Whether we like it or not, every passing day we are moving closer and closer to a content marketing culture; by “We” I am referring to Lebanon, since, needless to say, in foreign countries, content marketing became the norm a long time ago. Now there are many reasons that made this shift slower in the Lebanese market, but I am not going to dive into them.
Adopting a content marketing mindset requires marketers and clients alike, to accept new changes in both their strategic planning and creative execution. From endless articles I’ve read and actual projects I have worked on, these are the main tips I can give you:
1-Think like a publisher:
This is probably the most widespread tip out there. As media has moved from being external to advertisers, to being in their own hands, the game has changed immensely to the benefit of some and the dismay of others (in this case, media owners). Brands have become their own publishers, using the media as a personal tool to promote their image, products and services, and engage with their customers.
2-Social media as a tool:
We have to accept the fact that social media has become a small marketing tool in the bigger sea of platforms. We have to shift from social media strategies to content marketing and content strategies. That being said, the media mix takes a whole new form, whereby Facebook, Instagram and other previous major players, are now part of a bigger team.
3-Put people first:
The 5th P of the Marketing Ps, People, has become a major player in the way brands handle their marketing. After all, we are talking to people, so why not capitalize on their importance? Many international brands are basing their whole strategies around their people, and making them part of their culture.
What do people love? Stories. And this doesn’t get old. Stories hold emotions, grab attention and get viewers or readers immersed in the flow of events, wanting to know more. Stories have a personal aspect, and this has been a strength in marketing for ages.
5-Use your content wisely:
Blogs, Vlogs, videos, newsletters, images….These are barely a tiny portion of the long list of content formats available today, which brands can explore and make use of. This is why choosing wisely, according to the brand’s story and audience, is key.
6-Adapt your story:
This is where things become interesting. We have to find the best way to adopt the same story across different platforms, while preserving creativity and originality, and avoiding falling in the pitfalls of redundancy and wasted content.
7-Be patient and preach it:
The rule of thumb in content marketing is being patient. Recruiting new potential customers and turning them into leads, and then buying customers is a long process. Brands and marketers alike should keep an open mind and wait for things to shape up, provided that they are playing it right.
Tony Raad Content Manager