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Is the content marketing program you’re paying for really a content marketing program? Is it delivering results?

Content marketing is more than flooding online channels with 500 million pieces of content. It is a well thought out strategy delivering valuable, relevant and consistent content that drives a highly qualified audience to take action. For the most part, agencies large and small are still using push marketing, not content marketing, as a way to reach their audience.

Spotting a content marketing campaign is easier than you may think. Content that makes the audience seek further information, click through deeper and want to consume more rather than avoid it, is content marketing. Here are three essential questions to get you to the content marketing sweet spot:
– How is this right for my audience?
– Where is my audience?
– Will this deliver the results I’m looking for?

You may be saying to yourself, “I still don’t get what content marketing is. This is another industry buzzword for 2016.” What may have been a buzzword in 2016, however, is going to be a mainstay in 2017. A recent Forbes article even said, “Content marketing isn’t going anywhere.” The key to unlocking content marketing for your brand is to understand and recognize the value delivered to your audience in each piece of content. To get you started thinking like a content marketer, you need to be thinking about channels in your content marketing strategy.

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Content Marketing Channels

Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr) Social media channels are usually tossed to the intern who puts it at the bottom of their to do list. Today’s social media landscape requires pinpoint audience targeting with content to match. Active channels are only relevant if your audience is using them. Social media channels can be effective in that it opens a two-way conversation with the audience leading to further content consumption.

Native People view native, or sponsored, content 53 percent more frequently than traditional ads. Native provides the opportunity to have the audience engage with your content naturally within the website they are currently on. Tying into a strong blog content strategy increases your chances of increased website traffic, SEO ranking and further audience engagement. Video also plays a strong role in native content whether you’re using the video to retarget the audience or to drive engagements.

Podcasts Looking to stand out in a completely different world? Podcasts are your answer. Written off for dead a few years ago, podcasts are back with vengeance. This format provides a much more intimate way of getting content in front of the audience by communicating verbally to the listener. As we’ve mentioned the key to content marketing is creating valuable content and podcasts do just that. It is an on-demand technology giving the listener the power to decide what they want to hear and when they want to listen. Podcasting is also time and cost efficient medium compared to other forms of marketing.

Video 2015 was dubbed “The Year of Video Marketing,” thanks to the development in software tools creating valuable and engaging video content is easier than ever. Is your agency pushing the envelope? Are they using iPhones to shoot quick :15-:30 videos? If not, they should be. Videos and podcasts have untapped potential because of their association of costing large sums of money and being hard to create. This is simply not true. We are entering the age of real time video, this being an important pillar of a content marketing strategy.

SEO Some will say SEO is all about content marketing. You may be asking yourself, “Don’t we use two different agencies for SEO and other content?” Does SEO even fit into content marketing?” The main problem is the two are not integrated in many agencies and teams nationwide. Strong SEO is reflected in valuable blog content that is optimized in a targeted, native campaign. The truth is, there is a lot of overlap with SEO and content marketing with each still maintaining their own unique differences. SEO states the requirement. Content marketing fulfills them.

Paid Search Going hand in hand with SEO, Paid Search is on the frontlines of any marketing effort. Paid search ads are becoming more robust, creating yet another channel of content for users to consume. It is crucial to deliver a relevant and engaging message to people at the exact moment when they are searching for information.

Blogs once considered dead, like podcasts, are back again. A strong website presence includes a dialed in blog acting as a library full of valuable content the audience can search and engage with. For blogs the name of the game is quality over quantity, similar to many other content marketing channels we’ve covered. Blogs drive website traffic every time you write a post along with keeping your social presence strong. At the end of the day a strong blog helps convert your audience with each new blog post generating new leads.

You’ll notice all of these channels form the pillars of content marketing. The strategy for marketers is to determine the right rotation based on client’s unique needs and tailored content marketing strategy. For clients, we create strategic content marketing plans backed by research. If conversations and strategy sessions with your agency don’t mention content marketing, maybe it’s time to start the search for a new plan that will take your brand to the next level. Penna Powers started as an advertising agency, evolving into a full service communication firm with a team dedicated to creating content marketing strategies that benefit clients from retail to government.

Just as we’ve adapted to the changing world of communication, we can help your brand adapt to any audience and any medium. Don’t wait, give us a call today, and we’ll show you what a real content marketing strategy looks like.

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