I hate to say it, but definitely will: content was king, is king and will keep being king!! Though I seem talking to deaf man's ears for years, now, in 2015, I think it finally caught on considering the top position content marketing holds in many trend researches.
Back in the 00-ies, when still a content manager, I developed a sense of thesignificance of content marketing. Though content back then was still considered to be the digital display of offline copy, I kept including it in business strategies. The result was scorning managers telling me that content was 'just' some writing, or worse, the copy paste of information made by people with 'real knowledge'
You copy, I paste
The only thing 'online' and 'significant' about content were the specialists handling text format, word count and adjustment to an online visitor's short attention span. Furthermore, the time factor with which bulks of content could be put on the web was made into a KPI by anachronistic managers still living in the 20th century. (re. the dreaded days of putting online PDFs...the horror, the horror!)
Billion dollar global conglomerates
Believe it or not, billion dollar global companies were paying entire national teams to put 'good old' catalogue copy online without paying attention to changing online reader's reception. Deprived from any form of content marketing, companies like these lost over 35% market share worldwide. (I should know, I subjected myself to one...).
Holy trinity of good content
After the 00-ies, or maybe earlier, I don't really know, we content people had to start thinking about findability as well: the art of making your content rank higher in search engines. (I know, there's more to it. But I do not want to write a Whitepaper here, just a blog post). From that moment on, the holy trinity for my content managent approach has been: good content is readable, findable and product related.
Be your prospect or drown
The 'readable' relates to a text being intelligible and appealing to read. At the same time it also should tap into a reader's expectations and preferably his preferences. Key is to find out what those preferences are. This is were Social Media came in, in all of its forms, such as rating & review sites, business platforms such as LinkedIn, fan blogs sites such as Apple communities, price comparison sites, fashion sites, and the dreaded but overly used 'spy machine' (re. E. Snowdon) Facebook. It is there that you get to find out what future buyers, downloaders, networkers think of your product, solution, service or brand. Based on that information marketing your content get's just a little bit more relevant.
Readability and findability are bed partners
Organically, good content appears in search engines upon a visitor's related keyword query. Two birds with one stone! Findability forced me to think like a future reader by using keywords, placements, remarking and interests he would use or where he would be. At the same time I wrote content that was intelligible within context thus creating content that gets found, read, and that actually engages!
Organic versus Paid: a match made in commercial heaven
Total intertwined SEM-bliss: if organically everything ads up, it contributes to your paid search efforts in a very positive way. But that's another blog post...
Don't forget what you're writing about!
Third, last but not least of my holy content trinity, product-relatedness, is a no-brainer. An internet store that sells furniture should stick to content evolving around that category...such as chairs, quality, user reviews, delivery, price etc.
What am I getting at?
The days of just putting some text out there on the web are long gone. Finally and increasingly companies are realizing this, thus influencing y.o.y. digital trends. (You did know that not all trends are being made up by self-involved marketers, right?)
Relevant content equals good content marketing
Times of so called ‘copy pasting’ (aka copy wasting) are long gone. Online marketers such as myself are wondering about solution's descriptions per page, whitepapers, short lists, news items, posts, reviews, strategically setting up blogs, spend more time listening to prospects, interact with them, try find out what makes them interested in our solutions, when, where, at which time, on which device etc etc. The spectrum seems to be endless when it comes down to relevant content in most relevant combinations.
Understanding relevance and nature of content marketing
IT and B2B businesses have a head start when it comes down to understanding the relevance of content marketing. In the business I work in, for instance, it is paramount to get the merit of our SAAS-solutions across. What better way to do this than with good content marketing, or rather relevant content marketing? Are we there yet? Not even close! Content marketing is a constantly growing, changing, influencing instance that should be valued for that very elusive nature. Because, in the end it reflects human communication, which isn't static or to be boxed it. Instead, it flows, changes, can be very subjective, can make or break.
Findability, Readability, Product-relatedness
I will not bother you with what good content marketing is or any marketing would-be theoretical mumbo jumbo, because I am convinced it is different for every industry. Nevertheless, in my experience, it should always primarily revolve around my three golden principles: findability, readability, product-related.
Y. o. y. developments in content marketing
Below, I have pasted (yes I still copy paste every now and then. It’s a trauma I endure…) some interesting graphs about trends in content marketing. Make sure it inspires you to create that content marketing strategy that truly brings together business targets and customer demands.