In our super connected world, the value of engaging your audience through content can’t be overstated. More and more, companies are changing from traditional outbound advertising to content creation to power their marketing strategy. Coca-Cola highlights their shift to content marketing in the first of a two part video series entitles Content 2020.
If you’ve been on the fence about content marketing, then look no further than Coca-Cola. The behemoth beverage manufacturer is not only utilizing content in their overall marketing strategy, they are going all in on their bet.
Why a content-focused strategy?
First of all, Coca-Cola didn’t just jump on the bandwagon for the fun of it. They did their research and identified an opportunity. They discovered their 3 key drivers, and then they studied their audience, the market, and the latest trends.
They identified three things that are affecting their industry, but are relevant to you too:
- Your audience’s online behaviors are changing.
- You can’t separate your messages from technology and social networks, i.e. Twitter and Facebook.
- You can develop deeper emotional connections with audiences through creative storytelling.
Your audience is changing they way they engage, and you have to change the way you connect. You have to move from using “creative excellence” to “content excellence.” For you to be successful, you need to start conversations and create stories that connect with and engage your audience.
Your content, much like that of Coca-Cola, has to be liquid and linked. It has to create brand stories so contagious that they can’t be controlled (liquid), but they also have to be relevant to business objectives, branding, and consumer interests (linked). All of your content, across all channels, needs to be linked together to bring your marketing full circle. You have to establish yourself as an authority, a thought leader, in your industry.
To establish your brand as a thought leader, you have to rely on high quality, relevant content to power across every channel available to you.
Planning for success
Coca-Cola isn’t stepping into it’s foray of content marketing blindly. They have a plan to reach their goals. They aim to establish themselves as leaders by analyzing data, which will become their fertile soil for ideas, and then develop creative briefs that guide content development.
They also have a plan to help govern the flow of their content, and encourage creativity and bravery in their content strategy. They even developed a 70/20/10 model for developing “liquid content”:
- 70% will be low-risk, bread-and-butter content that supports their overarching brand theme, and can be developed fairly quickly.
- 20% percent will be an expansion of the bread-and-butter content that works.
- 10% percent will revolve around completely new ideas
You have to plan your content too. It can’t be haphazard. Otherwise all of your content will just be a deluge of noise. Content strategies revolve around frequent, consistent content for social recommendations, search engines, and multiple user access points. They are the backbone of content strategies, even that of Coca-Cola. But you have to be willing to reimagine, and not just replicate, your content.
You also have to be willing to invest the time into creating high-profile, low-volume pieces, like what Coca-Cola has listed in the 10% portion of their model. These are the content pieces that establish you as a thought leader in your industry.
Only by careful planning and being brave and taking risks can you create truly inspiring ideas and stories.
Advertising used to rely on short commercials and simple brand messages. Today, with content consumption higher than ever, you have to create a strong and innovative content strategy. Luckily you have the perfect opportunity to see the benefits of instituting a content strategy through the example of Coca-Cola and others.
And as a B2B marketer, you are perfectly positioned to build yourself into a thought leader in your industry by employing content marketing.