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Content marketing and the art of reflection

How is content marketing in a pandemic going for you? Are you sticking to your strategy or has it all gone out the window as you focus on more immediate needs? Maybe you’ve had to furlough the staff who manage this for you, or you’re pivoting to a new business model, which needs a fresh perspective.

Digital marketing is no longer a pile ‘em high, bang it out factory. Not everyone has time to pull together an integrated strategy, but we all appreciate that customers like quality readable content... even if we don’t always have time to write it. So where is the comfortable balance, the happy sweet spot in the middle for content marketing?

Black hat, spammy practices (the linkbait, the keyword stuffing), have been phased out and replaced with an understanding that people using the internet like to read and watch things. So, creative strategy - and content marketing - enables brands and their marketers to do just that. It’s all about the long game of quality, readable content. And the magic that happens when you watch how this impacts Search Engine visibility, website traffic and (sshh!!) Sales!

If social media levelled the playing field so challenger brands and small local businesses could compete with the really big players for customer time, content marketing enabled the guys that do it well to stand out - in their local market and to their international fans.

Reflect, test, measure

Every post you read is probably part of a campaign or a strategy. Somewhere, someone will be sitting back and reflecting, testing and measuring and considering if objectives have been met. This isn’t invading your privacy as a browser or a buyer, but it is where marketing and PR pros watch how relationships with brands develop.

I build this measure and reflection time into my work plans. Even in a pandemic, some things are non-negotiable! If we were praying and spraying and just chucking content out into a one-way conveyor belt we wouldn’t need to think about anything else.

We wouldn’t need this quiet time away from the desk for planning or measure. And we’d broadcast sales messages, maybe post the odd offer or funny photo of our pet. And hope for the best.

Browsers and buyers

But this isn’t personalised marketing, it isn’t strategy and when we look back, how will we know if it helped us turn browsers into buyers if we didn’t have a plan?

If we’re posting for posting’s sake, rushing in panicking, why are we bothering if we’re not sure who we are speaking to or why? If it‘s just so we ‘have something’ new in our feed, do we really think people will want to read it?

Doesn’t our loyal community who checks in with us whenever they see a post or an email deserve a story?

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