Big brands like Coca-Cola, MTV and American Express are all winning the content marketing battle and it's fair to say that money talks when it comes to content.
There are some that feel content marketing is a ticking time bomb that isn’t sustainable, while others view it as the obvious successor to TV advertising. Whatever you think, it’s clear that as digital channels evolve, content marketing is growing and maturing.
The costs associated with producing content have reduced with websites like Peopleperhour.com making it easier to collaborate with creative folk remotely. And with the number of platforms you can use to promote content broadening, it’s not hard to see why the webisphere has become cluttered by content designed to engage consumers and promote brands.
Many organisations and agencies are still wedded to a departmental structure where marketing is divided into PR, SEO, social and email teams. But often this leads to inefficiencies, with objectives and budgets not aligned and each team working on its own projects, not realising the benefits of working together to create and seed content. Brands and agencies alike continue to try and align their teams in order to efficiently produce content and optimise results. However, many are still struggling to get it right and there are a number of reasons why:
- Knowledge: Many still think content marketing only means articles and infographics. Training and nurturing existing talent is key.
- Communication: Different teams in one company (SEO, PR, social), are not effectively communicating, even when they are sat in the same building.
- Organisational structures: Businesses have grown in silos so the challenge to re-organise is not that simple.
- Skill set: While many businesses will have channel specific experts, finding leaders who can bring skill sets together and develop their staff into hybrid marketers is challenging.
Make no mistake, effective content marketing requires a lot of input. All of the following are needed for quality content and powerful seeding:
- Ideas – creative ideas, outreach and engagement
- Data – sources for content generation
- Planning – content calendars, outreach
- Marketing – brand guidelines, wider marketing activity
- Designers – memes, infographics, interactive
- Developers – content hubs, interactive
- Creative writing – journalism, guest blogging, websites
- SEO – keyword planning, link strategy, reporting
- Social media – community management, influencer outreach
- Blogger outreach – relationship building
- PR – relationship building
- Measurement – cross channel reporting
So what steps should organisations take to integrate their content marketing?
- Identify the right people who will lead and nurture channel experts and develop talent pools.
- Identify current projects you can use as the basis of rolling out your new delivery function. If you are an agency, work on in-house projects to develop experience and fine-tune your delivery.
- Identify knowledge gaps and bring teams together for formal training workshops. Make sure everyone is working towards the same goal.
- Organise a social event – developers and marketers can have quite different outlooks, so break down the barriers.
- Set up ongoing reviews to monitor progress and ensure there is continual evolution. It doesn’t happen over night!
Underpinning these steps needs to be a coherent and integrated content marketing strategy, based around clear objectives and linked to the keywords that are most important to your brand. This can be a challenge when your marketing function is stretched across lots of separate teams and sometimes an external resource is useful in pulling these strands together. To find out how we can help integrate your content marketing, take a look at our content marketing services.