What Works in Content Marketing?

I had the opportunity to attend an excellent presentation on content marketing by Michael Brenner, vice president of marketing and content strategy at SAP. Content marketing is experiencing astronomical growth the last two to three years, with no slow down in sight. Some of the frenzy over content, however, seems to have the feel of chasing the latest shiny object for brand marketers.

Is there a decent ROI when it comes to content marketing? I believe there can be, but it’s going to take some growth and practice to really hone in on everything that well done content marketing can offer.

For instance, in order to be most effective, Brenner correctly pointed out that content needs the following:

  • Simple answers to relevant questions
  • Consumer-centric focus
  • To be more visual consumable and “snackable”
  • Emotional messages (these are twice as effective as promotional messages)
  • Focus on helping on the customer
  • Entertainment value as well as information

Mark Schaefer’s recent post about Content Shock had some truth to it. Content production is increasing so dramatically that it will reach a tipping point, if it hasn’t already. The vast supply of content means is will be tougher to break through the noise for most marketers and reach their audience. Those that succeed will have one of two things 1.) Really deep pockets to promote their content, or 2.) Excellence in producing the best content that breaks through the clutter.

Succeeding in content marketing is a tall order for sure, but it can be done. Points like the ones above are just the start, so much more goes into creating really great content that gets noticed and drives action. What would you add to the list?

Author: Steve Sonn

Steve Sonn is the Principal of S2 Marketing Communications. He has more than 25 years of marketing and PR experience with health care and business-to-business companies.