Do you struggle to explain content marketing to your colleagues? Although many content marketers have a clear understanding in their mind of what it is they do, they find it difficult to explain to clients, colleagues and other marketing professionals. In 2008, The Journal of Marketing Management, Volume 24 published the article Understanding Digital Content Marketing. In the article, the author, Jennifer Rowley, explains how in order to understand content marketing in the digital space, we must see digital content as ‘information’.
Sound simple? In some ways, this seems like a no-brainer. Yet looking at content marketing as information unlocks several simple explanations that can help you describe the nature of content marketing to others. As Rowley explained, in the same fashion as information, the following is true of digital content marketing:
The value is contextual
I’m a marketer. You could feed me all the information in the world about particle physics, and yet it’s still unlikely I would find any value in it. This is because I, the consumer of this information, do not have the contextual background to understand and interpret this information.
The same is true of content marketing; value comes from the context of the person who consumes it, and the occasion in which they consume it. It is this quality which highlights the importance for digital content to be optimised for SEO. If content can be delivered to a consumer at the time at which they are looking for it, they will receive the most value from the information. In turn the brand, too, will receive the most value from this content.
It functions to be shared
Unlike other forms of marketing communications, there is no benefit to exclusivity in digital content, and the value of digital content marketing does not diminish when it is shared. Like information, the rate at which content is shared between consumers in some ways defines its value. The exchange of digital content does not imply any sense of loss; content is not finite in how many times it can be consumed.
It forms only part of a consumer’s information set
Digital content, like information, is gathered and considered alongside information from other sources to inform consumer beliefs and decision-making. One piece of content is unlikely to completely transform a consumer’s perception of a brand, product or service, but can very easily form part of a wealth of information that will permanently influence their opinions.
There is value in how it is packaged
Technology both enables and constrains the delivery of digital content. Take for example mobile technology, which gives access to a more limited range of digital formats than a PC, yet offers some capabilities through things like app technologies, which a PC cannot.
To provide quality information is only half the battle in content marketing. If information or content can be delivered in a means that is preferred, convenient and accessible to an audience, the value of the content is doubled.
Packaging may become dated, information will not
Quality, original digital content and information is evergreen. Yet for both of these, the mode in which it is delivered to an audience is susceptible to become outdated or inaccessible.
Like how information once published is often uploaded to online databases to be accessible by a greater audience, so too must digital content update in line with the changing digital landscape and consumer preferences. For digital content, marketers need to consciously stay on top of the latest trends and updates, with things like social media algorithms sometimes changing multiple times a year.
If you’d like expert assistance with your content marketing program, contact Lush. We create strategic digital content for clients across a range of industries.
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