Content Marketing: How to start a digital conversation

Content marketing is a big thing at the moment, it’s a popular terminology that is currently doing the buzz rounds on digital channels as brands and agencies recognise that the consumer doesn’t want to be talked to, they want to be talked with.

The difference between content marketing and typical digital marketing (banner ads, pop ups) is the art of conversation, a need to develop meaningful storytelling content that not only tells people about your brand but also engages with them and asks people what your brand can do for them . A digital conversation that resonates with its target audience and starts conversations is no mean feat and can be a real challenge to any digital marketer looking to engage with their audience

The number of digital channels available to use in order to interact with your audience is increasing almost daily and marketers struggle to keep up with the ever changing digital landscape. As new popular channels emerge, creating content for the users generates difficult and new challenges for brands to connect and tell stories to their audiences. Social media, blogs, websites all offer direct communication channels that allow people to actively go looking for your content but the flipside is that they also offer them the choice to read various different pieces of content that impacts your brand without you actually having written it.

The art of digital conversation is a difficult thing to master, with very few brands actually understanding and rolling out a content marketing campaign that adds value to its business and generates leads for your organisations sales teams or develops brand recognition and loyalty.
There are some things however that every digital marketer should have in mind when tackling this marketing challenge;

Be sure about who you are talking to

Are you talking to the consumer, the retailer, the influencer? Be absolutely sure about who you are creating content for and make sure the content that you are trying to create is relevant, timely and informative. Consider creating buyer personas and conducting social listening so that you have a good understanding of your audience and the content they are reading before you begin.
     Understand their Buyers Journey

People generally just don’t make purchases without being aware firstly of the product/service and the benefit of purchase. Typically people will research before purchasing and will need tailored content to help them move along the buyers journey to come to a purchasing decision. For example, once it has been recognised that a purchase is deemed necessary, the buyer may look for articles, reviews or case studies to help differentiate between you and a competitor. There is always the impulse purchase that can be attributed to great advertising or brand loyalty as well emotional connection, but generally purchasing on big ticket items, takes a lot of research, planning and benefit building. Your content could be the difference between a buyer purchasing from you or your competitor.

      Make sure they can find your content, when and where they want it

      As mentioned above, there is now a plethora of digital channels that can be used to access your content. From websites and blogs, to social media, apps and e-mails, these can all be used to deliver your content to the audience you are trying to reach. The different channels can all be used to reach various different people however I would always recommend an audit of the social and digital channels that you are currently using and understanding whether or not their use is actually adding any value to your marketing. Do most of your target audience use Pinterest rather than Twitter? Or, does your B2B marketing using your Linkedin page generate more quality conversations than your Facebook? Then, stop wasting time generating content that is not relevant to the channels and audience you are trying to reach and adds little value to your marketing as a whole.
     Be sincere

This is probably the single most important thing that you need to do in order to engage in meaningful conversation with your audience. Have real people talking in your social and digital channels and being the face of your brand. The rise of automated marketing, is a useful and helpful tool for marketers, the adverts that follow you around from website to website can prove to be helpful to shoppers in some cases, but they don’t generate any brand loyalty, conversation starters, brand advocacy or have any sincerity other than a need for you to purchase the product and can sometimes be seen as irritating and an invasion of privacy. Great digital campaigns, tell a story about the product, developing a realtime conversation between aspirational and realistic outcomes from a purchase. The reinforcement of positive sincere conversation about the product or service you are selling or advocating is the cornerstone of all good content marketing and digital conversation.

Holly Waite

Holly works in the business development and marketing team here at Purple, she helps to drive Purple's new business strategy whilst also enjoying the role of being Purple's appointed 'Minister of Fun' . She has worked with Purple for over two years and supports Purple's teams in delivering engaging experiences for our existing and prospective clients..