In today's digital milieu, marketers are becoming ever more reliant on written, auditory, and visual content media to inform, entertain, and otherwise address the needs of their target audience. In this way, content has become a vital tool for giving substance to a company's vision and articulating its brand message. However, a well-developed content marketing plan should consist of more than a random string of repurposed content pieces; it should be part of an integrated digital marketing strategy that uses numerous content media to seamlessly convey a company's brand message.
Here's a quick example.
THE BRAND MESSAGE
Meet Wendy's Web Design (WWD), a small B2B company specializing in...web design. With only 10 employees (including Wendy), WWD is a firm believer that all small business websites should be built using the HTML5 markup language with responsive web design (RWD).
In other words, Wendy has a clear vision, which she's crystalized into a simple brand message that reads something like this: "HTML5/RWD sites are the future of the Internet. Your company needs one now."
Wendy has already built WWD's site using HTML5/RWD and set up profiles on the major social media platforms relevant to her business. Now she's ready to build a content strategy that articulates her core brand message. Wendy knows this content will need to educate, inform, entertain, and resolve.
Wendy decides to start by creating a foundational eBook that explains more about HTML5/RWD technologies, and why small businesses should consider using them to design/redesign their company website. She writes the copy, and works with her graphic designer to create some cool images and graphics to give the eBook some visual punch. She also makes sure to include social share buttons on each page to make it more interactive.
WWD uses a marketing automation system. Wendy asks her designer to create a really eye-popping call-to-action (CTA) linking to a catchy landing page where readers can download the new eBook free of charge. Her designer also creates an eMail lead-nurturing campaign offering relevant top, middle, and bottom-of-the-funnel content via periodic eMails to those who download the eBook.
Next, Wendy drafts a number of blogs, each one exploring various sub-themes of her eBook in greater detail. She includes the CTA at the bottom of each blog to ensure interested parties become marketing leads.
Reflecting on the fact that many small business owners (target audience) like her are really busy, Wendy decides to experiment with a few new content media - audio blogs. To begin with, she simply reads out each blog, recording and uploading it as an embedded MP3 file with a link placed next to her written blog title. This way, people can listen to her blogs while they are driving, working out, cleaning, etc.
Knowing that she wants to build up her video portfolio on YouTube (the 2nd largest search engine on Earth, behind Google), she decides to record a series of videos that touch on various aspects of the web design process, such as how to protect your online assets during a site redesign. She shares these videos over WWD's social media sites, embedding each one in Facebook and Pinterest.
Wendy's graphic designer suggests Wendy record a webinar reviewing the entire website redesign process. They decide to pre-record the webinar rather than host it live; WWD then issues it as a separate content piece.
A few of the WWD crew decide to have some fun creating a slide-share deck of the crappiest websites they can find on the Internet. Calling it the "How Not To Guide For Website Redesign", they post it on their website and various social platforms.
One of Wendy's co-workers is really into Instagram. She decides to take a series of photos of the WWD crew in action at the office then create a photo collage which she can share on WWD's Facebook page.
Thanks to WWD's use of HTML5/RWD, Wendy's web-based content plays well on most mobile devices.
A true convert to integrated digital marketing, Wendy has many more ideas as to how she can use content to articulate WWD's unique brand message, but she decides to save them for next month's campaign. After all, Wendy doesn't want to overwhelm her target audience...
Image courtsey of Avant-Guardian Musings: by Dorthy Barenscott