The opportunity for content marketing is still alive and well, if we are willing to do what it takes to win the game. This message was prevalent in the keynote presentation by Mark Schaefer last week at the Insight Marketing Conference. His talk was based on his forthcoming book, “Known,” which is about ‘being known’ online. No one says it better than Mark, but I will do my best to paraphrase his key points. Here are three things to know about the future of content marketing.
#1: Content isn’t enough. A powerful one-liner from Mark’s presentation: “The economic value of content is zero unless it’s being read and moved." There is a vast amount of content on the web - and it's only increasing. In fact, data will increase 500% by 2020!
Creating content is only the starting point. Content must move! It must be interacted with and be shared; ignited! This is one reason why an Alpha Audience is so important. They will be your biggest advocates and will help your content move.
#2: Be a source of rich content. In this over-saturated online world, it’s not enough to simply tweet or post updates on social media channels. In order to have real authority on the web, a business needs a certain type of content that has depth. Every organization active on the social web needs at least one source of “rich content made up of one of three of the following: a blog, a podcast, or a video series. This is the kind of content that has depth. It’s the content that moves!
#3: In order to build trust, we must have the courage to put ourselves out there. People work with those they know, like and trust. This is why it’s so important to showcase the human element. Mark offered an excellent example based on the over-saturated market of real estate. In his county, there are over 6,000 licensed real estate agents. The one that stands out is a gal who shares personal and entertaining photos on Instagram. You have to see it to believe it! Unlike other realtors, she isn’t posting photos of homes. As Mark said, “You can’t build an emotional connection showing houses.” Spot-on example! But, you must have the courage to put yourself out there.
We are entering a pivotal time for social media marketing, particularly those who want to leverage content to play the online game. It’s crucial to come to the table with not only a strategy, but a darn good one. The opportunity is there, but it will require courage and hard work. Do you have what it takes?