Behold, the Future of Content Marketing

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Behold, the Future of Content Marketing

The current formula for turning web content into a viral sensation may be tried and true, but the future for that kind of content marketing is limited, according to digital analyst, author and futurist Brian Solis at Altimeter Group. Solis recently spoke with Technorati about the future of content marketing, reserving his harshest criticism for clickbait articles and current engagement measurement practices, and reinvigorating our faith in quality content.
Solis expressed his exasperation with clickbait articles that promise to “blow your mind” without offering real value to visitors. Sure, these posts capture a good deal of attention, but as people learn how empty the promises are on the other side of the click, their popularity will die a quick death. This model simply is not sustainable, Solis notes. Tricking visitors into jumping through a hoop only tires them out, he explains. Rather than clicks, the goal should be interaction, engagement. Visitors should think about and share the content, he adds. But that all starts with good content rather than sensational headlines.
Another frustrating thing about content marketing practices today is the continued emphasis given to impressions rather than expressions, Solis says. Getting eyeballs on your brand is the low-hanging fruit of content marketing; meaningful engagement is key. But just what is meaningful engagement? In a word, it’s a relationship, he notes — meaning interactions between companies or brands and their target audience need to be both two-sided and genuine.
We here at Brandsplat couldn’t agree more. But that kind of relationship building takes a lot of time and energy. It requires companies to write and promote engaging blogs plus stay on top of their social media feeds — all while presenting a consistent message in one voice to their audiences. If you’re running a small- to medium-sized business, this is probably one of just 17 hats you rotate daily. And that means it’s not being done well — or at least that it’s not being done as well as it could. If you’re tired of losing customers to your competition, reach out to us. We’ll take a look at your digital presence and recommend what changes you could make to increase your engagement (hint: the first one will be to let the experts do it for you so you can focus on the rest of your work).

How to Handle Increasing Content Demand

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Some of our clients already know how to write great web content (and if you’re not sure, take the “So What?” test here.

But once that great content gets noticed, it’s not long before it brings in new business as well as demands for more such great content. And that means less time to create it in the first place.

This is a common, though nice-to-have, problem among successful marketers. In fact, two-thirds of business-to-business marketers recently surveyed say they can’t keep up with content production demands. If you’re in this position, you have three choices: Delegate the writing, continue to hope the writing will somehow magically get done or resign yourself to the notion that the writing will not get done any time in the near future.

So, you’ve decided to delegate, then? How smart. Here’s how to proceed:

1. Choose a writing partner — Ideally, you’re looking for one or more individuals (perhaps even a firm) with a history of effective content creation and great client references. When you interview prospective partners, be sure to ask how frequently they hit content deadlines (we’re still at 100% here at Brandsplat!) and how they adapt their writing style to match your needs. A good copywriter will listen to the words you use to describe your work and jot down notes as you’re talking. He or she will ask questions about any jargon your industry uses and present several potential blog topic ideas based on your conversation. A great copywriter will have done research before this meeting and come armed with a myriad of additional questions, including our personal favorite: “What land mines are out there?” This helps the writer know where NOT to step — politics or religion or a weird industry deference to flamingos… Whatever it is, great copywriters know the wisdom in asking ahead of time.

2. Conduct a brain dump — Once you’ve chosen your writing partner, they will want to sit down with you for anywhere between 10 and 60 minutes to discuss your audience, previous attempts at connecting with them (what worked vs. what didn’t and why) and basically get a feel for how they can step into your shoes. When you’re busy, the thought of finding another hour in your schedule to bring your writing partner up to speed can seem daunting, but remember: That’s the last hour you have to spend worrying about how little writing you’re doing! You’ll be officially off the hook.

3. Sit back and relax — Totally kidding. You’ve still got that huge to-do list waiting for you, and it’s getting bigger by the minute! But now that you’ve delegated the content piece, you have freed up your schedule a bit more and can get down to business. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

Whether you or someone you love needs help with delegating their content writing, we’re here for you. Give us a call at (800) 299-5498 or drop us an email at hello [at] brandsplat [dot] com and let us take some of the pressure off.