With a new decade now upon us, I feel that it is the perfect time for a spot of reflection on the years behind and to prepare for the years ahead.
These days, the market and therefore marketing practice is evolving at an increasingly rapid pace and businesses must be able to change with the times.
To keep up to speed with the rest of the world, business owners and CEOs need to take the time to climb up out of the jungle that is running a business and survey the surrounding landscape. In short, be strategic and not just tactical, otherwise, the business ends up being squeezed out of the market.
Act Like a Media Company First
I believe that if any business has any chance of surviving the decade ahead, they must first act like a media company in their own right.
To get their particular product or service "out there" they need to emotionally engage the attention of their potential consumers with content which entertains, educates or inspires.
If you can do all three with your content then you're producing what I like to call a "triple threat."
Above all, businesses should exhibit personality, they need a brand.
With a plethora of different platforms all competing for consumer recognition, people's attention spans are - at best - divided. I think it's safe to say that we can expect the trend to continue into the next decade.
Having a purpose beyond profit is also essential in a time where the power rests with the people and they're voting with their wallets.
So give them a reason to vote for you and distribute those reasons, "why," consistently.
I believe we the success of our methodology lies in our intuitive and holistic 6-step approach:
- Know yourself & know the consumer
- Know the competitive landscape
- Form your Strategy
- Execute the tactics
- Measure the results
- Learn from your data
It seems simple right? Let's take a closer look.
1 - Know yourself and the consumer intimately
Client psychographics have overtaken demographics which means that knowing our ideal clients values, activities, interests, lifestyle and of course, media consumption has never been more important because if we are to reach them we don't just need to know where they are consuming media but what their interests might be so we can give them a gentle nudge in our direction.
If you've been reading along on the Business News Australia website and my LinkedIn articles, you may have noticed that understanding your values and purpose are important.
Why? Because how are we supposed to attract like-minded individuals if we're unable to articulate our values & purpose.
A deep understanding of why we do what we do helps to keep your content marketing efforts on your unique passionate course.
They inspire your tone of voice in your copy, your visuals in video production and branding colour palettes.
Our values, what we are passionate about and the reasons why we get out of bed every day, enable us to unite our corporate culture to develop a business "vehicle" on purpose.
2 - Know the competitive landscape
With the shifting attention of your potential clients bouncing from one need to the next, staying informed on the competitive landscape will help you determine whether you need to adapt your business model to suit.
This could mean adding or removing services and/or product lines.
Knowing your competitors helps you identify these changes and to fuel your curiosity as to why this change is afoot.
Researching trends in technology advancements and new consumer behaviour then helps you backup your initial theories to determine why your competitors might be changing.
As Cisco announces "Annual global IP traffic will reach 4.8 ZB per year by 2022" we enter the age of Zettabytes (A zettabyte is one sextillion (one long scale trilliard) bytes) and so we have access to more data than we know what to do with.
Thankfully the data that you need is almost as easy to get as a simple Google search away. And, thanks to the availability of data analysis tools we can establish what channel we should be engaging with and whether or not our ideas might fly.
3 - Form your Strategy
Strategic Goals are the pillars that hold up your business.
Traditionally the marketing department doesn't normally come up with these but because they are the gateway to the outside world they really should be across them.
In our experience, most businesses try to limit their business strategy focus to between three to five pillars under categories like Organisational Goals, Monetization, Engagement, Innovation/Growth, Operations.
All of the above pillars require their own KPIs which detail the specific numbers that dictate whether or not campaigns are successful. Tracking and reporting on these in
comparison with industry benchmarked growth is essential.
Preparing your KPIs ahead of developing your marketing campaigns will help ensure you don't veer off track - chasing the next shiny thing just for the sake of being innovative.
4 - Execute the tactics
A well-developed content marketing methodology can be otherwise described as the combination of well-researched, consumer-centric content production (eg. blogs, videos, infographics), Distribution of content (eg. targeted social media marketing (SMM)), paid targeted advertising driving engagement and/or traffic and leads, All while improving your Google organic ranking (SEO).
Note: Your distribution should be where your customers are hanging out most - which you discovered during step one.
5 - Measure the results
Use the detailed campaign data to understand whether we're making an impact and what can be changed or doubled down on to improve growth.
While it should be natural to explore ideas which may be a little outlandish, without constant measurement of your content marketing efforts you're sure to veer off course.
6 - Learn from your data
At MeMedia we use the Test, Measure, Improve, Grow method to best optimise our professional practice.
We understand that if we don't learn from our past work what we did right and what we could have done better than we run the risk of making the same mistakes without knowing we're making them.
It might sound trite, but not a working day days go by where we don't learn. Every campaign yields not only results but information that enables us to continuously better
ourselves and our business.
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