The popular marketers’ adage that ‘content is king’ has been repeated enough times that the phrase is high up on the list of marketing clichés. Yet, not all content is created equal. And thus, not all content is king. More people (clients in particular) would be inclined to agree if the phrase were changed to ‘good content is king’. And with the advent of digital tools and techniques such as search engine optimization (SEO) and Google analytics, the focus is also on creating ‘value’. That means, good content is not only expected to engage and inform the audience but is expected to increase lead and revenue generation.
What is ‘good content’?
Good content is generally characterized as being original, engaging, creative, and informative – and most importantly having the right calls to action (CTA) to hook a potential lead. While all this are definitely essential ingredients of quality content, there is a larger picture that digital marketers most often overlook. The bigger question every marketer needs to ask before creating any content is, “Does my audience really need this content?”
While the question might sound simplistic, most marketers often make the mistake of creating quality content that their audience may not really want. This leads to campaigns that do not perform and generate adequate return on investment (ROI).
Role of content in different stages of the funnel
The content marketing process, like traditional marketing, can be classified according to the different stages of the funnel. Most marketers focus on the volume of the content they need to create, while the real value of content creation lies in creating custom content for customers that are at different stages of the funnel. Different formats of content have inherent strengths that make them more suitable to be used during different stages of the funnel – awareness, evaluation, purchase, and delight.
Additionally, LinkedIn’s ‘The Top Indian Content Marketing Predictions for 2017’ report, it states, “We’ve seen how the versatility of content marketing allows it to meet objectives across the buyer’s journey. Unfortunately, marketers around the world are predominately stuck measuring success with lower-funnel metrics, like lead generation, even if their goals are upper-funnel.” Therefore, not only does the format of your content but even the metrics you use to measure their effectiveness can determine the value you derive from them.
So, how do you know when to use what kind of content? Here’s a handy guide of some content formats that are better suited for different stages of the marketing funnel:
- Awareness – Landing pages, video explainers, ads, social media
- Evaluation – Case studies, webinars, blogs, whitepapers
- Purchase – Ratings, feedback questionnaire, reviews, and testimonials
- Delight – Giveaways, special offers, surveys
It is important to remember that there is no definitive rule that only these kinds of content can be used in the corresponding stages. This is, at best, a guide map for marketers.
Content formats for best value
LinkedIn’s ‘The Top Indian Content Marketing Predictions for 2017’ report also goes on to state that digital penetration in India is set to increase from 43.8 percent in 2016 to 70.7 percent in 2020. With the digital penetration being fragmented across India, it becomes important that marketers use multiple methods to reach out to their audiences.
The study found that 57 percent of marketers use blogs, newsletters, and social as their preferred content marketing platforms. 40 percent of marketers leverage the power of visual storytelling formats such as infographics and videos to reach out to customers. Apart from creative punch, infographics are easily shareable on social media thus increasing the viral potentiality.
Creating ‘good content’ is an art as much as it is a science. A creator’s job is never done because the content has been published. Measuring the level of engagement and performance is crucial to tweaking and improving the content.
Continuous improvement is key to consistently creating good content. What are your parameters for evaluating whether content is delivering value?