Commentary

Content Marketing: How Successful Brands Are Breaking Through

Many successful brands are turning to content marketing these days. In recent months I’ve seen effective campaigns from a CPG company seeking new customers and a vision care expert looking to educate a new generation of patients. I’ve even seen a hospitality company break new ground in storytelling with its own 90-person content marketing team and a studio that produces films and documentaries.

Different brands, different goals, but they’re all finding breakthrough ways to combine strong media partnerships, compelling content, high-impact environments, top-tier audiences and timely metrics so they can keep improving cost efficiency and performance. That’s content marketing at its best.

If you’re looking to add content marketing to your mix, here are a few ideas to consider.

Choose a media partner who will go on the journey with you. Many media companies today assist with content. Look for expert partners who go above and beyond, providing you with help developing multimedia content based on data, analytics and deep audience insights, as well as offering options for supporting display media and creative best practices.

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Work with a partner who will collaborate with you to find the sweet spot where audience needs overlap with your brand goals to ensure engagement and receptivity to your message.

Even if you work in a highly regulated industry, like insurance or financial services, custom content marketing can still be a valuable component of your mix  -- as long as you have a partner who understands all the complexities.

Look for opportunities to create full-funnel impact. Content marketing is most effective when your media partner understands your target audience deeply enough to help you develop a campaign that utilizes best practices to meet your key performance indicators (KPIs). This will create impact across the full purchase funnel.

For example, the vision-care campaign (for our client), which I noted earlier, sought to educate people about age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The strategy combined content to raise condition awareness with a transactional campaign that reached both those at risk and those with AMD.  The two-pronged strategy moved the target audience to take action, resulting in both increased awareness and purchases.

Take advantage of robust metrics to optimize performance. Your media partner should provide you with performance reports or dashboards for each campaign that track the success of KPIs. Total audience reach and traffic are still the most popular KPIs, but you may also want to consider measuring engagement, video completion, sharing, awareness, recall, purchase intent, and, of course, direct sales.

In addition, consider asking your partner to conduct a content effectiveness study so that you can optimize your content and continue improving campaign performance over time. 

Bottom Line

Custom content marketing can help you increase awareness, build engagement, and drive performance among your target audiences. Maximize the power of content marketing by leveraging deep audience insights, data-driven content development, and creative best practices to connect with target consumers in the environments they trust and prefer, and your overall marketing efforts will thrive.

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