By Rex Hammock

The ideas and practices that encompass what is today called content marketing have been used since the advent of mass media and the industrial revolution. However, the development of digital media has spurred the marketing and communication industry to reboot the labels, definitions and roles of content tools and strategies.

If you’re still confused by what content means when applied to establishing and growing relationships with those you serve, here are five ways for your organization to ring in the new year with renewed content marketing efforts.

  1. Agree on an organizational-wide definition of content. Keep it short and concise. If not, your definition will encompass every form of human expression. Make sure your definition is unique to the ways you’re already using different content and media formats to establish your brand, sell your service and deepen your relationships with members or customers.
  2. Reconsider the metaphors you use to define the roles of content. Many organizations have used news media or public relations metaphors that focus on the flow of content, curation of news, and the quickest post or content. Unfortunately, such metaphors often focus more on the content of the moment. Educational or sales-oriented metaphors are better metaphors to use. Using an encyclopedia as a metaphor led to Wikipedia’s ubiquitous presence on the internet. Providing how-to help for using products like PhotoShop turned into a billion-dollar company.
  3. Agree on what content isn’t. By now, there are several things that have become so standardized and expected that they are requirements and not specialized forms of content. For example, social media and basic SEO practices should already be baked into everything your organization does. Customer experience, research and analytics, and automation have become part of the infrastructure of content marketing, not the goal of content marketing.
  4. Set goals. Develop and distribute content that helps you achieve two goals: (1) Help those who need your product or service become your customer. (2) Help those who already own your product or service understand how to use them to reach their goals.
  5. Only you know how to do the following: Ensure senior management is on board and part of the solution.

This is the last Idea Email of 2017. Have a wonderful holiday, and we look forward to seeing you on Thursday, January 4, 2018!


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