Back in the distant past of 2009, "content" and "marketing" weren't dating. Now they are a couple in the fast-moving world of brand publishing.
Luke Kintigh, managing editor of Intel's new media property called iQ, shared his knowledge from a crash course in content marketing in a recent blog post in The Content Marketeer.
"There is no doubt," Kintigh says, "content marketing is shaking up the marketing world, forcing CMOs to rethink and shift their resources to create newsrooms, content tabs and positions such as Chief Content Officer and Content Strategist."
One of the first lessons Kintigh describes is the imperative to leave "overt marketing fluff" at the door and instead generate content "that one would actually want to share and consume." Before plunging in head first, it is smart to "take the pulse of the Web," he says, by seeing what your target audiences read and share — and where they do it. "Don't mistake marketing objectives," he notes, "for audience interests."
When you reach audiences, Kintigh says, you want to optimize their interaction with your content by ensuring it works on a spectrum of devices — from desktop computers to tablets to smartphones. It also must adapt, he says, to a range of communications channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and YouTube.
It is okay to curate content, but in the end the best content, Kintigh insists, is original content. Producing original content, he adds, requires thinking and acting as a brand publisher to "win our audience's attention and ultimately their business."
Original content may seem hard to dig up, but not really. A company such as Intel has incredible resources, from 30,000 scientists to hundreds of community outreach projects. Intel can talk about new technology, exciting product advances, intriguing back stories, outstanding employees, milestone events and employee volunteerism. This can lead to a wide variety of content that appeals to many audiences. It also can lead to a steady stream of fresh content that lures back your audience for more.
A key virtue of content marketing is that it doesn't have that "here today, gone tomorrow" quality of advertising. Through the use of newsrooms, content can be maintained, archived, revisited, updated and even superseded. A good content strategy lulls an audience into a long ride instead of a passing moment.
Another strong suit of online newsrooms, Kintigh says, is their ready-made ability to integrate paid, owned and earned media. This is marketing PR at its finest.
Online newsrooms also serve as great spots for your own employees to stay up-to-date with what's happening.
Fine, you say, for a company like Intel that can afford talented people to imagine and execute content marketing strategies. But the truth, is content marketing is a lot more egalitarian than you might think. You can develop and post great content at relatively low cost, certainly compared to other forms of marketing.
Yes, it does take the instincts of a journalist to focus on what your audience wants or needs to know that you can offer, but isn't that part and parcel of marketing? Instead of giving audiences hype, you supply content. That content provides a platform for ongoing engagement — and for building trust.
Intel's iQ may represent the upper end of what's doable. But instead of letting it intimidate you, let it inspire you to do what you can with your resources. Promote yourself to Chief Storyteller and start telling your story.
Thanks to Luke Kintigh for permission to excerpt from his post in The Content Marketeer.