October 23, 2019
Welcome to the LEWIS Content Corner, our blog series devoted to analyzing, dissecting and rhapsodizing on the wild, wild world of content marketing. Read along as we look at what inspires us in our day-to-day working lives as content marketers and the lessons learned that we’ve adopted to become content gurus in our own right.
You’ve likely heard that, today, every company is a tech company. But did you know that every company is a content company as well? From McDonalds’s Serial-style podcast, “The Sauce,” to Airbnb’s plan to build its own TV studio, businesses across industries are investing heavily in content as a key pillar of their marketing strategies.
But though this pivot is supported by both theory and stats, many companies fail to effectively execute on their content marketing programs, dashing any hopes of positive ROI and measurable bottom line impact. Around 60% of the content issued by brands is seen as irrelevant by their customers. Even when content is relevant, many potential customers never actually see it in the first place. On Facebook, for instance, a single organic post reaches about 7% of page fans, and the percentage who click into a landing page from there is much, much lower. So, given the growing importance of content marketing, what can you do to ensure the best bang for your buck?
Quality matters, of course, but perhaps not as much as you might think. After all, if no one sees your content, who cares how perfectly crafted it may be? That’s why a good content strategy includes a thorough distribution strategy as well, and it’s this latter part which this post will focus on.
Setting a content distribution strategy starts with setting a budget. A good rule of thumb is to invest at least 40% of your content budget into its actual distribution. For individual cases, such as the launch of an exciting and innovative product, experts recommend investing up to 80% in targeted marketing and only 20% in the content itself.
Once you’ve decided on your budget, it’s time to think about the best way to spend that money to reach your intended audience and KPIs. In general, you’ll follow the Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned model, also known as PESO.
The boundaries between the above are not always clearly defined, and the latter in particular crosses into several different areas, including paid, earned and shared. Owned media reach can also be expanded dramatically through the use of search engine optimization—which is another critical part of content marketing and can turn owned media into earned.
With SEO, you draw increased traffic and views to your owned content. It’s what enables a search engine to elevate the pages most relevant to your individual search. SEO allows companies to increase the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing their website or webpages’ organic discoverability. This fairly complex process involves the use of keyword mapping, interlinked web pages and ongoing content optimization.
Say, for example, that a clothing company wanted to raise awareness of its “fair trade” practices, and in doing so, target a specific audience of consumers. That clothing supplier could write an article explaining the meaning of fair trade and then optimize that piece with the goal of “ranking” for the popular search term: “What is fair trade?”
At the same time, they could also return to existing content and update it to reflect the most frequent search terms surrounding “fair trade” today. This is good practice, regardless of whether you want to optimize for high-quantity search terms, because Google is quick to notice if content is no longer accurate or up to date. If you’ve put a lot of work into a topic, it’s often worth taking a few hours to revise your content to extend its lifespan.
The last part of distribution this post will cover is the customer journey funnel. By using the customer journey funnel, you can decide which of the above options are most applicable and appropriate for a given phase of the buyer journey and for your company journey as well. Apple, for example, can likely skip awareness to focus on consideration.
The above is but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to content distribution and its role in an effective content marketing campaign. To learn even more about content marketing and distribution, check out this white paper on content distribution, or get in touch with the LEWIS Content Team today. With offices around the world, we have the knowledge base and skills to help you no matter your needs or level of expertise, check out our content marketing services.