Is Your Brand Ready For A Content Marketing Program?

Is your brand ready to cre­ate a tru­ly effec­tive con­tent mar­ket­ing pro­gram? Con­sid­er these five things first before you cre­ate a strat­e­gy.

Stephen Boidock By Stephen Boidock from Drumroll. Join the discussion » 0 comments

Con­tent mar­ket­ing is noth­ing new. It’s actu­al­ly been around for over a cen­tu­ry. In fact, brands like John Deere have been attempt­ing to land their prod­uct sto­ries in more nat­ur­al and digestible envi­ron­ments since the late 1800s. What is new, how­ev­er, is the expand­ing set of deliv­ery vehi­cles and meth­ods that allow con­tent to be more engag­ing and enter­tain­ing than ever. But before you go sign­ing up your brand, you should con­sid­er the fol­low­ing.

What’s Your Story?

A company’s brand sto­ry is sacred. It can dif­fer­en­ti­ate a brand from its com­pe­ti­tion, inspire employ­ees to pro­vide out­stand­ing cus­tomer ser­vice, and even cre­ate a mean­ing­ful con­nec­tion between a per­son and his/her employ­er. To date, con­tent mar­ket­ing pro­vides some of the best ways to tell your brand sto­ry. The sur­round­ing con­text is rich, the qual­i­ty is often times excep­tion­al and if done right, there is an obvi­ous yet nat­ur­al feel­ing peo­ple walk away with that brings them clos­er to an affin­i­ty toward your brand. In recent months, we’ve seen John­nie Walk­er con­tin­ue their “Gentleman’s Wager” series and Lagavulin respond with an impres­sive “Yule Log” acti­va­tion. Both of the brands’ films do an amaz­ing job of plac­ing the view­er in the state of mind best suit­ed for their brand and do so with­out hit­ting you over the head with their prod­ucts. It’s this abil­i­ty to cre­ate an incred­i­ble expe­ri­ence – draw­ing fans clos­er to what my agency likes to call “brand love” – that makes con­tent mar­ket­ing the per­fect place to tell your sto­ry.

Great Content Can Reach Huge Audiences

If done con­sis­tent­ly, con­tent mar­ket­ing has the poten­tial to gar­ner tremen­dous reach and aware­ness for your brand. Unlike most of your tra­di­tion­al mar­ket­ing mate­ri­als, con­tent mar­ket­ing will be some­thing fans even­tu­al­ly seek out, proac­tive­ly. If your nar­ra­tive and exe­cu­tion are con­sis­tent­ly excep­tion­al, you’ll start to grow a sub­stan­tial fan­base of sub­scribers that return to see the most recent sto­ries you’ve shared. Red Bull, the gold stan­dard for con­tent mar­ket­ing, has not only attached its name to a lifestyle and audi­ence per­fect­ly in line with its brand, but has done such a good job that an entire chan­nel was cre­at­ed based on their con­tent – Hel­lo, Red Bull TV! The fact that audi­ences are will­ing to sub­scribe to their chan­nel online or fre­quent the Apple TV app is proof that great con­tent has a ten­den­cy to reach con­sid­er­ably broad­er audi­ences.

Content Is A Serious Investment

Every­thing comes at a cost, and con­tent mar­ket­ing is the embod­i­ment of this phrase. Unless your brand has an estab­lished tone of voice that aligns with rough and inten­tion­al­ly imper­fect con­tent, odds are you’ll need to invest some decent coin to cre­ate the qual­i­ty and quan­ti­ty to make a suf­fi­cient impact. Whether it’s pho­to shoots, film projects, or site expe­ri­ences, each requires sig­nif­i­cant invest­ment, often cut­ting into oth­er areas of your mar­ket­ing bud­get. Some larg­er brands, like Coca-Cola for instance, have the bud­gets to allow for exper­i­men­tal and inno­v­a­tive expe­ri­ences, but the major­i­ty of brands will have to find fund­ing with exist­ing scopes of work (or in place of them).

Commit To A Direction

While every brand will tell you a sig­nif­i­cant amount of time goes into edi­to­r­i­al plan­ning, the real­i­ty is that busi­ness pri­or­i­ties change, new prod­ucts emerge, and a num­ber of oth­er fac­tors make things more flu­id. Due to the lev­el of effort and cost need­ed to cre­ate this con­tent, it’s imper­a­tive that you align on the direc­tion ear­ly and stick with it. While throw­ing away work is nev­er ide­al, it’s a lot eas­i­er to scrap a ban­ner ad than a ful­ly-pro­duced film. Stick­ing with the approved direc­tion for this con­tent also helps avoid the Franken­stein effect, which becomes obvi­ous to a fan if there are too many direc­tion­al changes through­out the cre­ation of the con­tent.

What About ROI?

Track­ing ROI is one of the most impor­tant aspects of any adver­tis­ing cam­paign. It’s also some­thing that can prove dif­fi­cult when cre­at­ing this con­tent, since any bla­tant attempt is usu­al­ly detri­men­tal to the orig­i­nal work. Because track­ing ROI in the dig­i­tal space is a con­sid­er­able step up from more tra­di­tion­al media, such as bill­boards and radio spots, not all dig­i­tal expe­ri­ences have a direct click to pur­chase path, mak­ing it more dif­fi­cult to prove val­ue. In this case, most of your return comes in the form of dig­i­tal inter­ac­tions, such as shares and views. Yes, the func­tion­al­i­ty exists to add CTAs in videos or sur­round your con­tent with requests for engage­ments, so be care­ful you don’t go over­board and ruin your chance at cre­at­ing a mean­ing­ful moment and a last­ing rela­tion­ship.

Stephen Boidock

Written by Stephen Boidock

Director of Marketing, PR, Business Development & Social, Drumroll

As Director of Marketing, PR, Business Development & Social, Stephen Boidock uses combination of fan interactions and analytics to help brands better relate with their customers.

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