital content marketing and programmatic native advertising. While native advertising is not content marketing and visa-versa, these disciplines work exceptionally well together. Content provides brands the opportunity to attract, engage and convert new audiences, while native advertising gets the right content in front of the right audience and delivers a measurable ROI.

TYPES OF CONTENT MARKETING

Content marketing includes all types of content that a brand creates, owns and distributes.

There are many types of content that fall within the realm of content marketing, (e.g. blog content, site content, videos, social media posts, newsletters, white-papers, ebooks, infographics, magazines, guides).

The majority of marketers we talk to already understand content marketing and believe in the merits. When it comes to running native ad campaigns; however, marketers are often unsure if they have the right content to use for campaigns and if they have the right type of content to use to drive specific campaign KPIs. For the majority of brands, the most effective types of content for native ad campaigns is pre-existing and doesn’t need to be created (e.g. site content, blog posts, articles, videos, quizzes and positive press mentions). What is more common, is the need to set appropriate campaign objectives and develop a native content and campaign strategy specific to the channel.

CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY

Content strategy is the creation and management of all content assets and their distribution channels.

A good plan creates clarity around what type of customers you are trying to reach by creating well-crafted customer personas. It also takes into account where your customers discover content, common purchase decision journeys and which messages resonates with active customers. A good content marketing strategy provides marketing teams a north star by which to align core messages, content types, creation volume and distribution channels. It also makes it easier for marketing teams to identify, prioritize and respond to gaps when executing plans.

Content strategies for native advertising campaigns are really no different. It requires the same fundamentals; however, it is not necessary to have higher level content strategy to run successful native ad campaigns. We frequently work with customers to fill in gaps by helping them conduct content audits, mapping existing content to buyer journeys and developing ad headlines and image recommendations.

BENEFITS OF CONTENT MARKETING

Content marketing is the past, present and future of advertising.

Unlike other forms of advertising, content marketing is far from a fad; in fact, one could argue it’s one of the oldest and truest forms of marketing which is why for many marketers it can seem to be the most difficult. Content marketing is more than just buzzwords or jargon, it’s marketing created with the audience in mind and that demonstrates the allure or appeal of the product or service in a compelling and captivating fashion. Content marketing focuses on introducing prospects to a brand in a polite and intriguing way while offering something of value to the audience before asking them to become customers. It resists the urge to come off as salesy or pushy and focuses less on selling and more on making people want to buy.

There are tangible benefits for brand that take this approach too. Today’s consumers are tired of being sold to and want to opt into the brand’s they choose to engage with. Authentic content helps connect brands with consumers that share the same values, beliefs and lifestyles. It also serves to differentiate, persuade and build greater customer loyalty. And, customer loyalty is directly connected to brand health and profitability. While content marketers typically use multiple distribution channels like social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to ensure the campaign meets audience reach requirements and drives meaningful results, we’ve found that programmatic native advertising is the fastest growing and most effective paid content distribution channel in comparison to social.

CONTENT MARKETING ROI

Content marketing is a full funnel and multi-channel strategy.

Tactics and approaches can widely vary and take a completely different shape depending on the objectives and the target audience. Therefore, key performance indicators (KPIs) and ROI measurement can be just as wide in range.

For digital content marketers with acquisition goals, the most common campaign objectives and KPIs include: site traffic, content and website engagement, on-site micro conversions, leads and sales. There’s more than one way establish appropriate KPIs, but splitting the sales funnel in half into upper funnel objectives (e.g. traffic, engagement or micro actions) and lower funnel objectives (e.g. leads and sales) is common.

Another approach is to meld both brand and direct response campaign objectives where advertisers are looking to drive

CPA (cost-per-action) KPIs in high quality brand safe environments.

This approach requires some marketers to adopt more mature performance measurement models that go beyond click attribution and provide greater insights into return on investment and incrementality.

No matter how you look at it, content marketing makes sense for today’s consumers and both B2B and B2C brands. Many new generation challenger brands are taking business away from the old guard by putting content at the center of their marketing initiatives and utilizing paid media and native advertising to scale sales revenue and drive profitable results.

Learn how to get the most out of your native campaign.

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