In 2018, most brands and marketing departments have figured out that they need to be in the content game. Many have gone far beyond dipping their toe in the water, but are they doing it well? The art of creating meaningful and helpful content seems to have alluded so many companies. “Nearly half of consumers won’t spend time with branded content if it’s not relevant.“
The majority of marketers have reported they aren’t seeing the ROI that they’d like to from these content efforts. Couple this with the fact that in 2018, more CMO’s will be more interested in content analytics and ROI than ever before. 2018 will be the year for marketing teams to maximize their branded content. Here are five tips to help ensure that your brand’s content is successful.
What does success look like for each piece of content you’re developing as well as the whole campaign? Are you looking for increased viewership and engagement or do you need to convert viewers to purchase? Who will use this content? Are they the right audiences for your content? Where will the content live: brand owned and paid channels or are you using them for earned efforts?
Having clear KPI’s will help determine the best format and channels best suited for your goals. “88% of B2B marketers currently use content marketing as part of their marketing strategy, yet only 32% have a documented content marketing strategy.” Don’t be one of these organizations-have your goals clearly documented up front. In terms of trends, success metrics in 2018 are increasingly moving away from viewership and engagement and are instead, focused on cultivating the right audiences with content being produced.
This may seem like a no brainer but understanding what has worked in the past should inform the future. For owned and social channels this process is fairly simple-look at metrics beyond views. How engaging was your content? Where did you lose viewers? Are you attracting the right kinds of viewers? What styles work best on your channels? In terms of earned media, what are the outlets you are trying to pitch currently posting? Which channels are they posting to? How does your brand fit in from an organic editorial perspective? Although re-purposing content is a necessity across all marketing teams, try not to have each piece of content be all things to all audiences.
The mantra of not posting and praying has been around since the term branded content was created. More recently, marketers have started using the phrase “post and spray” to describe the action of companies who take one piece of content and upload it to all their various channels as is, hoping that the right eyeballs will find it and engage with it. Distribution of your content is just as important as the content itself AND believe it or not, should heavily influence the stories and styles in which you are creating your content. With so many available distribution channels out there, targeting the right channel with the right content and story can be the hardest part of the puzzle. If you are unsure of just how to do this, hire a team who can outline this fully for you and your brand’s content strategy.
…To a top question asked on search engines, that is. Look for commonly queried questions for your brand’s industry. If you can provide the best answer for that question, using your content, your brand might just make it to page 1 of search results. The majority of phrases now entered into search engines are question based. Titling your content to match the exact question being asked can increase the odds of success. Here are a few success stats to inspire you and your team: “Long-form content performs better on Google search results than the average Homepage” and “72% of marketers surveyed said relevant content creation was their most effective SEO tactic.”
Over 27,000,000 pieces of new content are shared daily. That’s a whole lot of content to compete with! With each piece of content that your organization develops, ask yourself why you would watch that piece of content. If the answer is that you would want to watch it because it’s interesting and you’d most likely peruse it in your Facebook feed, use that to help determine your style of content. If your content is more informational and helps answer a frequently asked question, the style and length of the content is going to be much more in-depth. A video about how to install your own sink at home created by a hardware company doesn’t need to have the same production value and finesse that a video highlighting the top restaurants you need to visit in NY before you die. “52% of marketing professionals globally name video as the type of content with the best ROI.” Be smart with how you spend your budget in terms of production value. Understand what the key elements are for your video and focus your money on those elements. More informational content that serves an audience in search of an answer does not need to have the same budget as content that is trying to be interesting.
We hope these five tips, although basic, will help put your brand’s content on the path to success in 2018.