4 Ps, 7 Ps, product marketing…are you wondering if you clicked on the wrong blog post? Well, just for the record, nope. Sure, the 4 Ps of marketing are well-known, Product, Place, Promotion, Price. If you’ve read a little more than basic marketing, you would know the remaining 3 Ps too, People, Processes, Physical Evidence. But what has all this got to do with content? A lot! If you’re putting time, effort, and money into creating good quality content, it’s only fair that you treat it like a product and get the maximum benefit from it.
Content marketing will only be effective if you create the right content product. What is the story you are trying to tell? Who are the folks you want to talk to? Do they like jokes? Do they dig statistics? These are the kind of questions you should ask before creating content for your audience. Too often we create content based on the kind of information we have, and not the kind of content product our audiences are looking for. Thou shalt not make that mistake anymore!
Just like any good product, your content should be available to your audience, when they want to consume it, and not when it is convenient for you to share it. Today, with the content marketing and social media management tools, it is quite easy to post content at the right time. Using analytics, you can even determine the platforms that your target audiences frequent and share your content there. What you do after creating content, is almost as important as creating it. So make the most of the technology available and let you content make its presence felt, at the right place, at the right time.
While it’s true that excellent quality content can and should spread organically, with changing social media platform algorithms and niche target audiences, it might not be wise to only rely on organic reach. Strike a balance between paid and unpaid reach. Be strategic when it comes to paid reach. In the end, everyone is driven by emotions. So sports events, special days, festivals, make sure you leverage those while strategizing your content promotion plan. While creating a great piece of content, focus on the story you’re telling and let everything else take a backseat. But once the story’s written and ready, treat it like a product and don’t hold yourself back while selling it to your audience.
With so much content of a reasonably good quality available online, free of cost, it is getting increasingly difficult to convince your audience of the merit or value in shelling out money for your content. One way to work around this is to give as much knowledge and information as you can, without losing your competitive advantage, free; and enticing your audience to opt for a related service or experience that is to be paid for. Example; run a fantastic food blog, and ask people to pay for the recipe book. Or give your fitness test out for free, and offer paid consultation with an expert. Create a video series, and offer a premium experience like ad-free watching, access to exclusive content, meet and greet with the actors, etc. for a subscription fee.
No matter how many guidelines you create and implement, or style guides you follow to the tee, content creation is a creative process. The ones that work on it will leave a mark on it. You can only make sure it’s impressive. If you were that person who made the intern manage your brand’s Facebook page with no involvement form you, stop reading for a moment. Look into a mirror and tell yourself, “I will never make this mistake again!”And now you can continue reading. If you are hiring a content agency, make sure you have people at your end who understand your brand story and can supervise it’s translation into content that works for your audience. People matter more than tools; it’s more about the wizard than about the wand!
What you do is important, but how you do it is very important too. It’s necessary to have a method to the madness, an order to the chaos of content creation and marketing. Don’t let it be random. Have a schedule and plan ahead for the type of content to be created and the timelines and platforms for at least the first 5 pieces of each content product. While creating content, you may want to brainstorm, read about similar stuff online, jot down ideas, pick out the relevant ones, bounce them off with members of another team, reach out to someone who fits your target audience type maybe. You need not do all of this for every content piece but thinking along these lines will give you a good way to start off.
Physical evidence refers to proof that the service has been delivered, and also pertains to how the business or brand is perceived in the market. In terms of content marketing, this would refer to responses, reports of traction on the content, feedback from readers, etc.
There’s one simple rule to live by. In a world full of options and solutions, when your audience has a question, it is imperative that you…
Be the best answer – Lee Odden