On June 4th Infopresse hosted a conference focusing on the future of content marketing. For brands that are trying to reach customers that have become increasingly more autonomous, mobile and in search for the most relevant answers - content has become primordial in order to achieve their performance marketing objectives. By gathering a wide range of experts – from marketing agencies to client-side representatives – conference participants left with a stack full of new ideas and strategies for future content marketing initiatives. Here are the 7 most important takeaways from the conference.
Like the saying goes “Fail to Plan is Plan to Fail”. Creating a strategy that is clear and with foresight is essential for your success. From editorial calendars, training and managing of authors or editors, content approvals, performance measurements… there is a lot to manage! Depending on the magnitude of future tasks, planning tools and content management platforms such as Skyword can be vital in your survival to stay ahead of the marketing game.
Segmentation and personalization is a characteristic of any good content strategy. Make sure to collect any and all information available about your target audience which you will later segment into different personas. Behavioral analysis can be way more useful than demographics. You will learn much more about your consumer by recognizing what they do rather than who they are. The RFM matrix (below) is an excellent guide in segmenting your customers, allowing you to personalize your content according to its distinctive characteristics and actions.
Content is created every second of every day. This can lead your brand to fighting against a constant stream of kitten videos and goats screaming like humans. How can you distinguish your brand across this deep and varied ocean of content? And more importantly, how can your brand attract the attention of an increasingly demanding and expert consumer?
The key is to go back to basics. What does your product stand for? Return to the core values represented by your brand, and then focus your efforts on radiating that message through your content. By leveraging emotions associated with your product, you may not only successfully distinguish yourself from the competition, but also offer truly authentic and high quality content while you’re at it.
Your consumers are not stupid. Our generation of Millennials are digital experts having been exposed and bombarded by ads their entire lives. This sharpens their ability to detect whether a brand’s approach is genuine or not. Therefore, the only way to succeed is telling a real story that supports the promotion of your brand and your products. This will also help you stand out of the crowd from boring and commercial competitors who use typical “product-talk” that draws in little to no interest from consumers. By creating a narrative you will not only entertain your audience but you will be more accessible and valuable.
As perfectly illustrated by Rebecca Coggan, from Matter Inside, brands tend to put too much emphasis on sex (sales) and not enough on love (loyalty). Although many of us admit that quite a few relationships were born out of sex, the secret of a healthy and lasting marriage lays in nothing else but love. It is kind of obvious to say that when focusing on loyalty you decide to invest in your most profitable customers – the returning ones.
Be loyal to your consumers. Prioritize gradual constant action over one time high risk, big budget campaigns that often become ephemeral. The famous viral video campaign launched by WestJet for the Christmas holidays is a perfect example of a big campaign that quickly failed once noticing the number of followers. In other words, a big-budget shot is often not enough! It is better to spread your energy into a lot of little strokes! By doing this you have a greater chance of maintaining a closer relationship with all of your consumers and engaging them in content that will rekindle the flame of love.
User-generated content (UGC) and co-creation are extremely popular these days, and it’s all for a reason. Who else would be better at spreading the word among peers than your very own ambassadors? Don’t hesitate to engage your fans in content creation. Whether they get to hand-pick the next flavour of Couche-Tard’s Sloche or participate in creating a the next display campaign for Les Producteurs de Lait du Québec, give them the power to decide! You might be pleasantly surprised at the level of interest and creative ideas your fans could contribute.
Invite influencers from your industry to also contribute to content creation. In addition to their expertise, their online engagement may transfer to your content through various social networks consequently leveraging your digital visibility. Take the time to establish lasting relationships with your heroes!
As stated by the inspiring Andy Nulman (Just For Laughs), successful content is a fruit of boldness and the willingness to try. The key is to constantly test and to fail quickly. Rebellion and religion are, according to him, two major ingredients of good content strategy. So, don’t be afraid to do something different and pray that it works! This is a good lesson of humility for brands that are often too afraid to shock viewers (or of their legal department).
In short, these seven elements are only part of the solution to ensure the successful performance of your content strategy. All of the Infopresse speakers strongly demonstrated that content plays an important role in media, whether in traditional or digital channels. We can all agree that content should be placed at the heart of your marketing strategy!
Below you can find a link with presentation (in French) prepared by iProspect content specialist Mary Montserrat-Howlett (Practice Lead, Content Marketing) and Mary O’Neill (Content Marketing Analyst) :