Content Marketing – When Your Opinions Are Really Valued

As the media space in South Africa continues to contract and adapt, media traction for clients is becoming increasingly difficult. This is the reason the idea of ‘content marketing’ is taking over; positioning itself as the rescuer of all things not getting into the press on their own steam.

In light of this trend, below are my thoughts on what constitutes good ‘content marketing’, and elements that should be taken into account during its development:

  1. Opinion, opinion and opinion – regurgitating or summarising key points from a survey does not constitute good content, having an opinion on the key elements and their impact does. Further to this, having the same opinion as the next person will not get you noticed, even if the client believes that it has been carefully disguised by clever wordplay.
  2. Be controversial – the old adage that a dog biting a man is not a story, but a man biting a dog is, still rings true. Controversy continues to sell in the media, even more so now as competition rises in an ever declining space. As such, when developing content look for the untold story, the one competitors are shying away from, and learn how to position the client’s expertise to an alternative audience.
  3. Getting a spokesperson to communicate a technical or intricate message in one article is challenging enough, and with the shrinking media space it is becoming essential that the message is brought across concisely in approximately 300 words, preferably in the form of a fact box with an accompanying statement of opinion.
  4. Everything is content – from internal marketing communications to opinion articles; what separates successful from unsuccessful content is establishing what is of interest to which audience, and how it can be packaged to meet individual requirements.
  5. Something that is all too often missed by clients and agencies alike is that content needs to be developed for what people want to hear, not what we think they should hear.

Unfortunately, and typical of the development of industry buzz words, this concept has been moulded to fit any new business pitch or client strategy, and in some regards is being bastardised to suit too many needs. In working with professional services clients we have based media campaigns on content marketing for years. As the move away from traditional product ‘push’ towards profiling individual’s intellect becomes more popular, best practice on what makes successful ‘content’, and how it can be leveraged effectively, is continuously changing.

Written by Clare O’Donovan