Content marketing provides intelligence which can be extremely valuable in shaping your business strategy – regardless of industry or company size.
Why is this?
Partly it is the way your audience – your customers and prospects – interact with and give feedback on your content. Partly it comes from the long and well thought-out process of creating valuable content in the first place. These two dynamics eventually work off each other to provide information that helps you, as a C-Suite member, continuously shape your business.
How content marketing helps the C-Suite
C-levels are getting ever more involved with their companies’ digital marketing efforts. Why? Because content marketing is helping them run better companies. And those who have true passion for the products or services they sell are the quickest to get involved. Because at the core of content marketing is the creating and disseminating of information that helps your audience in the same way that your product or service helps them.
This is not a hard and fast rule, of course. Some content (especially in B2C) is simply there to make the user feel good or to entertain them: just as the B2C products and services are there to do. But, at its core, your content should have similar value to your customers and prospects as the value they get from actually using your product or service.
What emerges, in both content creation and the audience feedback that follows it, is a keen awareness of what the market likes and wants. When content marketing is done properly, it is the actual execution of it that brings your company closer to its audience and allows you to steer your product development efforts with clearer focus.
Get intimate with your content
The typical CEO is often quite distant from daily marketing efforts and even product development. But look at the example of Steve Jobs and you’ll see how tightly involved in marketing he was – by all accounts fully controlling the entire effort. And on the product development side he was legendary. Jobs had a finely-tuned awareness of what people wanted, with the end result being a series of products that – years after his passing and with no radical new innovation – still keep Apple on top of the list of the world’s most valuable companies.
Involvement in content marketing brings a discipline that Jobs naturally possessed. It tightly integrates marketing and innovation, which according to Peter Drucker, the father of business consulting, are the only two business functions that bring results. [The rest, Drucker said, are costs.] Jobs knew this naturally – and more importantly he lived and breathed it, so was able to put it into action every day.
Content marketing does this. It starts with the creation of content. If you cut corners in this process, you will know, deep down, that not only does the content itself have little value to your audience, but the content creation process had little value for you. Why? Because creating good content is not easy. It is not just about putting pen to paper and writing for a set amount of time, or creating a video walkthrough of your new corporate headquarters. It’s about explaining and guiding the audience through your story. If we stay focused on the fact that your story is there to solve the same problems that your products or services solve, then you’ll find yourself naturally creating the content with a discipline that delivers true value.
Here in the UAE, our Creative Director at Silx, who is also a published author, recently gave me an example which brought home the point nicely. If you are trying to describe in your novel how beautiful one of the characters is, you don’t just keep saying ‘She is beautiful.’ Rather, you describe her personality, her features, her actions, what she is wearing, and all the other things that put in your readers’ minds a way of seeing her beauty for themselves.
Content marketing is essentially doing the same thing. You are explaining rather than simply presenting facts. It’s a process that forces you to reflect deeply on what it is you deliver and why.