To show how content marketing works in the real world, here’s an example of content strategy in action from a large, global project I did for Samsung.
Strategy first, then content
Though Samsung sells its products through retailers — not directly to consumers — they wanted a way to engage consumers with their products across 70+ “regional” websites around the globe.
The solution was to develop content that would create a need for the product in the consumer’s view. But (as we marketing & strategy pros know), content strategy and marketing is NOT advertising, it is NOT an advertorial, it is NOT selling. It’s creating a relationship with the client, customer or reader. And nobody likes a relationship where the other party is constantly hitting them over the head with how great they are and to BUY, BUY, BUY. Content marketing is “show, don’t sell“.
I was brought into the project as the first person on the content team, to bring the project into the real world, to develop a couple of dozen initial examples of exactly what the project would look like, to refine them, and to help create templates of how the project would look when globally scaled and executed by a larger team.
Building the content strategy
After analysis and strategic thinking, it was determined that the content that accompanied that would actually be product agnostic. It would be useful, in a friendly brand voice.
- An article on better sleep habits made a strong point about room temperature. Among the many sleep hints and tips, the piece mentioned that room temperature was important and some air conditioners could automatically adjust room temperature when someone is sleeping. The Samsung A/C units with this capability appeared next to the article. Those products got a huge boost in clicks/conversion rates.
- The Samsung robotic vacuum cleaners (iRobot competitors) with the no-tangle pet hair brush when they were placed next to some tips for a cleaner home targeted to pet owners.
For because we worked with lots of divisions and products, for each piece of content, we created a strategic brief — a sort of strategy outline before we proceeded, in order to nail down the main take-away of the article and how the helpful would link to the product without being salesy. The brief included keywords, and other strategic SEO information.
The articles were translated into eight languages and used worldwide. Of course, to appropriately bring eyeballs to the excellent content…
Create strategically to amplify the content
In addition to creating a vast library, for each of the articles, the team members created strategic marketing campaigns for the content by creating marketing “modules” — text and graphics with links that teased and invited visitors to the content from other areas of the site. We also created teaser Facebook and Twitter posts some strategically designed to engage users, others to inform users, etc.
In that way, we had the strategic social media program “at the ready” to deploy when an article was finally approved and posted.
These assets were added to the masterlist of available content and to the content calendar for reuse at appropriate promotional periods.
This strategically-developed, informational and product agnostic content created more consumer engagement than even Samsung’s video content (my NDA doesn’t allow me to share the actual figures).
But because the success metrics were so compelling, the initial content strategy turned into a 3+ year engagement (for my client as well as for me and an team of writers).
Yes, this content marketing will work for you
Like many of my clients, Samsung is a huge corporation. But substitute “blog post” for “article” and the principles are the same for any-sized effort.
Create informative, useful, interesting, substantial and high-quality posts related to what your service or product is and “socialize” it – spread the word via social media (making sure you use hashtags). Use inline links to keep people engaged with your site.
And you keep doing it.