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Why it’s time to rethink your marketing strategy

By December 11, 2018February 11th, 2021No Comments

According to research by software giant SAP 44% of direct marketing is never opened and roughly 99.9% of online banners are never clicked.

The reality is that we all occupy a world of information overload – and we’re switching off. ‘Content shock’ is a term first coined by social media guru, Mark Shaeffer. He applied it to social channels but its reach extends far further. Faced with a relentless bombardment of emails, tweets, posts and ads, we’re learning to block out all but the most pertinent content.

Paradoxically, buyers – at least the serious ones – are becoming more engaged. They’re doing their homework, with most already far advanced in their buyer journey (completing 60-80 per cent of research) before reaching out directly to vendors.

Traditional marketing strategies simply don’t cut it in an immeasurably changed commercial landscape. Rising from their ashes is content marketing.

So what is it? Content Marketing is simply about doing what every marketer should do – tell a good story! Good stories drive engagement, they get shared and they reach new audiences. In its simplest form this is what every marketing strategy should aspire to.

Good content builds trust. If as businesses we deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they trust us and ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.

Still with us? This is what you need to know to get started in content marketing (or to you and me, telling your brand’s story!):

  1. Identify your objectives – the basics still count even if the format has changed. Who are you targeting, what are you going to give them and what is your goal?
  2. Plan – How are you going to sell your story? What will capture your audience’s attention and at which points of the buyer journey? What’s going to go into your content, what makes it worth saying and why should some listen to your voice over and above that of your competitors?
  3. Choose the right channels – Are you using content marketing to generate leads for a specific product or service or to build brand awareness? This will define not only the content that you create but also the channels you use. Linkedin or Twitter may be great for building your profile but a carefully crafted and targeted email campaign may be more effective for lead generation.
  4. Create content – content can be almost anything that your audience is likely to engage with: press releases, case studies, Q&As, guides, polls, podcasts, opinion pieces, video, white papers, infographics, timelines, and so the list goes on. The important thing is making sure that whatever you create strikes a chord with your market audience.
  5. Tone of voice – content should be consistent with the services or products you’re trying to promote but should not be driven by the promotional agenda. It needs to identify and then demonstrate, how you can help your customers in overcoming challenges or exploiting opportunities.
  6. Keywords still count – SEO or Search Engine Optimisation, is about making sure that the content you create either across social channels or on your own platforms, for example your website, is visible to Google and other search engines. Think about the keywords that your audience might use to search for your products or services and bring them into your copy.
  7. Spend a little time on web basics and make sure what you post, copy, video or images are visible to search engines. Think about the URL address, page description, alt tags and meta data and internal link relevant pages. A little time invested in basic webpage house-keeping will help you maximise the reach of your content.
  8. Use social media to promote your content – Social media generates almost limitless opportunities to share content but also to build trust through engagement. Identify influencers (those with the most followers and who are passionate about your market) and build relationships with them by following, listening to and re-posting their material to get on their radar.
  9. Integrate story telling with your other marketing activity – direct mail, print and digital advertising. Content marketing is incredibly cost effective but it works better if complimented with other activity, particularly advertising. Social media promotions come at marginal cost but can have a significant impact on your campaign.
  10. Measure and employ metrics – The measures of success are multiple, from brand awareness, through to website traffic, unique page views and document downloads to form completions and email subscriptions, as part of direct lead generation activity.

The marketing industry is by definition, incredibly good at promoting itself and what it does for its clients, but in doing so it has a tendency to make things appear artificially complex. It doesn’t need to be.

We’re overloaded with advertising and marketing material, it’s in our face and it’s in our homes and we’re switching off. But we’re not switching off to stories. Good stories always travel and social media means that we’re sharing them more widely than ever before. This builds trust, engagement and ultimately business.

We support our clients in building their businesses by helping them to develop integrated marketing campaigns including content creation and promotion, web design and SEO, social media marketing and web analytics and tracking. To find out more please email


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