‘Marketing content’? ‘Content marketing’? It’s all just marketing
But, what if I told you none of that actually mattered, because this battle of words may soon come to an end?
That’s the headline conclusion from Gartner’s ‘Market Guide for Content Marketing Platforms‘ (subscription required). Of the content marketing agencies surveyed, over 80% now produce some or all of both their clients’ content marketing and marketing content.
Let’s get some context. ‘Marketing content’ refers to any content produced by a marketing team – from PR docs to product specs.
‘Content marketing‘ is a subset of marketing content that came to fruition along with the Internet. It’s a strategy all of its own that relies on the regular creation and promotion of content through various media channels.
The core aim of content marketing is to generate revenue by presenting the company as an authoritative voice in a particular field and providing value to the reader. Here’s how things have looked until now:
*Graphic courtesy of Gartner
The Gartner study illustrates how the lines have begun to blur between the two. It suggests that the narrative, assistive qualities of content marketing have now leeched through to marketing as a whole.
When you mull it over, you’ll quickly realise this has been building up for a while. TV and web video ads are now expected to tell a funny, informative story first and foremost, and sell a product second.
Best of all, content marketers needn’t do much to adapt to this new fusion. Just be bullish about putting value to the customer front-and-centre in all types of marketing content, and you can’t go far wrong.
Consumer burnout sounds call for contextualised content marketing
The average consumer is exposed to 5,000 advertising messages per day. But, we’ve reached critical mass in terms of consumer patience:
- 69% are unfollowing brands on social media.
- 69% are closing accounts and ending subscriptions due to irrelevant communications.
- 58% are unsubscribing from most email communications.
So, what is contextualised content marketing and how can content marketers use it to keep consumers on board?
Like all good recipes, it’s light on ingredients. All contextualised content marketing entails is providing the right content for the right person at the right time.
Sounds easy, right? Well, you’ll probably need to change up some of your processes to get this all aligned.
You’ll need to look beyond tired old customer personas. Interact with customers regularly and leverage your customer data to add the context you need to tailor your content.
Consider their purchasing history and the locations they visit using data from all their devices. Look out for trends (such as a customer being more inclined to make a purchase on their commute home) and adapt your strategy accordingly.
Then, use this insight to figure out the problem they’re trying to solve, and how the problem/prospect of resolution makes them feel. Create content that empathises with these factors and gives them a valuable solution based on your unique perspective.
Bingo – you’re now using contextualised content marketing!
Spotted in the news…
It worked. So, the Tories began sponsoring Google ads for the keyword “dementia tax” in an attempt to seize the debate back. This gave them control over which websites readers would be directed to first when searching for this phrase.
Obviously, these pages were highly complimentary about the policy, but the battle didn’t stop there. Whoever ends up winning, this just shows how potent owning a keyword can be.