Lead with content
Content marketing is increasingly gaining the upper hand in terms of marketing influence with customers and, as a result, claiming a larger portion of marketing budgets. For example, B2B marketers report devoting an average of nearly a third of their budgets to content—with intentions to increase that slice in the coming year.
Content marketing is a different sort of beast than advertising and other more traditional marketing tactics, too. When done right, content programs succeed by inspiring, informing, educating and tapping into an audience’s identity. Too often, traditional agencies have yet to fully shift their thinking away from “selling” and pushing product benefits toward creating meaningful—and memorable—brand interactions and experiences.
This deep understanding of audiences and how to engage them sparks the kind of creative thinking that makes content marketing effective. It also makes the case for content teams collaborating to lead content-driven campaigns, working together smoothly and effectively with other agencies and internal teams to support the brand and business results. Ideally, content marketing is involved in all aspects of any program, from strategy and ideation to distribution and metrics, to ensure optimal results.
Put the pieces together
Our own experience at Imagination underscores the benefits of this approach.
For instance, one of our financial services clients launched a multimillion-dollar campaign for one of its lines of business with a robust content hub at its core. Content represented a significant part of the campaign budget and was one of the main drivers of the digital experience and fulfillment of campaign objectives.
We were responsible for all aspects of the content hub—strategy, creation, awareness and measurement. The campaign also included traditional advertising, PR and in-branch interactions, all of which were handled either by internal teams or by other external agency partners. But because the content hub was so critical to the overall success of the campaign, the client made our role clear to the other teams and agencies involved: Be sure to coordinate everything you do with Imagination.
The client found that in this case, having us in that lead role not only streamlined the workflow, but also prevented misunderstandings that could hamper results.
Marketing gets messy these days as everyone jockeys for position, if not bigger pieces of fragmented budgets. Ultimately, though, the players on any marketing roster need sound input and leadership from the world of content marketing—someone to ensure all aspects of strategy and execution are proceeding in a cohesive way.