How to succeed in content marketing

Content marketing is one of the hottest trends in marketing right now. It is challenging the way our customers operate and changing the entire business. But content marketing today is not without its problems.

“The greatest challenge in content marketing is the lack of a general view and strategy in companies.  If you don’t know where you're going to, it's difficult to set goals or measure results," says CEO Kati Nurminen from Kopla, a company specialising in consumer engagement.

“The lack of a general view tends to encourage an ad hoc work approach that often isn’t very efficient.”

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Kati Nurminen

Kopla has studied the use of content marketing in Finland, and the results are interesting. Challenges are understandable, says Nurminen, as many methods for content marketing are still under development – and even the meaning of the term itself is disputed.

What is clear, however, is that the use of contents in marketing is on the increase. Two thirds of the respondents in Kopla’s research are planning to invest more in content marketing, and none of the respondents will invest less. And there are reasons for this.

The power of conventional advertising is fading

“In our digital and social era, contents are in the core when you wish to create marketing that isn't annoying and will arouse interest,” says content strategist Ilari Viippola from media company Dagmar.

According to Viippola, conventional advertising simply no longer works the way it used to. People are harder to reach and it is easier for them to ignore advertising. Therefore content that genuinely stirs interest in customers - and the targeting of this content through the use of analytics – will play a major role in modern marketing.

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Ilari Viippola.

“We’re currently going through a fascinating phase in the marketing business,” says Nurminen from Kopla. The traditional boundaries in the media industry are falling as companies are expanding to content marketing from various angles.

“Media companies, advertising agencies and communications agencies are all compiling their respective offerings in content marketing,” Nurminen says.

But it is not always easy to find the best tools for your company’s content marketing. The options are endless, from print media to YouTube videos, from partner blogs to animated gif images.

“It’s best to start with a strategic analysis of the target audience and goals of the marketing,” says Viippola from Dagmar. “When your goals are clear, tools will be easy to find.”

 

Date: 20 May 2016 
Theme: Content
Text: Samuli Kotilainen
Photos: Kopla, Dagmar, iStock

7 steps

A company specialising in consumer engagement, Kopla conducted a research in February to study the current state and customer needs in content marketing through in-depth interviews and a mobile survey (sample size 58). Based on the research result, Kopla’s CEO Kati Nurminen gave us seven steps for successful content marketing.

 1. Define your goals and strategy

“It is important to decide the goal of your content marketing.” It can vary from brand building to increased sales or better customer service, or something else.

 2. Understand your target group

You need to understand the life and needs of your target group in order to create content that will interest them. “Content has to be introduced at the right spot regarding the customer’s needs and path to purchase. Analytics and targeting will come in handy.”

 3. Build a network of the best professionals

Content marketing is provided by a number of different companies. “From the advertiser’s point of view it doesn’t really matter what title the company has as long as it is competent.”

 4. Create processes for continuous work

Perseverance is particularly important when you create your own media. Efficient processes are key in continuous content production.

 5. Set clear indicators to monitor your work

The reaching of goals should be measured regularly. “A good indicator provides deeper understanding of whether the marketing goals have been achieved.”

 6. Ensure seamless cooperation

One of the biggest challenges in content marketing is to find people who understand the customer and their business. “In long-term customer relationships, the entire team will have this understanding.” Everyone will also need to be aware of the goals.

 7. Continue to develop

The power of content marketing can be boosted by experimenting with the new and measuring results. Change is the only stable thing in the digital world.