Over the last few years, brands and businesses in all vertical markets have had their eyes opened to developing their content marketing strategies. Every brand marketer has a story
to tell, and through quality content, they can tell those stories in a deeper and more engaging way than in traditional display advertising. Through content, brands can reach consumers where those
consumers want to be and want to recognize themselves: in stories that are relevant to the right consumer at the right moment.
Brands are empowered to create and
accumulate huge volumes of content and haphazardly distribute it through their social and traditional Web channels. That’s great: they’re developing the content they need. Now what? Many
brands are good at creating and distributing a burst of content, but many marketers are left scratching their heads after releasing a flood of content. Could the videos, articles and social engagement
have been delayed and parsed out as a campaign gradually? Should the content just be dispersed with the belief that the digital world is so vast that someone will engage with the content and the
marketer’s brand? The content would have a better chance of sticking, they predict, if only there were a way to extend its shelf life.
Brand storytelling is an art
and a discipline, and it requires strategies for targeting consumers at all points in the path to conversion. To that end, brands need to think about content sequencing. This involves bringing
together advertising technology’s algorithmic sophistication with tried and true content marketing strategies. Coding content and serving it programmatically across various channels, brands can
see higher ROI from their content marketing programs by reaching their target audiences with the content they value at the right moments in a campaign. Smart brands are using new and existing
strategies to keep their content fresh, meeting their audience where and when they are ready for input from a brand through content sequencing.
Repurposing and recycling
content is important to increase its mileage, but it’s also not new. We’ve all seen how a long technical white paper can become a series of insightful industry articles, and content from a
webcast can become a series of blog posts. The more content you have, the greater its chances of being seen when shared throughout a campaign. Merely having a large volume of content
doesn’t guarantee success, but tailoring messages to the audience and tone of each web property and social channel your brand is involved in will increase engagement.
Throwing a handful of content against the wall to see what sticks is simply not good enough, either. Brands need to actively test and measure what works with their audience on each particular web
property. Analyzing to understand what content performs best can also provide insight into what existing messages should be amplified through other channels, including paid media.
Go beyond personalizing content: Target it. Unfortunately, a lot of brands still get hung up at the personalization level. They create content that tells their story, but feels like it could be
addressed to anybody, regardless of the fact that brands and marketers know who their target consumers are, and they have to data to understand a great deal about what is relevant to those consumers.
To really connect, it’s important to personalize.
Simply having the audience stumble upon your brand’s content is also not enough. By the same token, the
technology behind programmatic buying can find those consumers wherever they are on the web. Reach your audience by building campaigns with thought and care. Take the time to understand how you
deliver a message to connect at a personal level that makes consumers want to know more and be part of your conversation.
Think of sequencing as retargeting. A consumer’s
interest in a brand takes shape in different ways along the funnel. The type of content you serve to that consumer should change accordingly. Brands invest in content marketing because content is
engaging, but content is only engaging when it is relevant. The programmatic approach allows content marketers to go one step farther -- to find those consumers wherever they are on the Web, rather
than to simply place content where you think they’ll be. This way, brands can develop content strategies that are always relevant.
It’s up to brands
and marketers to create engaging content. But technology can make that content feel fresh to the consumer throughout a campaign. The programmatic strategy can make these campaigns smarter and
sequenced for maximum impact.