The average consumer is hit with more than 6,000 to 10,000 promotional messages every day, of which 80% is discarded or ignored, based on the latest report from Forbes. Breaking through the clutter requires strategic navigation, particularly when it comes to telling your brand story. The content you choose has the power to position your brand at a higher level … or not.
Content marketing or “brand journalism” has been all the buzz for the last decade. According to Content Marketing Institute, less than 40% of all marketers have a written content strategy, yet 80% invest in content marketing. Going even further, research shows that 78% of consumers actively look for information on a brand to validate their purchase decision. Marketers are faced with the challenge of keeping content fresh in a way that better connects with prospects. However, content programs that simply provide content volume can fall short of moving the sales needle. Marketers get frustrated with finding new ways to say the same thing, and often overlook the true meaning of content marketing.
It starts with developing a sound strategy aimed at understanding the business goals and the target market. Effective content begins with brand differentiation. Your brand truths need to be crafted to match up with your target audience key care-abouts and pain points to better connect with your consumers and motivate them to engage. Finding what matters to your audience requires brand introspective so you can project your brand values in a way that gets noticed and remembered. The only way to stay on strategy all year long is to develop a content calendar that transcends multiple channels and addresses your target demographics. What resonates with Boomers may not have the same meaning for Gen Z. Carefully crafted strategy addresses where and when you post your content, how you deliver your message, and what you say about your product and services. Marketers have to understand the pathway of the target audience first, driving them to a deeper point of engagement. Every touchpoint of content has to be delivered with a common brand voice consistently across platforms to avoid confusing the consumer and causing them to disengage.
According to Insider Intelligence (eMarketer), the biggest mistake marketers make in their content strategy is to create content based on their target market profile rather than their decision process. Specifically, 89% of all marketers go for the end sell rather than addressing all the points in between which loses prospects all along the way. While digital channels offer immediate interactive engagement, the art of content management is in providing brand-centric interesting facts and tips formatted to fit various media channels and pull the consumer in at the right point along their decision pathway. Failure to match tone and style can doom your content before it even gets read.
Smart marketing in today’s environment requires an understanding of the science behind effective content management – the emotional response, the influence of others, and how to trigger buyer engagement. Taking it one step further, the math and algorithms behind content engagement builds a bridge into the digital ecosystem and forges a relationship between the brand and the buyer. It takes creative, out-of-the-box thinking to develop the right blend to gain attention and make a lasting impression. The goal is to affect change in consumer behavior and drive business results for your bottom line.