According to a recent article in Forbes magazine, there are a number of elements that successful CSI initiatives have in common. These include a clear theory of change, quality and depth of information, concentrated effort and expert partnerships.
7 content marketing lessons I learnt
Suzanne Stevens, executive director for marketing at BrightRock, has spent the past five years implementing a content-led marketing strategy for the life insurance start-up. Having got some of it wrong, but a lot of it right, she shares her top content marketing insights for entrepreneurs:
1. It must make business sense for your business. The what and why of your content strategy is incredibly important. There has to be a direct link between your business plan, the product youre marketing and the content you share. Consumers are very savvy if your content does not fit your product offering, your content will lack credibility. In BrightRocks instance, we identified specific inflection points in life (known as Change Moments) when peoples financial needs shift, and correlated that to how our product can uniquely change as your life changes. So we focus of our content marketing strategy on Change Moments like Tying the Knot, Landing that job, Starting a Family and Making a Home.
2. Its not a cheap and easy form of marketing. Business owners tend to think content marketing is an affordable and simple way to market a business, because many of the channels (such a social media) are readily accessible. But good content marketing requires a significant financial commitment. Theres a plethora of content out there, so crafting and implementing your own content that stands out from the crowd will require time, effort and money. You can outsource the content-generation work to specialist suppliers, or bring the skills in-house. Consider a different marketing strategy if youre not willing to go that extra mile.
3. You dont have to be everywhere. Theres no need to be present on every single platform available. Take your time to investigate platforms that target your client market effectively. By staying focused and following a less is more approach, you wont spread your limited resources too thin. Rather reach and engage with your target market in an impactful way on one or two platforms, than get lost in the noise across multiple spaces. The digital space is a fast-changing world with many fads dont get side-tracked.
4. Be original. We experimented with aggregated content (sharing other organisations stories) and with content that we had created; and came to realise very quickly that the aggregated content space is dominated by big, effective multinational content-spewing machines. By crafting our own, original content and setting clear parameters, we have been able to develop an authentic and consistent tone that resonates with our market and remains 100% true to our strategy.
5. Its all about the story. If you develop your own blog platform as we did, let your content drive the navigation and user experience not vice versa. Dont let fancy designs and convoluted navigational structures supersede or upstage your content (even if its beautiful and clever!). And remember, people engage with content that touches them on an emotional level. Rather focus on great headlines, catchy introductions, and excellent visuals and tell stories with heart. The same applies to social media platforms like Facebook.
6. The answers are in the numbers. Its important to measure on a continuous basis. How many people visit your website? Whats your most popular page? How do they get there and how long do they stay? How many people interact with you on your social media accounts? Where are you seeing the best growth in reaching your target market? By finding the answers yourself, you will have the insights on how your content works and youll become the expert on your content strategy.
7. And dont be scared to Love Change: Dont be afraid of changing and reinventing your approach as long as it remains true to your business strategy and your target market. Experiment and test continuously. The content marketing environment shifts almost daily and you need to keep adapting without losing focus on your objectives.
A Chartered Marketer, Suzanne is a founder of BrightRock and heads up all its brand and marketing activities. Suzanne has 20 years of marketing and communications experience, and has been involved with the marketing launch of new entrants into five sectors of financial services.
Visit www.changeexchange.co.za and www.brightrock.co.za to see what BrightRock has been up to in their content marketing strategy.
BrightRock was started with the goal of creating insurance products that truly meets consumers and financial advisers needs. It offers individualised, needs-matched life insurance cover thats built around your specific needs at the outset, and is specially designed to change with you as your needs change. And because BrightRocks cover is flexible and changes appropriately when your needs change, its more efficient. This means both your cover and your premiums remain relevant, and more affordable, throughout your life. BrightRock (Pty) Ltd, underwritten by Lombard Life Ltd, is an authorised financial services provider.
Tel: +27 11 463 2198
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