Content marketing remains hot. It is the lifeblood of multichannel marketing. Actually if we keep the blood analogy going, then I guess customer data is the blue blood being pumped to the lungs and content marketing is the oxygen/data-enriched red blood that is being pumped out of the heart and across…. Never mind-this is getting too complex for me..
Complexity however, is the key word. Gartner defines content marketing as the process and practice of creating, curating and cultivating text, video, images, graphics, e-books, white papers and other content assets. These assets are used to tell stories that help brands engage with and nurture customers, prospects and other audiences. Marketer’s ability to supply, credible, authentic, valuable, relationship building content marketing continues to be a big challenge for marketers. Have you ever seen a nurturing white paper?
Marketers do see content marketing as a top investment priority. Gartner’s 2015 survey on digital marketing spending ranks content marketing No. 1 in spending priority after digital advertising. See “CMO Spend Survey 2015: Eye on the Buyer” (clients only). Just throwing money at it won’t solve the problem though. It takes investment in people, process and technology to get there. Many marketers find themselves with the lack of skills, expertise and resources to become true content marketers. But that hasn’t dampened their interest. Marketers believe it’s fundamental to effective social marketing, mobile marketing, search engine optimization and other multichannel engagement strategies.
Marketers will need a lot of content in real-time, also adding to the complexity. Marketers are adding more real-time capable connections such as mobile, social, digital signage, wearables. All content pipelines. Think about content being fired off by the Internet of Things at the precise moment it’s needed. Marketers will need more content sources, the ability to orchestrate content across channels, and targeted content that includes the context of place and time, adding to the continual “conversation” they are having with their audiences. Above all, they will need creativity.
When there is great compelling content, you can see it a mile away. One of my favorite creative content marketing examples is a video from Bob Dylan “The Complete Album Collection, vol. 1” campaign. The video showed viewers how to interact with it by switching through 16 “TV channels” in real time. It was a fascinating experience that really tells the story of how Bob Dylan himself remains so influential and still so deeply woven into our culture today. You can try it here. Take that press release!
This Monday, Gartner for Marketing Leaders dives into what content marketing leaders are doing to make content marketing effective, measurable, shareable, and something to be sought after.
Next week, I’ll discuss why event-triggered techniques in multichannel marketing is the force that reminds me of string theory’s vibrational states corresponding to a graviton. But in the meantime, some thoughts from my colleagues on how to feed the content beast: