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InContext / An inside look at the business of digital content

Creating a Successful Content Marketing Strategy

July 28, 2014 | By Michelle Manafy, Editorial Director – DCN @michellemanafy

Ninety percent of B2C marketers are using some form of content
marketing. However, according to the Content Marketing Institute, less than half of those marketers have a documented content strategy—despite the fact the most effective content marketing is based upon one.  That said, creating an effective content marketing strategy is no small undertaking. There are numerous challenges and things to think about and prepare for, even if you are well on your way on your content marketing.  We plan to address many of these issues at our new Content All Stars Event (September 18th in New York City) as we bring together best-in-class marketers and our members from leading digital content companies to share what works and explore what’s next.pie chart-documented content strategy

Creating Powerful Content
Without a doubt the most important—and most challenging—aspect of any content strategy is building a content engine that will drive success. Few do this better than Red Bull, which not only takes its marketing message to the extreme in terms of its action-sports content, but also in terms of content creation, having founded Red Bull Media House in 2007.  The company’s content-based marketing is second to none, as Managing Director Werner Brell put it, “We have been creating media assets from the beginning.”

“The mindset for launching Red Bull Media House was a natural progression of the company…For all of the athlete projects and events Red Bull created, which subsequently built this brand, cameras have been there.  Everything has more or less been put on film.  We have been creating media assets from the beginning,” said Brell. While his approach is largely to create original content to which Red Bull has exclusive license, the company also partners with media companies, ultimately maintaining “a laser focus on creating the best in action sports programming, centered around storytelling, high production value and overall progression in all aspects of sports event broadcasting,” said Brell. At Content All Stars, he’ll offer insights into the company’s trademark approach to content creation. “At the end of the day,” Brell pointed out, “it’s entertainment. You have to play by the rules of the audience, and they want to watch something engaging on an emotional level.”

Engaging Audiences
Undoubtedly, content creation – great ideas that tie your brand to your target audience or consumers — is the foundation of content marketing. And while Brell’s company has taken the proverbial bull by the horns, not every brand finds itself in the position to create its own media house. However one thing that all marketers can (and must) do is understand their audiences in order to create content experiences that attract and engage them.

As the company’s VP of Content and Global Creative, Ann Rubin madewithIBMSKsaid, “We strive for everything we do in marketing to have some utility, some purpose…for the [audience] beyond the brand message.” In its “Made with IBM series”, the company set out to tell its customers’ stories of transformation to offer actionable insights for others. Beyond creating compelling and popular content, the project brought the company closer than ever to its customers as the process of storytelling became a collaboration. At Content All Stars, Rubin will speak candidly about how IBM focuses on customers and content to transform its marketing into more than a one-way message.

Driving Results
Attracting and engaging audiences through content will take marketers a long way as they seek to build brand awareness and customer relationships that engender trust and lasting affinity.

An important and challenging area of marketing measurement is social media. Yet Claire Tavernier, Managing Director of the UK’s Channel Flip Media and founder of StoryTechLife, believes that social can help demonstrate high levels of engagement and that “these engaged viewers do have more value in the long run.” She will offer concrete examples of how social increases engagement that builds value at Content All Stars.

Yet the most effective strategic marketing plans must leverage these laudable goals to achieve measureable results. Data offers not only a way to know your customers beyond general demographics, but the ability to make highly-granular correlations such as “when the dew point is X, the temperature is Y, and the rainfall is Z…Here are the 15 products you should be selling right now,” according to the Weather Company GM, Vikram Somaya. At Content All Stars, he’ll team up with fellow data guru Bog Ivins, CDO of Mindshare, to show how data can not only provide consumer insights, but actually demonstratively drive consumer behavior.


Are you a Content All Star? If so, request an invitation to attend this first-of-its-kind event, September 18th at NYC’s Conrad Hotel to develop a content strategy that delivers meaningful results.

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