I recently ran a webinar with some of our friends, clients and partners on content marketing - it’s on YouTube if you missed it.
At the start I asked three questions:
- Do you feel confident you know what content marketing is?
- Are you doing content marketing right now?
- Has content marketing been more or less of a priority in recent weeks?
Answers were interesting. c75% felt they weren’t confident on what content marketing is, but 65% were doing content marketing in their role now, and 60% felt that content marketing was more of a priority than before.
So this means that the majority are trying to tackle something they don’t feel confident they know well, and this is becoming a growing business priority. That sounds stressful, frankly. We all prefer to take on tasks within our wheelhouses, and we all especially want to do well on those things that are our business priorities.
That said, their answers weren’t surprising. It is easy for me to understand why content marketing is growing in priorities for our businesses. I think it comes down to two basic truths:
- The audience demands it: we want to connect with others given the changing world, and content creates a connection, virtually;
- Our businesses are trying to do all they can to keep things going: whether your content is sales lead-generating (B2C or B2B), application driving (recruitment marketing) or perception shaping (brand or employer brand), it is an incredibly useful resource for your business. As other avenues are removed, such as events, content can be utilised in place of this.
Unfortunately, in this landscape, I also think creating impactful content is harder than ever. In most countries we’re working from home, social distancing, so high production video, podcasts and photography are near-impossible. The market is becoming saturated, and often with ‘similar’ style content - quick iPhone videos of people at their WFH desk, or working out in their garden, are certainly taking over my news feed. Finally, with things changing so rapidly, it’s too easy to get the tone wrong, and alienate instead of engage your audience.
So how do you create content without the high production, that stands out and cuts through the noise, and ensure you don’t strike the wrong cord? - especially if this isn’t your normal area of focus? How can you make this easier for yourself?
In my opinion - the answer here is to go back to your content strategy (or create one) and revisit it given the current environment. You can also review your existing content and assess if there are any quick wins from previous content items that you can re-edit and re-promote so you don’t start from a standing start. All the while listening to what your audience wants, and only focusing on delivering that content.
At Tonic, we recommend a four-phased circular approach to content marketing. You can hear about it in our video here: ’Where do I start? - what are the essential steps to content marketing’
If this is high up on your own priorities and you’re looking for more help, we also have another webinar soon with our Head of Social Steph Smith and myself talking specifically about re-assessing your content and social strategy given the current pandemic. You can sign up here, we’d love to have you.
We’re in this together.