Erica Pramauro, a 2013/14 student is beginning her research into content marketing as part of her dissertation which will keep her busy until September 2014. Here she shares some of her knowledge and thoughts on the subject so far.
Although it is spoken of as a by-product of the digital revolution, content marketing is anything but new. Creating content in different forms (videos, press releases, articles…) has always been a strategy used to promote a brand, a product, an idea. However, the digital revolution and ‘Web 2.0′ have offered the average web user a huge variety of tools that provide some of the powers of a traditional publisher; almost everyone from a multinational to the most unknown blogger is effectively publishing content.
The web is already packed with content (some interesting, some less so) and the progressive content-saturation will mean that content marketing is an unsustainable strategy for the future. At the moment, content keeps on being produced and, as such, the competition lies in the areas of quality, originality of content and its subsequent ability to stand out from the crowd.
“You are a publisher. Think like one” writes Rebecca Lieb in her extremely useful guide to content marketing. However, in a world where everyone can publish content, there is still a difference between “thinking like a publisher” and actually being one. The publishing industry still has the significant advantage of ‘playing at home’ because content creation and curation is what publishers have always done.
It must be underlined that content marketing does not end with the creation of new content. In order to augment its chances of success, content needs to be recycled and repurposed in different ways. The recycling of content is an essential part of its lifecycle and should not be underestimated for several reasons.
Firstly, the targeted marketing segment will probably favour different digital channels. Some people will be very keen on Facebook and other social media, whilst others will be more interested in YouTube, blogs and so on. As a consequence, the same message needs to be expressed through different channels, but in different ways.
For example, a company executive speaking at an industry event might do some, or all, of the following: blog and tweet about the talk; film the speech and upload it on YouTube or Facebook; create and share a podcast. They could even post their presentation on ‘Slideshare’ or write a report or an article on it. These are only a few of the possibilities. A single piece of content can be remodelled and repurposed in different formats through different channels without the risk of repetition.
Another important reason for recycling content is time. By repurposing content over a period of time means it can reach a wider audience. Finally, the recycling of a single piece of content may provide links to other content or older material, allowing a wider, and continuing circulation of information.