“Content marketing” is a hot term right now. Most marketers have accepted the fact that customers would rather seek out information about a brand rather than be bombarded by self-serving messages. The question is how can we make the most of this shift and optimize the content we are disseminating, while at the same time, achieve bottom-line marketing objectives?

Content marketing is a broad term that applies to basically any written or spoken communication. It covers websites, newsletters, white papers, videos, blogs, podcasts, email blasts, mobile apps, etc. The aim is to disseminate information that has value to the customer; something that they will learn from, engage with, save and share.

In the American Marketing Association’s February 29, 2012 issue of Marketing News, the following seven tips about content marketing were shared:

  1. Think and act like a publisher. This means to instill messaging guidelines and develop an editorial calendar to keep on track.
  2. Hire the experts. If you don’t have the depth on staff to create tight, branded content, look for outside help. You need to be telling compelling stories consistently, not occasionally.
  3. Take a holistic view. Assign one person to be in charge of content. Just like a “brand steward,” this person will also make sure content is on target.
  4. Create a content strategy. Many companies jump into social media without a well-developed plan that can ensure consistent, relevant and compelling content. Without a defined strategy, your social media efforts are doomed to failure.
  5. Reuse and recycle. Content can be created and reused in different ways and in different channels. It may seem like repetition but it also reinforces important messages and information.
  6. Keep it short, sweet and entertaining. Content should be bite-size and pack a punch such as how-to tips or trend charts.
  7. Be helpful. If your content can help people in their jobs or lives, it can become a catalyst for brand awareness and customer loyalty.

At Responsory, we focus on the four basic C’s to content marketing: Make it clear. Make it concise. Make it compelling. Do it consistently! Successful content marketing takes discipline, planning and diligence. In today’s customer-centric marketing place, the payoff can be the engagement necessary to build loyalty and preference.