A content marketing agency is one of the latest definitions of agencies you will find. It’s far from a flash in the pan sector. The reality is that content marketing has been performed by brands for a long time, but digital has given it a completely different direction. So what is it? In essence, it can be best described as sponsored editorial. No different to PR type outreach, or otherwise sponsored editorial, that would have appeared in magazines or newspapers historically – and still does.
The digital age has flipped the concept.
Now you have the ability to publish your own content across your own channels. You are creating content for a couple of reasons. They are to attract search clicks, sharing and encourage buyers to act. Your content will target consumer intent; by complimenting their keyword search terms. This could be an answer to a question, for example. Your content should make users feel compelled to act.
The second application for content marketing is content which is published on other people’s channels. It’s likely this will ultimately link to you (a strong SEO performance metric) and it’s definitely going to increase buyer awareness and intent. Examples include sponsored articles, videos or product placements. It does naturally crossover into the worlds of PR, influencer marketing, events and more. The key difference, is you control the content and you create such good assets that there’s no intention to alter it. Another example of this type of content marketing is on page content on platforms such as Amazon or eBay – using rich media to support your brand on the 3rd party network.
A good content marketing agency sits within your digital marketing mix but should also be mindful of traditional media. It’s function is to create amazing assets – not only good copy about your products or services – but video, pictures, photos, illustrations and models all of which could compliment your brand offering. In short, the role is to influence people about your product, answer their questions and compel action whether this is through demonstration, promise or any other combination that plays on a consumers buying decisions.
It’s place in the marketing mix is unique, yet completely common with all of the other channels. At their heart, those producing traditional media are also content creators. Imagine your creative agency are producing video for a TV advertisement. On set you have a combination of actors, the tone of a set and most importantly the product – usually being used in a relatively common setting. This is all content! What you get at the end is your TV advert. With the right level of planning, you can maximise this time to also obtain photography, detail that can go on to inform illustration and diagrams, offshoots of video assets that can be utilised via other media and a write up of everything that makes your product great. Not to mention voice over from the actors who are acting for your brand.
This time used wisely then generates the content to take across all your digital channels – including social media marketing, streaming video platforms, streaming audio placements and influencer feeds where you are both in control of the content assets and you’re feeding these influential platforms with consistent, on brand assets that boost the extent and effectiveness of any campaign that you run.
Your content marketing agency should be generating great ideas. They should work in conjunction with your other creatives and uniquely interpret content opportunities which are everywhere. With The Bank, this usually starts with what people are asking across a range of networks. Often with such questions, these aren’t related to your product. They are not: what’s the best carpet washer to get wine out of a carpet? They are: how do you get wine out of a carpet quickly? Discerning the difference is the heart of a good content marketing agency. Answering the question innovatively is what makes them superb.
As the brand marketer, you live and breathe your brand each day. You’re in it, selling it whether consciously or unconsciously, because you love and own it. In the above example, the brand marketer brainstorms content based exclusively on their product filling ever facet of their website and social feed with product features and benefits.
The reality is that consumers don’t think like that. They’re motivated by the problem, not your product as the solution.
They do not ask:
The job of the content marketing agency is to position your product as the answer to those issues. You need to raise awareness and aspiration that your brand is going to solve the problem. Then create the content which does this best.
Perhaps if your TV asset shows a car hurtling across the plains of the Saraha, your content marketing strategy can show it in real environments, here in the UK. This could mean using aspirational influencers to take on their own Sahara. You make the vehicle real for the end user. If you’ve got a well known face consuming your brand on outdoor media, show real users consuming it across your content. The celebrity raises the awareness, your channels then reinforce it. Let content come from the consumption of your product for the benefit of others.
The Bank have the ability to create not only the big ticket media campaign but the more intricate content that compliments and helps to convert. This turns your main campaign into genuine selling assets. We operate with clients craft content from existing assets or to create whole campaigns with content marketing a core part. Content marketing deserves an equal place at the table. It shouldn’t be an after thought.