From strategy to business impact – what does content marketing mean for your business?
When I was a kid, content marketing was a lot simpler. Did you advertise on TV or billboards? Place 50c off vouchers in the local paper? Did you attend conferences or letterbox drop brochures? Or, if you were a big wig, did you try to negotiate product placement with the next big smash hit movie?
There was still a need to be clear on your audience, your value prop and messaging, but your choices for getting your business out in front of your prospective customers or clients were limited so most businesses didn’t need to invest heavily in content and publishing.
These days, it can be hard to keep up. Not only have we seen massive growth in the number of channels we can publish in, we’ve seen huge change in consumer behaviour and expectation, and a lot more ways to measure the impact and results of our efforts.
But content marketing isn’t just about getting the word out. With so many more opportunities to publish our message, more need to publish more widely (for social media and search benefit, among others), there’s a lot more strategy and admin work to do too.
What do you say, to whom, where, when and how?
But also what have you said, where, when, how and to whom?
Are all your assets and messages aligned and reflective of who you are, who you want to be, and what you do?
And why are you creating all this content anyway?
From in-person to print, owned assets to third-party, your website to social, search, AR, VR, meta and whatever comes next, there’s a lot to stay on top of to continue to meet your customers where they are.
In this post we’ll explore a few areas of content marketing and what it means for businesses like yours today. I hope you find it helpful and, of course, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or would like to have a chat about what’s next for you and your business.
What is content marketing?
Simply put, content marketing is the creation, publication, and distribution of content for a target audience online.
It first surfaced in the 1990s, alongside the advent of the internet and e-commerce1, completely transforming the way businesses engage with consumers.
Gone are the Mad Men-esque days of catchy slogans and print ads. Content marketing, with ever-evolving facets, is now the way to go. And that’s where the expertise of a content marketing agency comes in.
More businesses are realising the benefits of working with third-party agencies for their content needs. Content marketing spends are increasing year-on-year4 as businesses rush to keep up with changing consumer and market demands, by placing their trust in experts.
Why invest in a content marketing expert?
Content marketing is a crucial catalyst for business growth.
84% of consumers expect brands to produce content6 — not just products. The way consumers engage with brands has also taken a digital quantum leap over the past five years. A website-first approach no longer suffices, as consumers now have multiple, hybrid touchpoints where they seek to interact with businesses, from mobile apps to social media, podcasts to video.
A brand’s voice, values, and messages are competitive advantages. How these elements are delivered to consumers is the difference between a conversion and a missed revenue opportunity. A good content marketing agency covers your bases, delivers on your brief, and safeguards your business’ success.
An agency partner also alleviates stress from the in-house team, which explains the growing trend of businesses outsourcing their content marketing tasks to third-party agencies. Over half of businesses use a mix of outsourced and in-house marketing resources, while 43% outsource their marketing entirely.7
Content isn’t published in a vacuum. Deliverables typically have to be vetted by company personnel, various stakeholders, and often, a legal department before they go live.
The issue of aligning various stakeholders and decision-makers continues to be a critical issue. The right content marketing agency can help account for these needs, creating deliverables that are aligned with internal protocols and stakeholder demands.
What types of content marketing should your brand look into?
So you have a product or service and some goals you want to achieve.
When your goals are beyond “business as usual”, a content marketing campaign can help. But working out what, where, when and how of a campaign, and then building out all the content, is draining on an internal team’s resources. That’s where an agency can help.
A content marketing agency can help you:
Of course, the steps above are just the skeleton. Working with an agency means you cover all the necessary bases for a successful content marketing campaign.
What are some ways an agency can help better your content marketing strategy?
- Build customer personas: Define your target audience and identify their needs and issues
- Create a brand story or messaging framework: Identify your business’ value proposition and craft compelling messages that will make an impact with your target audience
- Identify opportunities for reuse and repurposing: Site audits can unveil unique ways for existing content to be refreshed or repurposed into different mediums, giving you access to new audience streams. Think blog posts turned into video copy, or social media captions turned into ads.
- Channel and asset planning: Creating an end-to-end campaign map that charts what you need to publish, and on which platform, for optimal reach
Good copywriting can make or break a business’s image.
Consumers today have marketing messages saturating their day-to-day lives. From social media ads to billboards by bus stops, branded messages have become something consumers expect from businesses, so much so that 61% of people are more likely to buy from companies that deliver unique content.11
Even with their desire for content, consumers are more discerning than before. They want succinct, enticing copy for products or services that add value to their lives. Businesses now have to compete for their audience’s attention in a dynamic, saturated marketplace. Good copywriting is that ticket to visibility, and eventually, revenue gains.
Working with an experienced copywriter or content marketing agency helps your brand cut through the noise and win over your target audience’s attention. They can also help plan your overall content strategy, with different types of copywriting across a wide range of assets.
What types of copywriting should you invest in?
72% of consumers prefer an integrated, multi-channel marketing approach.18
Overall, having copywriting pros in your arsenal can:
- Strengthen your brand image
- Keep your business relevant
- Build loyal customers
- Attract new customers
- Improve conversion rates and revenue
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is key to visibility online. Any content that appears on the world wide web must be optimised for search engines like Google if it wants to stand a fighting chance of gaining traffic, attention, and ultimately, conversions. An informed SEO strategy for all your brand’s online content can be the difference between a steady influx of new customers or none at all.
