No idea can make an impact unless it’s heard. Content has no value unless someone sees it – it’s as easy as that. Hence, the saying that ‘content is king’ will only be relevant if the king is equipped with a loudspeaker. Or several.
Personally, I prefer to look at content rather as the core than as the “king”. The core of expertise, the core of a company’s abilities, the smart expression of a context or an offering: It’s the story a company tells in its every sentence. This core is fundamental and must be true to the company’s offering, culture, and position in the market to make sense. But this core, the content, doesn’t qualify as content marketing until it’s been packaged and shared.
So how can a company make its content fly in the market? Unfortunately, there is no one answer to this question. A message can be told in a number of different ways and there are numerous formats and channels to consider for the communications plan. To make the story fly, the company rather needs to accept a continuous approach to the marketing challenge, where the mix of message and channel should be agreed, reviewed, and modified in an on-going process.
Employing this continuous approach, a few key questions should be pasted on the office wall:
- What am I selling?
- Who do I want to reach (target group)?
- Why should they be interested in my offering?
- Where do I find them to build a relation?
- What’s the stage of this relation today?
It’s basically the same old marketing questions, yes, but given today’s communications environment, some of the answers may be new. The relation is in focus also in the early marketing phases and the tempo is different, which is emphasized by the last question: What’s the stage of the relation today?
For a company to give its content the best opportunity to fly, the last two questions should be made a mindset within the marketing and communications department. Based on the answers, an integrated communications plan covering paid-owned-earned channels can be developed and continuously modified, including face-to-face channels such as customer meetings and events. The trick is to dare to focus. Each activity – one purpose, one target group. Then adapt the story and core content to the situation by selecting message, format, and channel carefully.
Basically, to make content fly in today’s crowded market it’s not enough to build a new aircraft. Rather use the available tools provided through an integrated paid-owned-earned communications approach, make continuous reviews of the activation plan a part of your daily work, and dare to focus on the relation.
Content may be called core, content may be called king.
All in all, if content is king, this king needs smart communication tactics to rule.
First published on LinkedIn May 11, 2015