Over the past few decades, we’ve seen the rise, fall, and rebirth of content marketing. The launch of the internet changed the value of content and at first, companies saw a lot of early success. But then, the web was flooded with a high quantity of low-value content as content creation had become much easier to execute.
What many brands were missing was a true content strategy that had a purpose, focus, and aligned tightly with business goals.
In his session at Social Media Marketing World, Robert Rose helped the audience face the hard facts about why many of today’s content marketing strategies simply aren’t working and what can be done to flip the script on bad content marketing.
Content Marketing (Re)Defined
If you ask a room full of marketers what content marketing is, you’re likely to get just as many different answers. To some, content marketing is defined as blog posts while others believe their quarterly campaigns qualify.
According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) however, content marketing is defined as:
“A strategic marketing approach, focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and ultimately drive profitable customer action.”
Robert went on to simplify that even further by defining it as:
“A strategic opportunity to attract and retain our own audiences rather than ‘rent’ them from traditional media.”
For years CMI has been educating marketers on the importance of owning audience relationships. And that means having direct access to your readers who have chosen to give you their contact information versus utilizing social or other platforms that decide when and how you can engage.
The Wall of Content Anxiety
One of the biggest obstacles that gets in the way of content marketing success for many marketers is what Robert defined as “a wall of anxiety.”
Committing to a content strategy requires time, effort, and buy-in. And unfortunately, many marketers are staring down tough questions about scalability, the steps required to create a strategy, and simply how to show the success of a content program.
Overcoming this wall is the first step to content success.
4 Content Marketing Business Models
Once you’ve broken through the wall of anxiety, it’s time to begin looking at building your content marketing strategy.
According to Robert, there are four main content business models:
#1 – Player: Content as Contributor: This is the place where many organizations begin. Their efforts are focused on supporting other team objectives such as demand generation or product marketing. Typically, these are also much smaller teams that do not have the support to make content an epicenter of their business.
#2 – Performer: Content as Center of Excellence: In this model, content is seen as a discrete and focused strategy. Teams are utilizing relationships with their audience to drive toward their marketing and communication goals.
#3 – Processor: Content as a Service: This is the model where a need for content strategy (not just execution) becomes very necessary. These teams are overseeing best practices, budget, and management of content marketing agencies for the actual content creation.
#4 – Platform: Content as Integrated Business: The final model consists of teams who integrate content within their business. These teams are responsible for managing all aspects of media operation for the brand. They may also be responsible for other publications or platforms that support the business.
When it comes to content, we are measuring the wrong thing. Content marketing is a PRODUCT, not a project. We should be treating our audiences like customers purchasing a product. @Robert_Rose #SMMW19 Click To Tweet
Find Your Content Focus, Purpose & Strategy
Don’t be one of those marketing teams that calls it quits on content because you aren’t seeing the success that you’d anticipated. Instead, find your focus and develop a strategy that aligns with the needs of your customers and supports your business objectives.
For more live updates from the Social Media Marketing World, you can follow @TopRank, @azeckman and @AnnieLeuman on Twitter. In addition to tweeting, the TopRank Marketing team will be live blogging sessions (like this one) throughout the conference so be sure to follow the blog for more.