Let’s Start With Content Marketing?
To understand context marketing we first have to understand what content marketing is and what it means for the digital marketing in 2103. Content marketing is an umbrella term that defines the creation and sharing of any content that is not directly related to selling products. Used to develop relationships with current and potential customers, its aim is to create interest in a business by educating and informing customers, positioning the publisher as a thought leader in a specific niche.
Content marketing is now devouring bigger and bigger chunks of marketing budgets. The Custom Content Council reported a 5% Rise in money being spent on content marketing in 2012 alone. Now, 5% may not seem like a huge amount, but when you think about it in terms of total marketing budgets (both traditional and digital) it certainly adds up to quite a large sum of money, especially for big brands and businesses.
‘Social Media Today’ reported this month that an average of 25% of total marketing budgets are now being spent on content marketing. Don’t get me wrong, this is great news for marketers like myself, but it has also started the alarm bells ringing in my head:
Is all this budget being spent wisely or are we heading towards a content crash of sorts?
Great content has outstanding value for those who use it with care. One of the main traps people fall into is forgetting to think carefully about context prior to publishing their content. I am not the first to notice this; there has been a surge towards this type of contextualisation from some of the main players in the game recently. Companies such as Hubspot have been exploring some of these themes on their blog over the last 12 months.
Context marketing is the evolutionary step that businesses are going to have to make in order to survive the deluge of branded content currently filling the online space.
In order to successfully add context to the mix marketers need to look at the known qualities of their prospective customers much more carefully.
Things You Can Try Right Now..
If you don’t already, start researching your potential audience in much greater detail. Start by Using tools like Google Analytics to track your visitors on your website. Also, be sure to track them off-site as well. Use Facebook analytics and tools like Social Bro to help identify potential customers and leads. Once you have a better understanding of who you are talking to, you will be able to create better, more relevant content for your perceived customer base.
Be sure to take a look at your competitors, who are they engaging with online, who is interacting with them and why? Be sure to involve yourself in the same conversations as they do. Forget that they are the competition, make friends with them and interact as much as possible. Being involved in these conversations will help you to understand your own relevance in the marketplace much better.
Recognise the different stages at which your potential customers interact with your business. Try and figure out what the most likely first point of contact is for the majority of your customers. This is the place you should push your introductory content. If, for example, you notice that most of your customers are liking your Facebook page after they have made their first purchase, don’t bombard them with your introductory video, it just isn’t relevant.
Try changing your call-to-actions dependent on how far your customer is down the marketing funnel. Have they already signed up for your free white paper, or downloaded their 10% gift voucher? Be sure not to offer it to them again, they don’t need to see it. If you can afford it, software like Hubspot is incredibly powerful at helping achieve this type of context relevant delivery.
Another idea is to have a look at restructuring your mailing lists. A carefully constructed database that considers the different types of customer you have and their purchase history can really help in making sure your content is delivered effectively and contextually.
Marketers have known a lot of this stuff for a long, long time. Nothing here is particularly new or revolutionary, understanding context has always played a big part in the successful implementation of traditional marketing campaigns. It just seems to me that a lot of digital marketers and businesses have forgotten to apply prudence when initiating content driven campaigns. Forget the mantra ‘content is king’, it only tells half the story. ‘Context relevant content is the king’ online today.