A Content Marketing model you can’t ignore
Few years ago, when online marketing was still new in Mauritius, just being “decent” in your communication was acceptable by brands.
Content marketing was just a word thrown in and everyone tried to make sure important information reaches your audience by any means possible.
Today, times have certainly changed.
Customers are more demanding towards brands.
They want more than just the product or the service. They want an experience. Something worth remembering.
The key is content marketing, but not only…
In this blog post, you’ll discover how branding, customer journey and content marketing are linked and how these impact on your content marketing.
Content marketing can no longer be a standalone practice in an organisation. Organisations no longer can afford to have this disconnect between their audience, product and operations. Truth is the old content marketing is dead.
Content marketing is what bridge the gap between the internal environment of an organisation to its audience.
It could be as simple as this but in the current complex environment, you’ll need a seamless and consistent message throughout the different touch-points.
From purpose to content marketing
See, here’s the thing…
Sadly, many organisations are used to only creating mirage content; which basically means content looking great on the surface but failing to convert leads.
This goes even further when companies create content just to make sure they having something out-there talking about them.
Good content marketing stems from the organisation’s purpose; the why or simply the issues the organisation is trying to solve.
This simple model that we developed has been our go-to when it comes to creating content that breathes the purpose of the brand.
We believe good content transcends the purpose of the organisation and helps to strengthen the branding; at the same time foster a singular experience.
The model explained
Everything starts with identifying the clear purpose of the organisation and goes towards deploying a content marketing approach.
Simon Sinek’s famous “Start with Why” theory is the essence of our content marketing model. The why of doing things is a powerful way to know your purpose and what you are trying to achieve.
Being clear enough on the issues you are trying to solve, helps you stay focus and eventually reflects in your branding.
Most organisations fail to gain traction through content marketing as they lose their tone and the unique message they want to communicate; the why they exist.
So if you are a content marketer, it is essential that you understand the purpose of the organisation you are working for.
One question that you should ask is
What is the one thing that you are trying to solve for your customers?
The answer might be blurred at first and sometimes requires that you ask to follow up questions.
Let’s take the example of a coffee shop.
Do not confuse a day to day operation answer to the real purpose of the organisation.
There’s a difference between “I serve latte coffee to my customers, every day” and “I make sure my customers enjoy a good latte coffee and go out of my coffee shop happy”
The second answer would give you the purpose of this coffee shop. To make it clear, its purpose is to make its customers happy with good latte coffee.
In the business world, good purpose equals good return.
And like this, the coffee shop would want its customers to know it as a good place to enjoy good latte; that’s its branding.
As any organisations, branding is one of the most important assets that drive awareness. It connects your purpose to your audience.
It is how customers see and feel you from the outside; what is the story people are sharing about you with others. And, you got to make sure that these stories are in line with your purpose.
If not, it might be that the purpose is not clear enough or that the content created doesn’t transpose the purpose clearly to the outside world (To your audience)
As a content marketer, you should be able to fully understand the brand of the organisation you are working for.
It goes more than just the logo or the visual identity. But, it is also about how the staff interacts with the customers; what are the conversations about.
One question that we always ask is Why brand X? What is so special about you that people out there should know.
Once you understand their brand, this should reflect in any content you are creating.
In an ideal world, the digital branding would be in sync with your offline environment aka your employees and even the deco.
The big challenge for organisations nowadays is to make employees understand that consistency matters, otherwise, you are only making noise.
To communicate, you’ll need channels and good user experience, to be the backbone of good content.
Creating a clear customer journey onto your channels
Mapping your customer journey onto your online and offline environment is essential if you want to create a good experience for your customers.
As the traditional customer journey evolves, the modern customers can now enter an organisation through different touch-points.
To respond to this trending change, the choice of your offline and online channels is very important.
The reason being, you need to be where your customers are and communicate using the content medium that they consume most.
But, in an era of noise and disturbance, creating a good customer journey onto your channels is not sufficient.
It is crucial that you map your content to the customer journey; that’s indeed the most obvious thing to do if you want to increase conversion.
The sweet spot of content marketing
The old content marketing is dead.
We are in the declining phase of information and if you are a content marketer, chances are that you constantly need to re-invent the way you communicate and engage with your audience.
If you are doing one of these, you might find it difficult to convert your leads:
- Non-adaptive and rigid content;
- Not in sync content with your customer journey;
- Content that doesn’t strengthen your brand;
- Most importantly, content that doesn’t make your purpose known.
Depending on your online and offline channel, your content should be immersive and facilitate your audience experience with your service/product.
If you are in content marketing, you need to differentiate between tools and strategy.
If your content doesn’t help the organisation to share its purpose through an enhanced branding and channels, tools like Facebook, Blogs and Podcasts will only amplify a message which is completely broken.
This can easily lead to frustrated clients.
Let’s get deeper, here’s what could happen if your content is not in line with the different elements discussed above.
- Unsynced with the purpose: You will tend to create mirage content which is basically content good on the surface but not helping enough to position the why of the organisation.
- Weak branding: If your content is not speaking your brand, this may create confusion for your audience and weaken your positioning in the market.
- Customer journey unsynced: When there is a gap between your customer journey and your channels, most of the time you end up with a rough experience for your customers. This often results in less conversion.
From Purpose to Content Marketing, here’s how to get it right.
Now that you know how crucial it is to align your content marketing to an organisation’s purpose and branding, here’s 10 steps to get it all:
Spend time understanding the business nature. Not on the surface only, but really dig to understand what they do. To do this, you’ll need to spend time talking both to the teams and their audience.
As any organisations, your client should have an existing branding document or some guidelines helping them to be consistent all through different channels. Get your hands on it.
You’ll also have to do the extra miles by again spend time analysing conversations and how customers perceive the brand.
If there’s a mismatch between the Purpose and what customers are saying, you’ll need to rectify by your content marketing efforts.
Offline and Online Channels
Now that you understand both the purpose and the branding of your client, time to consider which channels best fit their needs. Like any marketer, you’ll also need to question which channels work best for their audience. Remember, you’ll need to be where the customers are.
Customer Journey and Experience
As a content marketer, you wouldn’t want your content to be static. Instead, your content should provide a whole memorable experience to your customers.
The aim of having a smooth customer journey is to increase the conversion from your visitors to actual customers.