Staff Reporters
Aug 6, 2014

Content marketing: Plan and measure for effectiveness

MEDIA DEBATE: Content marketing is the buzzword of the moment. We asked experts to share what distinguishes an effective and sustainable strategy from a flash in the pan moment.

L-R: Legrand, Crampton, Morris
L-R: Legrand, Crampton, Morris

Olivier Legrand

Head of marketing solutions
LinkedIn Asia-Pacific & Japan

To be truly effective, companies need to have an ‘always-on’ mindset, which includes having a proactive content strategy and calendar to ensure a regular engagement flow. They must also ‘listen’ to live social conversations to incorporate trending topics that will make their content more relevant, or to respond to issues in a timely manner.

Relevance helps drives content engagement from audiences that matter to a brand or its business mission, particularly in a B2B or professional context. A key to achieving relevance, particularly on social networks is an intimate understanding of the very different mindsets of users when they are on personal versus professional networks. Context matters a lot — tailoring and targeting your content to different platforms and mindsets will help to ensure your content continues to rule, and help to drive emotions such as trust around your brand at the same time. 

When measuring effectiveness, two things should be top of mind — the degree to which a piece of content is amplified by your target audience, and the extent to which the emotions generated from content engagement aligns with your overall objectives or mission as a company.

Thomas CramptoN
Global managing director

We recently teamed up with SurveyMonkey to conduct a survey of more than 6,000 social media sharers across 16 markets to understand this very question. Three strong threads emerged from the research. The findings: first, funny and informative content is king. We found that ‘Edutainment’ often hits a sweet spot and is far more likely to be shared by social media users. Second, social media sharers care more whether a piece of content is interesting than where it came from. Third, emotion is a key driver in why we share content. People have a desire to share content in support of a specific cause or issue they feel strongly about. 

That said, we found that preferences around what content people liked to share varied significantly between countries. This means that a few general rules hold true: it is essential for content strategies to be adjusted to local markets. A simple translation will not create work that will be shared.

To measure the effectiveness of content strategies, we look at quantitative and qualitative results. The latter is increasingly important. It provides us with user sentiment and reveals motivations for sharing or engaging in dialogue with a brand. It also matters who is sharing the content. Is it your target audience or has a different, and perhaps irrelevant, demographic taken to the content? It is also crucial to study how a strategy supports a brand’s business objectives. 

James Morris

Global head
Mediacom Beyond Advertising

There are three core components to content marketing. 

Content strategy: brands should explicitly define the role content plays in a robust communications plan. This addresses the types of content needed to deliver against business objectives, as well as meeting the consumer need. Finally, it sets a distribution plan for where this content should sit to reach and engage the target audience.

 Content creation: compelling content needs brilliant creative that resonates with the target audience. Critically, this creative process is for content not advertising. If you’re driving awareness of the brand or product, it needs to inspire your audience. To get a consumer to consider your product then it primarily needs to answer search queries about it.

Content distribution: your brilliant ideas and engaging content must also be distributed and optimised through organic and paid distribution, ensuring it reaches your audience and intuitively engages them with the brand. 

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