In a recent post on Medium, Gary Vaynerchuk offered this advice to small and medium-size businesses looking to drive their marketing:
“You get on Facebook, and Twitter, and Pinterest, and Medium, and YouTube, and start cranking out content on everything that matters to your community.”
In theory, this is a great approach because brands can create interest, transactions and loyalty by leveraging customer-centric content.
The challenge, however, is how to stand out from the crowd as more brands start to embrace content marketing. In other words, how do you stick out when everyone is using the same approach?
One of the most important considerations is recognizing that content for the sake of content is no longer enough. This may have worked a couple of years ago, but the content marketing landscape has evolved.
Today, brands need to be more than publishers using different channels (white papers, infographics, blog, case studies, videos, etc.) to engage audiences.
Along with creation content, brands need to develop smart and efficient ways to curate, distribute and share content.
This doesn’t mean a radical shift in content marketing, but it does reflect the need to keep a competitive edge by exploring new approaches and opportunities.
Let’s break things down:
1. Creating content: Many brands find it challenging to create all their own content. They need to have a team and lots of ideas, and have a plan in place to sustain content.
While creating their own content will still be important brands, they should start looking at the value of curating content from third-party sources to support and enhance their content marketing efforts.
2. Sharing content: While there are plenty of tools to implement a “shotgun” approach to social media (blasting out to multiple platforms), brands should be thinking about where and when to get the most impact on content being shared.
This involves two angles: the platforms used to share content, and how and when content is shared. It’s one thing, example, to share content on Twitter but a different thing to share it at certain times using certain hashtags.
3. Generating insight: At the end of the day, content marketing is another marketing channel. And like any marketing channel, brands need to measure and analyze the impact and results. It means assessing how the engagement and interest around the content being created and shared.
This will let a brand tweak or change its content efforts to better serve the needs of users and drive business metrics.
The key takeaway is that while cranking out content has a role, brands also need to be thinking strategically and tactically to drive ROI.