As SEO and an internet presence have become of the utmost importance, brands have increasingly turned to producing their own content in an effort to remain relevant online. But while staying a part of the social media conversation is a huge becoming more vital to a brand's growth, it's not uncommon to see content marketing and social media attempts fail due to “in house” marketers trying to spread the voice of the brand. See how and why brands are using content marketing, and where bloggers have a vital role in the mix.
Why are brands turning to content marketing?
Back in 2006, Asos CEO Nick Robertson began mailing over 400,000 content filled magazines to the homes of customers in an effort to make the brand more than just a shopping destination, but also an essential part of their lives.
The same tactic is true of online content marketing — if a brand has their own interesting content to post on social media, others will want to make it a part of their lives, share it with their following, and so on.
By using content marketing, brands can bake their personal, consistent vision into searchable, sharable results. They have control over what articles are associated with their name — which for many, is seen as more valuable than simply advertising a photograph in a glossy.
Furthermore, when a brand builds their very own media channel, they have full control of the tone, voice, and overall feel of it.
At the heart of it all, it's a building block strategy. The more brands work at the foundation of their affiliated content, the further reach online potential they have. Users have a longer, more enriched connection with the content than they would, say, with a billboard — and long term engagement through owned and earned channels will eventually lead to search engine dominance (and “internet authority”).
A recent article in the Guardian points out quite realistically: “Who is your brand's editor-in-chief?”
The article goes on to reveal some stats about the current state of content marketing:
“In fact, recent research from Econsultancy found that only 38% of brands have a content marketing strategy at all, even though 55% of clients surveyed are planning one, almost 90% said that content marketing would become more important over the next 12 months and 73% agree that ‘brands are becoming publishers'.”
But are the brands doing it right?
The dilemma that brands are now facing is how to remove themselves from the brand and actually provide authentic content people will want to read and participate in. Some brands can't step outside of themselves, causing their interaction with consumers to feel disingenuous.
The secret is: it can't just be about the brand, it needs to be about the audience. That's where the “editorial experts” come in to tap into the deeper emotions of their audience.
Recently, there's been an influx of editors leaving their posts at media outlets to consult brands with their content. And it makes sense — editors (especially those who work online) have been trained to pinpoint how and why content will resonate, and more importantly, how to make it a long lasting and sustainable voice, like they have previously at a publication.
That's where the blogger comes in…
That's right. You can pitch yourself as the missing link between the brand and its audience. Whether you act as a consultant, editorial director, social media manager, brand ambassador, or simply as a vehicle for sponsored posts, knowing what makes the internet tick is a powerful tool — and as a blogger, it's in your practice.
For more information on how to tackle content marketing, go ahead consult our previous post.
[Image credit: Shutterstock]