Content marketing might have been a term coined in 2007 but it’s importance within a marketing strategy has never been more crucial.
With the 12 months accelerating the time we’ve all spent in the digital world thanks to social distancing and numerous lockdowns, accessing branded content and how it’s mixed seamlessly between our professional and personal lives has brought about a digital marketing evolution.
This week, we joined digital marketing agency, Hallam, on their latest webinar. Titled ‘Why Content is King but Context is Queen – and the Lady Rules the House’, Kieran S-Lawler, Hallam’s Head of Marketing, was joined by Charlotte Tomlinson, Media Director, Siobhan Congreve, Head of Content Marketing, and Hannah Tomaszewski, Content and Social Media Specialist, to share their content marketing insights.
Here’s our top takeaways!
What’s content marketing?
So, what is – and isn’t – content marketing?
Siobhan explained: “For me, it should be simple – creating content and marketing it. Some people call content marketing just “content” and that’s fair enough but for me it’s more than that – it’s what you do with it.
“It’s not shouting about yourself or having a one-way conversation – it’s about building relationships, understanding your audience and not throwing stuff at a wall and seeing what sticks. Plus, if you’ve got content on the site, how easy is it to put similar content across multiple platforms?”
Kieran added: “It’s about amplification of content itself. It’s not ok to just push content out there – you’ve got to put thought and energy into what you put in front of people.”
Context is Key
So, what about context and why is it important?
Charlotte said: “For me, context is about what makes the content meaningful to your audience. It’s about the practice of delivering the right message to the right person at the right time, proving value to them. In terms of why it’s important is because if you’re going to spend a lot of time, energy and resource to create content. But, if you don’t consider the context, it’s going to fall flat on its face and be a waste of money.
“There’s so much content being fired at everyone, if you don’t consider the context, then you’re not going to get the results you want.”
Hannah added: “From a social media point of view, that’s the difference between content and content marketing. For context, is that piece of content in the right place? Where are people looking for it? Context and understanding your audience are the most important parts for me. There needs to be a deeper level of understanding with timings, cultural differences and the varying social channels as different platforms have different purposes.”
What are the best ways to do content marketing?
So, what should marketing teams and businesses remember when creating content or even a content marketing strategy? Here’s the panel’s top tips.
- Think about what you’re saying and why
Siobhan said: “Even if you’re in B2B, you’ve got to understand that you’re still communicating with a human. If I turned round now and said I’ve got a £90,000 car – I mean, I don’t! – but you’d wonder what I was on about. However, if I mentioned it later in this webinar with a story behind it, it would make more sense. In marketing terms, you’ve got to focus on content like that – why are you saying what you’re saying and what benefit is it bringing to the audience?”
- Don’t forget the data
Hannah said: “Many people don’t consider the analytics behind content marketing. For example, at Hallam, we’ll look at the data, what’s driving the most traffic to your site, what hashtags are people actually talking about, then we come up with an idea and search what others are doing. The power of social listening can never be underestimated: see where your audience are spending their time online and what they’re talking about.”
- Be open minded
Charlotte said: “We always make sure we’ve got a ‘test and learn budget’; this way, we can make an informed decision based on research and due dilligience, but this leaves us space to to try things out. Some B2B clients are set in their ways with particular platforms they use – they’re happy only using LinkedIn but not Facebook or Instagram. Decision makers might be on other platforms, not just LinkedIn, so brands must remember to think outside of the box.”
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