Quality content goes hand in hand with effective marketing communications and PR. Find out why it’s such an important investment for your brand or business to make.
By Michael Bennett
Stand-out content is the cornerstone of effective marketing communications, so why aren’t more organisations spending enough time and budget creating it?
With so many channels available, many marketing teams are too busy updating their website, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest feeds to stop for a moment and ask the most important question of all: “What type of content will be of interest to our target audience?”
Simply asking this question can completely change your approach to content creation. Great content is not a series of tweets, Instagram posts or random blogs.
Great content is original material that provides your audience with fresh knowledge, insight or solutions to their challenges. It comes about from understanding the needs and interests of your target audience.
As the diagram below shows, it’s really important to use research to better understand your audience and find out what interests them, as well as give you a more rounded view of the channels they already use and find most helpful.
Research of a different kind can also be used as the raw material for certain aspects of your content marketing plan; in-depth content such as white papers, for example, can be combined with a good creative and clear messaging to provide you with the basis of a broader content-based campaign.
Your content offering could take some or all of the following formats:
- Market research.
- Commentary from thought leaders.
- Industry surveys or topical talking points.
- Case studies.
- White papers.
Once created, that content needs to be shared across a range of channels that are right for your target audiences, such as:
- Earned media: editorial or coverage gained through traditional PR and media relations.
- Owned media: your website and social media channels, as well as emailers.
- Paid media: traditional advertising.
- PPC: pay-per-click.
- Other promotional means.
Here are three great examples of content marketing we’ve produced to promote our own services as a PR and marketing agency, or have created for clients as part of their wider communications strategies:
But can content marketing really make a big difference?
At Pelican, we passionately believe it can and have years of experience proving the point.
Here’s why it’s worth going to all that effort with your content marketing:
- It engages customers
Rather than telling people how good you are, you are showing existing and potential customers you understand their issues and have something to share that they will find useful or informative; it might even help them address a major business issue. This builds trust.
- It showcases your expertise
The fact you have the knowledge and expertise to produce quality content says: “We know what we’re doing and we do it very well.” This is a powerful addition to your brand.
- It creates marketing horsepower
Sharing your content across owned, earned and paid channels creates consistent messaging and means you’ve always got plenty to shout about.
- It drives SEO
Digital content is an important element of search engine optimisation, also known as SEO. By creating a regular stream of useful, authoritative and engaging content that’s of interest to your target audiences Google* will rank your website more highly in its search results. In turn, this will make your content and website easier to discover and interact with, driving more traffic to site. [*Other search engines are available.]
- It helps you generate and convert leads
If you produce a major piece of downloadable content, such as a market report or e-book, you can ask people to provide their contact details in exchange for accessing it. This is known as ‘gated content’. You can then add their information to your database as part of your prospect-nurture-convert funnel (subject to GDPR compliance).
- It represents excellent value for money
The same content can be used over and over again if you do so in the right way. You may need to update or repurpose some of the material but there can be real value in continuing to push certain evergreen content out to your audiences over time, across different channels.
- It elevates your brand
By having new and interesting things to say your brand will be widely recognised within your sector, ensuring you’re seen as a key player in the market and an organisation worth talking to.
Although it can be time consuming and often challenging to find a unique insight or produce a quality piece of content, the benefits of investing a dedicated portion of your marketing budget in this way are well worth it and can deliver tangible business results.
If you’d like help creating a powerful content-led marketing campaign get in touch with the Pelican team today.
Pelican Communications, is a specialist in the environment & CSR, food, packaging & logistics and trade association sectors. Pelican offers a range of services such as strategy, design, content creation, public relations and people development.