Great Content: The New Marketing Imperative

It wasn’t a surprise when a recent report showed that online ad spending would eclipse newspaper spending in 2010.  It’s further evidence of the dramatically changing media landscape.  Gone are the days when a few large media outlets controlled access to consumers.  There are now endless information and entertainment options, many of which are available online. 

Overcoming the obstacles

The challenge now facing marketers is how to get consumers’ attention in this fragmented media environment.  An eMarketer article recently noted that solely pushing messages to consumers has become an ineffective strategy.  Increasingly, the key to being effective will depend on the ability to generate great content that pulls consumers to your brand and establishes a meaningful relationship with them.

Defining great content

So, how can an organization generate content that breaks through the clutter and feeds the sales funnel?  The eMarketer piece also offered the following five questions that can help to evaluate whether your content will hit its mark:

  • Is the content unique?
  • Is the content useful?
  • Is the content well executed?
  • Is the content fun?
  • Does the content make good use of the channel in which it appears (e.g., social, mobile, video)?

Content marketing requires that the marketer resist the urge to constantly sell.  Instead, the focus becomes being a resource, adding value and being creative.  The content, whether it appears online or in other media venues, is well crafted to meet the needs of a specific audience.  This type of content gets noticed, remembered and redistributed via social media channels or word of mouth.

Focus on the goal: ROI

The content you will put so much time and effort into creating should ultimately be measured by the results it generates.  Establish clear metrics for your content strategy in order to measure its success.  Content that consistently and easily leads consumers to value your brand will demonstrate strong return on investment.

Make 2011 the year you commit, or recommit to generating great content.  Your brand will certainly benefit.

To learn more about content marketing, check out this in-depth interview with Kristina Halvorson, CEO of Brain Traffic, a content strategy consultancy.

Author: Steve Sonn

Steve Sonn is the Principal of S2 Marketing Communications. He has more than 25 years of marketing and PR experience with health care and business-to-business companies.

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