Benefits of SEO:
- Boosts your credibility and builds consumer trust in your brand
- More cost-effective than pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, like Google Ads
- Improves your ability to gain more customers
- Helps your content marketing efforts like blog posts gain traction
- Gives you an advantage over your competitors
- Increases your reach and engagement
But SEO is not a straightforward process. Brands must grapple with Google’s ever-changing algorithms, new players competing for valuable search terms and many more elements to optimise their content from end-to-end. Here’s where a content marketing agency can step in to take the reins.
A detailed SEO strategy should include:
Thought leadership papers
Thought leadership papers (TLPs) aren’t just a LinkedIn trend. They’re a great way for credible brands to improve their reputation, as TLPs help position a business as an industry authority.
According to a recent LinkedIn study, 88% of decision-makers say that TLPs can be effective in enhancing their perception of an organisation.21 Such content also improves conversions, as almost half of those surveyed say TLPs can influence their purchasing decisions.
But consumers are savvy, and not just any TLP deep-diving into a market niche will gain eyeballs. Consumers are more likely to sit up and really pay attention when brands have something new to say, and credible data to back it.
88% of decision-makers say that TLPs can be effective in enhancing their perception of an organisation.21
Brands with a global presence should not underestimate the power of localised content.
Quality localisation services don’t begin and end with merely translating branded copy into a different language. They go the extra mile to check your copy truly sounds local and authentic. Images, graphics, and layouts are gatekept too, ensuring that all the elements across all your brand’s collaterals are optimised for the target audience and culturally relevant.
Investing in a content agency with localisation services can make a significant difference.
At Engage, we offer localisation services for English (Australia, UK and US), Filipino, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Simplified Chinese, Thai, Traditional Chinese (Hong Kong and Taiwan) and Vietnamese, with more languages and locales ready to come onboard to help your brand reach the right audience.
Influencer partnerships have become one of the most lucrative spaces in content marketing. In 2016, the market was valued at US$1.7B.23 It was projected to hit US$16.4B in 2022.23
This growth is largely attributed to the influence and reach these personalities have, especially on social media. Many consumers also view influencer engagements the same way they do word-of-mouth—which is one of the most powerful forms of marketing.24
Funneling your brand’s messages through an influencer, even a micro-influencer, also expands your brand’s reach, potentially tapping into new target audiences. Many marketers dub influencer marketing as one of the channels with the highest return on investment, citing better quality consumers and increased sales as some key benefits.
1. Webcentral AU, ‘Brief History of Digital Marketing (1990-2020)’, 24 January 20202. Content Marketing Institute, ‘2017 Content Management & Strategy Survey’, 2017
3. Content Marketing Institute/Statista Research Department, ‘Share of B2B marketers pla nning changes to their content marketing budgets worldwide in 2022’, 26 January 2022.
4. ANA, ‘New Report Shows Spending on Content Marketing Climbing Sharply’, 14 July 2020
5. Content Marketing Institute, ‘Why is Content Marketing Today’s Marketing? 10 Stats That Prove It’, 29 August 2016
6. Havas Group, ‘Meaningful Brands 2017 Reap Greater Financial Rewards As They Outperform The Stock Market By 206%’. 2017.
7. eMarketer, ‘Many Marketers Outsource Their Data Management’, 20 March 2018
8. Invesp, ’The Importance of Multichannel Marketing’
9. Demand Metric, ‘Did you know that 90% of all organisations use content in their marketing efforts?’
10. IAB, ‘B2B Research’
11. Contently, ‘The Science of Brand Voice’, 6 October 2017
12. LinkedIn, ‘10 copywriting statistics that you need to know’, 30 December 2020
13. Moz, ‘5 Data Insights into the Headlines Readers Click’
14. Wix, ‘Web Design in the Age of Skim Reading’, 19 November 2018
15. AgentDrive, ‘Why Businesses Who Blog Get 67% More Leads Than Those Who Don’t’, 11 September 2019
16. Businesswire, ‘2020 State Of Email Report Reveals The Critical Need For Email Is Rising, As 78% Say Email Is Important To The Overall Success Of Their Company’, 15 September 2020
17. Forbes, ‘Video Marketing: The Future Of Content Marketing’, 3 February 2017
18. Cohaesus, ‘E-Commerce Trends in a Multi-Channel World’
19. HubSpot, ‘Not Another State of Marketing Report 2021’, 2021
20. Databox, ‘SEO vs. PPC: Which Channel Generates More Sales?’, 1 July 2019
21. Edelman, ‘2020 B2B Thought Impact Leadership Impact Study’, 14 November 2019
22. Harvard Business Review, ‘Speak to Global Customers in Their Own Language’, 3 August 2012
23. Influencer Marketing Hub, ‘The State of Influencer Marketing 2022: Benchmark Report’, 2 March 2022
24. Forbes, ‘Why Word Of Mouth Marketing Is The Most Important Social Media’, 17 July 2014
25. Newcrest Digital, ‘What Influencers Can Do For Your Marketing’
26. The Small Business Blog, ‘What Is The Best Social Media Platform For Influencer Marketing In 2022?’