I always find it interesting that a great deal of thought will be put into the strategic planning of a campaign – but very little time will be devoted to creating a content strategy. After all, it is the content that will bring your campaign to life. And perhaps, more importantly, it is content that will feed your social media efforts.
Some time ago, I was interviewed by ethos3 – seven questions on storytelling – where I discussed the P-L-A-Y framework for brand engagement. I remember emphasising the importance of allowing people into the context of your world – like starting a story with “once upon a time”. For me, content marketing comes back to telling a story. It is using the techniques and devices of storytelling to change the way that someone relates to your business, brand or product. And it’s about allowing these people into the process of storytelling. For brands, that means changing the way that you think of your consumers. For businesses, it means transforming the relationships you have with customers. And for marketers, it means changing the very nature of the work that we do.
But if this is the case, where can you find out about content marketing?
Over the last 12 months, additional focus has been given to “content marketing”. The “Top 42” content marketing blogs have been tracked and compiled regularly on the Junta 42 website (servantofchaos.com is currently ranked #16), and Guy Kawasaki has recently created a new content marketing catalogue for his alltop.com site. Each of these sites provide a convenient listing of content marketing related sites – which is valuable for any marketer wanting to think through a content marketing strategy. (And while many people feel more than a little jaded about the relevance of lists with their rankings of “influence” or “authority”, I still feel that most lists like this listing of 150 social media blogs, can prove to be a great resource for all of us).
And in this interview with Bryan Person, David Alston shares his insights around the importance of content marketing. As VP Marketing for Radian6, David has a broad professional and personal interest in social media and the role that content marketing plays in lubricating our social/digital interactions. As David says, "Not everyone's a customer when you WANT them to be a customer" … so content allows you to offer value (not a product) to build a relationship. And in social media, it’s relationships that count.
So, tell me … what’s your story? Why is content important to your brand?