PHYGiTALNOW is a digital marketing consultancy in Dubai, focused on helping SMEs rebuild for growth. Digital transformation can be daunting with constantly evolving dynamics. Often brands are caught unawares when an algorithm changes or a new feature is introduced. Under the BASiCSNOW series, we publish articles to establish the basics of each discipline within Digital Marketing. In this edition, we focus on content and share best practices of content marketing Dubai.
Content Marketing Institute defines Content Marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience to ultimately drive profitable customer action”. Developing the right content is as important as distributing it through the right channels. You need an overarching Content Marketing framework that dictates how each piece of content should be developed and distributed. How do you go about developing this framework? It is a 6-step process
1. Define the role of ‘Content Marketing’ in the overall marketing mix: A customer’s journey from awareness to retention is an interplay between different marketing disciplines. Some disciplines are more suited for the initial part of the journey, some towards conversion and a few are effective throughout the journey. Content Marketing is one such discipline that can be deployed across the journey. But the tactics differ. During the awareness stage, the ‘authenticity’ of an original content goes a long way to establish brand credentials. During ‘retention’ what works best is personalised content, clearly stating the ‘benefits’.
- Identify the ‘audience’ for your content: A poorly targeted content is a waste of time and resources. And with the data and technology available today, there is no excuse for not having a precise audience segmentation for your brand. There are different ways to segregate the audience. One way is based on purchase behaviour – first time buyer, frequent buyer, loyal customer. You develop content differently for each of them with the aim of converting first time buyers to frequent buyers and then retaining them as loyal customers. Shopping audience can be further segregated based on – frequency of buying, time of buying, place of buying, amount spent, items purchased. Content style and message differs for each segment. A premium watch brand’s content for its loyal customers is not built around the brand features but around the golf tournament the brand sponsors. But the same brand develops product-oriented content and distributes it across media to attract new buyers. Audience segmentation can also be done by creating personas. These personas are developed looking at demographic, psychographic and behavioral data. You should not leave these personas as just data points because that will hardly inspire your content writer. Instead use creative ways to bring alive these personas – use a celebrity example, develop a hypothetical social media profile as to how that persona will behave on social media platforms, use virtual reality models.
3. Develop tactics for the channels of engagement: To identify channels of engagement, you need to analyse your target audience’s current behavior – both potential consumers and existing consumers. What channels, which devices, preferred locations and times and what actions/behavior do they exhibit. You can also understand the motivations of using these channels by analysing their behaviours. Next is a competitive audit. Identify their channel mix and type of content. You can now shortlist the channels that are relevant to your audience and the ones your competition is using. But to choose your own channel mix, you need to first start with the objective. If you are a new brand and your objective is ‘awareness’, you might choose a channel mix of Social Media, Display and Search. It is good to create a hierarchy as to which channel will be the lead. Tactics for each channel will differ. For Social Media, ‘awareness’ creation is best done through short form content like a post or a GIF. Display can start with banners. Search will be built around keywords that are ‘exploratory’ in nature. But what about the content for these tactics?
- Create content: Now that you have clearly defined the objective, content is created to meet that objective. It involves determining the brand personality, what should be the tone of voice and what visual style to adopt. Content Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation is linked and should be in alignment. You need to incorporate priority keywords organically. With so many content types, it is important to determine which type and format is to be used. Even through content creation is a creative process, it should be based on insights gathered by analysing various data points. This analysis will help choose the right format and right topic. What is the ‘ever green’ content that is most relevant to your audience? What should be the format to use for ‘topical’ content? Now that the content is created, how to distribute it?
- Distribute content: There are 4 different ways to distribute content:
- Promoting: Content promotion is both paid and organic. One of the most popular ways of promotion is by using influencers. But it needs to be done with caution. Celebrity influencers – local or global – need to seem relevant to the brand as well as to your target audience. Micro influencers might have a much smaller following but they have a credible relationship with their followers. And they tend to be more discerning in their choice of brands they promote.
- Seeding: Seeding can be done through own channels, using curated content, co-created content, and native content. Own channels are usually own social media channels – seeding is done not just organically but also as paid. Curated content usually in the form of email newsletters, blogs and social posts bring together different sources around a topic. It is important the curation is done systematically and you should always add your own perspective. Co-created content is using the publisher platform to promote your content, like a research paper done jointly. Native content should blend in with the hosting platform in style and tone.
- Scheduling: With a ready content, scheduling across digital channels is a time-consuming process. Especially on Social Media. There are native scheduling options offered by each of the platforms. But third-party systems like Hootsuite or Socialbakers make this process easier to manage.
- Repurposing: This adds longevity to your content. For example, if you have invested time and resources to publish a White Paper, you might have distributed it through your Email Newsletter. But key highlights can be converted to an Infographic and this can be a shared across social media platforms.
- Measure the success of Content Marketing: Content Marketing success can be measured by setting 3 goals:
- Business goals: metrics that can be directly attributed to business objectives like sales. To set Business goal, there should be clear success outcomes set as a base for Content Marketing. Is it lead generation or simply website traffic?
- Performance goals: that are more content focused. To set Performance goal, you need to look at both quantitative and qualitative metrics. The scale of content – reach, impressions etc and the rate of interaction like shares, downloads are quantitative metrics. The qualitative metrics are comprehension, sentiments, or advocacy.
- Investment goals: obviously to measure the cost effectiveness. To set Investment goal, you need to measure the ROI for each channel considering the cost of production as well as distribution
Content Marketing is a broad discipline and covers every aspect of content used to promote the brand. Product description on a label is content, so is the 30sec TVC. Ideally, the Content Marketing framework should be adaptive to both. Is that a big ask?
PHYGiTALNOW is a digital marketing consultancy in Dubai focused on transforming businesses for sustainable growth. We use our proprietary strategic framework C.A.R.T. to design industry specific bespoke marketing solutions. The primary focus is to realise the full revenue potential by providing best-in-class Digital Marketing Services – Search Engine Optimisation, Search Engine Marketing, Website and App Development, Social Media Strategy and Activation, Email Marketing and Digital Advertising. We also provide E-commerce specific services – online marketplace management, conversion optimisation and basket analysis.