1 post tagged Web 2.0
1 post tagged Web 2.0
“Content is King” has been a much repeated phrase over the past few years.
Its use has indicated a dramatic shift from typical visual or creative-based advertising, at home in “traditional advertising formats” where television and print were the main media. At the most, content used to be integrated into these traditional media via press releases, used at the media’s discretion or via advertorial formats, where brands paid for their content to be inserted underneath a typical notification that the content has been paid for, and is therefore to be considered “advertising”.
How has digital media changed this?
The process has not been an overnight affair. To simplify, when Internet first hit Marketing departments, the first reaction was to transfer the visual “print” formats into display banners – using the possibilities of the internet to create dynamic banners, pop-ups, interstitials, and flash creations to amaze and astound our target audience. (Or not. Debatable, but nonetheless, I digress…)
You don’t have to advertise to sell.
With the explosion of Web 2.0, user interaction, social media platforms et al., brands have suddenly seen that they no longer have to be considered as “advertisers” when communicating to their target audience. In fact, the less they are considered as “advertisers” the more accepted their messages are likely to be within social platforms. Key to this evolution is now being less intrusive. Instead of bombarding with Flash, the focus is on bringing relevant content to our key stakeholders at the relevant time. It’s no longer “one shoe fits all”. Nothing new up to here, right?
However, lately I have the feeling that a great many so-called gurus are jumping on to the “Content is King” band-wagon. And it’s one of those phrases that, if you say it too often, it just seems to lose some of its meaning. I feel that a small reflection on just what we mean by “Content Marketing” is in order.
So just what is Content Marketing?
According to MIKAL E. BELICOVE in Why Content Marketing is King “It’s the creation and publication of original content — including blog posts, case studies, white papers, videos and photos — for the purpose of generating leads, enhancing a brand’s visibility, and putting the company’s subject matter expertise on display.”
One of the main things when approaching “Content Marketing”, I think, is to consider that it’s no longer strictly a Marketing discipline or tool. Its use is not restricted to selling products or services, but in line with the demands of our social savvy stakeholders, it’s to help them position our products and our brand. It’s about giving them that extra dimension to our product and services, giving them a context and creating a “social personality” around our brand/product which they can identify with and relate to.
But, we don’t have any content to market…
There are multiple teams within any multinational, working on anything from Sustainability, to Design, to Acquisitions, to Products, not to mention Communication and Marketing departments….. all of them generate inordinate quantities of content relating to their particular field. So if “Content is King”, where better for our subjects to come and request an audience than our own website…. Right? If content marketing is just about “creation and publication of original content”, then our stakeholders should be flocking to our site.
Or maybe not.
One of the new rules of social media is being where your stakeholders are, not waiting for them to come to you. This means that somebody within your organization has to have an overview of absolutely all of the content that your company produces. Then they have to classify it, localize it when necessary, and design a strategy which serves out the best content to the best stakeholders on the best platforms.
We have to be clear, both from a “content creator” and from a “content deployer” viewpoint, on who our target audience is, what the “trending topics” are in their particular field and then proceed to tailor-make a content strategy for each relevant niche.
As Stephen Powers states in his Forrester report called The Seven C’s of Web Content Management, back in February 2011: “[We] need to remember that the “C” in WCM [Web Content Management] no longer stands for just content. Instead, they must keep in mind the additional C’s as well: context, channel, consistency, community, consumer behavior, and creation.”
Said plainly, we have to serve our content to our “subjects” in the form and time that is most relevant to them. It’s no good giving them steak, if they’re ready for dessert ;-)
To summarize, I’ve come up with 5 (non-exhaustive) considerations I think are key when working with content as a social tool.
Nothing out of this world, but as with so many other “fashionable terms”, we’ve mustn’t lose our perspective about where our Content fits into this social world – the King is there to serve his people, after all ;-)
By Emma Sands
Photo credit: Kevin Chang (Creative Commons)
The Seven C’s of Web Content Management (Forrester.com , February 2011)
Is Content King… Really? Interesting post from Jeff Goins – a writer’s perspective on Content as a pre-requisite – not the key to success, but a means to an end.