Content Marketing – The Medium is the Message

Giving the keynote at the recently concluded Let's Talk Content forum was a challenge by the very nature of the topic - an entire evening about content marketing.

I never bought in to the term, to me it's a buzzword that doesn't really align with what it intends to be - evergreen content that should stick around for a while. So, was the audience of start-ups expecting something that championed the phrase?

One of the perils of leadership means that sometimes you've got to put yourself out there ready for judgement. Fortified by the prospect I've been creating content for over six years, I was confident in relaying Greenlight's stance on content marketing.

Content Marketing is cleverly engineered communication

Content Marketing 2014 2

My presentation, titled 'Content Marketing Is' (David Bowie fans will grin at this point) was a roller-coaster ride through the various stories and confusions surrounding content marketing: the fact that it's a metrics mind maze, a 'new service', an essential product to invest in or perhaps even dead.

These stories were the path to revealing my (and Greenlight's take) on content marketing, which is that such content production is cleverly engineered communication. I went on to describe how content that is engineered should include audience and influencer definition as standard, as well as in depth research into predicted topic traction.

I very much believe in 'the medium is message' and the other part of the content engineering process is deciphering which medium (e.g video, graphic, text) to be present your idea in. What kind of content do your audience want to receive?

The other big part of the 'content marketing' story remains around measurement. The problem I think lies in brands, company and people not being sure what to measure exactly.

A big part of content measurement lies in its subjectivity and some ambiguity around the penetrative impact of some measurements such as 'likes', shares and bounce rates.

I questioned what these different measurements really mean - e.g. does pick up equate to engagement? - and structured what I consider to be content KPIs into 5 different measurement items.

For me, it's about choosing what's important when you go about creating your content. You can't possibly hit all the possible goals out there, so choose what's important to you, what you want to achieve, and engineer from there.

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