By Alex Ionides, Managing Director, Silx
Content marketing provides intelligence to help shape your business strategy – regardless of industry or company size.
Why is this? Partly, it is the way the audience – your customers and prospects – interacts with and give feedback to your content. It primarily comes from the long and well-thought-out process of creating valuable content. These two dynamics eventually interact to provide information that helps you, as a C-Suite member, to constantly shape your business.
How content marketing helps the C-Suite
C-levels are getting even more involved with their companies’ digital marketing efforts. Why? Because content marketing is helping them run better companies. And those who have a true passion for marketing their products or services are the quickest to get involved.
This is because at the core of content marketing is the creation and dissemination of information, which assists your audience in a way similar to that of your product or service.
Of course, this is not a hard and fast rule. Some content (especially in B2C) is simply present to make the user feel good or to entertain them: similar to B2C products and services.
But, at its core, your content should be valuable to your customers and prospects as much as the value they get from actually using the product or service.
What emerges, in both content creation and the audience feedback, is a keen awareness of what actually the market desires or wants.
When content marketing is proper, the actual execution of it brings your company closer to its audience and permits you to steer your product development with clear focus.
Get intimate with your content. The typical CEO is often quite aloof from the daily marketing efforts or even product development. But look at the example of Steve Jobs and you’ll notice how closely involved he was in marketing – by all accounts, fully controlling the entire effort.
And on the product development side, he was legendary. Jobs had a finely-tuned awareness of what people wanted, with the end result being a series of products thanks to which, years after his passing, despite no radical new innovation, Apple is still on top of the world’s list of most valuable companies.
Involvement in content marketing brings a discipline that Jobs naturally possessed. It tightly integrates marketing and innovation, which, according to Peter Drucker, the father of business consulting, are the only two business functions that bring results. (The rest, Drucker said, are costs.)
Jobs knew this naturally – and, more importantly he lived and breathed it, so he was able to put it into action every day.
Content marketing does this. It starts with the creation of content. If you cut corners in this process, you will know, deep down, that not only does the content itself have little val- ue to your audience, but the content creation process also has little value for you.
Why? Because creating good content is not easy. It is not just about putting pen to paper and writing for a set amount of time, or creating a video walk-through of your new corporate headquarters. It’s about explaining and guiding the audience through your story.
If we stay focused on the fact that your story is there to resolve problems on the lines of your products or services, then you’ll find yourself naturally creating content with a discipline that delivers true value.
Here in the UAE, our Creative Director at Silx, who is also a published author, recently gave me an example that nicely brought home the point.
If you are trying to describe in your novel how beautiful one of the characters is, don’t just keep repeating “She is beautiful.”
Rather, you describe her personality, her features, her actions, her dressing sense and all of the other things that create in your read- ers’ minds a way of visualising her beauty for themselves.
Content marketing is essentially doing the same thing. You are explaining rather than simply presenting facts. It’s a process that forces you to reflect deeply on what it is you deliver and why.