Digital marketing and content creation are two terms commonly used in business plans, but in many cases without any clear reason or direction why – these are the benefits of ensuring both are integrated into a PR strategy
The phrase has been uttered by and attributed to different sources but, back in 1996, Bill Gates declared “Content is king” – an expression that has been recited far and wide since. “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the internet, just as it was in broadcasting,” he said in an essay. Of course, he was correct – Gates has repeatedly been named the richest person on the planet for a reason.
Among the many forward-looking nuggets of wisdom dropped by Gates, a standout thought was: “One of the exciting things about the internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create.” This is incredibly true. And in today’s world, a smartphone and data connectivity are the modern equivalents of the PC and modem with which you can easily share your message.
Based on the fact that people today are so connected, it takes between six to eight touchpoints in the customer journey to qualify a lead and brands with more digital touchpoints have a 2.5 times greater conversion rate than those with fewer touchpoints. Indeed, mass mobile adoption has made the way people consume media on the customer journey more fragmented. Micro moment or intent-rich events drive our actions where we turn to a device to act on a need – to know, go, do or buy.
Brands must be present in these moments and provide solutions through content in different forms, for example, when consumers are checking the time, reading the news, chatting with friends and browsing on social media. This builds the case for messages to be communicated through multiple channels to reach audiences in these moments – and why FieldHouse now has a new in-house digital and content offering.
What is content?
Good question. Content means all things to all people. Whether it’s taking high-quality photos for Instagram, delivering punchy tweets or capturing rich video footage for Facebook or YouTube, content creation presents the power to engage audiences – a mission all companies have, regardless of their target user.
But another form of content, which has been around far longer than the aforementioned social media channels, is the written word. And from the pages of books and newspapers, the internet has unhinged a gate through which anyone wishing to convey commentary can do so: blogs. Blogging has exploded over the past few years. From entertainment and parenting to tech and food, blogs cover every conceivable subject, with some individuals running them to make money (hello influencers) and others doing so to talk about subjects they’re passionate about – sometimes both of those boxes get ticked in the process.
And for businesses, blogs are incredibly valuable – the numbers show as much. 55% of marketers claim blog content creation is the inbound marketing priority that’s most popular among clients. It’s a no-brainer. With a company blog you have the opportunity to say what you want on your own portal and in your own tone of voice however you see fit, without risk of breaching any guidelines or finding yourself hamstrung.
Whether it’s insight-based material you want to generate to show off your expertise as an organisation or company announcements to keep your customers in the loop, the opportunity is there to create the content that’s most appropriate in keeping with your brand messaging.
While blogs are the place where you can update content on a regular basis, with a moment’s notice, there should be a method to this. But although 89% of B2B marketers embrace content marketing, just 37% have a strategy in place for this. Imagine then, how powerful this material could be with a proper schedule in place.
Although social media material, blogs and newsletters all have potential to be produced in a short time span, a thought-provoking report must certainly be given more of a strategic approach. And as the fifth most-used marketing tactic, it’s an area that has a lot of room to grow – especially when you factor in that it can be dissected gradually, repurposed and used for numerous blogs, thereby ensuring fresh content creation is an ongoing part of the business rather than on a whim.
Where does digital fit into this and why does it matter?
Digital creates the ability to amplify your stories beyond securing traditional PR coverage, giving you the power to enhance that exposure even further with messaging that fits your brand and objectives.
Effective digital marketing requires that you meet your customers where they are. Since internet users spend an average of one-third of their online time on social media channels, it’s vital to include social media as part of your tactics.
More than three billion people across the globe are active on social media, making platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn a fantastic and essential place to target your audience organically or through ads, which can be done at a more affordable budget than traditional advertising. LinkedIn is the most-used social media platform amongst Fortune 500 companies, where four out of five users drive business decisions, making it an effective channel for B2B businesses.
Search engines, primarily Google, are another digital channel to look at. 71% of B2B professionals start their research with a generic search and 98% choose a business on the first page. Digital tactics like SEO and PPC ads help boost your brand awareness, and specific audiences can be defined and targeted through LinkedIn ads. Securing press coverage, enhancing social media engagement and lead generation are all just some of the demonstrable results of getting in front of your target audiences.
How can I maximise impact using multiple channels?
Let’s say that you’re a fintech business and want to market your launch in the UK. You might have the ambition to be featured in Tier 1 publications to reach potential investor audiences, but have you thought about your presence on other digital channels where you might be able to reach a targeted audience and can control the message even further?
Content and stories in PR activities can be repurposed for owned channels, and then targeted to your audiences through digital channels. A well-timed post, targeted at the right people, can drive new business leads and raise awareness of your brand in front of partners, industry or those that matter to you.
Crucially, it’s about delivering your stories and telling them the way that they deserve to be told – in the right place, at the right time. Whether it’s through PR or owned marketing channels, FieldHouse has the right tools to help you achieve your goals.