2023 has gotten off to a rocky start for many corporate businesses. A global recession is looming, the cost of living is up, and businesses are working to mitigate these macroeconomic challenges by preserving as much of their budget as they can. When facing a challenging environment, it may seem like the answer is to slash marketing and advertising spending. Brands are torn between choosing splashy, short-term trend-based marketing tactics or activations, and longer-term brand identity building, such as a consistent content marketing strategy.
Though it may seem like the right move is to pick what can lead to the quickest pay-off, the fact is that the role of content has never been more important. Content marketing is one of the best ways to connect, engage, and convert customers. That’s why you see so much of it everywhere – from whitepapers to newsletters to podcasts.
Done right, great content can give a brand a real competitive edge by building dedicated audiences, brand loyalty, and advocacy. To help illustrate what we mean, here are five themes that brands can use in 2023 to make the most of their content marketing strategy.
More method, less madness
Today’s changing media consumption landscape means that brands have had to transform at lightning speed to reflect the world’s digital presence. Within this context, clients often tell us they’re torn between which platforms to create content on with the limited in-house resources they have.
Deciding which channels to invest in will impact your budget and overall content marketing success. But broadly speaking, social media content (both paid and organic) continues to pack a punch in attracting audiences in Singapore and the region – as do SEO-led blogs and newsletters.
Tap into authenticity
Audiences today can spot inauthenticity, and they aren’t afraid to say it. There’s a reason why user-generated content (UGC), live streaming, and influencer marketing are on the rise; people want content to be as authentic as possible, and they appreciate opportunities to engage in dialogue with the real humans behind it.
Profiling – whether for executives or employees – has risen in popularity (and effectiveness) for this reason.
Creating content that sparks engagement goes a long way. With so many channels and formats available, brands have a huge opportunity to break away from being faceless digital entities and generate trust by focusing on the people behind the brand.
Bring data to life via storytelling
These days, simply presenting data is not enough. Rather, it has to be presented in a way that is clear, organised, and tailored to your intended audience. In short, your corporate data needs to tell a story.
Whether your story takes the form of a blog, byline or research report, it should focus on a conflict between opposing forces while following a plot structure.
As you continue your story, remember to constantly ask yourself, “What makes this important? Why should my audience care? How does it position my brand’s identity?” If the data says that 9 in 10 people in the country use their smartphone to access the internet, it’s your job to explain why that’s important and why your audience should care.
Regardless of whether you’re based in Singapore or elsewhere, all brands have a specific audience they’re looking to reach. Corporations have built their identity and marketing efforts around reaching that particular audience.
Everything from visual assets to website copy, ad campaigns, and social media content is likely anchored in what is believed to make target audiences stop and pay attention. To become more inclusive, brands need to expand their target audiences and brand identities.
This might sound like a complicated decision – but it’s actually quite easy. The quickest way to make the change and become more inclusive is to shift your brand’s mindset from appealing, for example, to mothers to appealing to parents. From there, consider who parents are these days – their age range, sexual orientations, genders, and ethnicities are absolutely core considerations. Ultimately, parents include heterosexual couples, working parents, single moms, same-sex couples, and stay-at-home dads – the list goes on and on.
Once you’ve made this switch, you’ll be on the path to reflecting the world today in your content and marketing strategies.
Optimise results and costs by planning ahead
Content planning and delivery cycles aren’t what they used to be. For instance, the increasing use of social media has pushed content marketers to think more short-term if they want to stay topical. For many brands, this has resulted in a more ad hoc use of the content for very specific campaigns that could potentially drive results – and because of this, they are missing out on the big-picture gains.
While it is important to stay nimble, planning ahead is still critical to effective content marketing – especially if you’re looking to deliver a strategic and high-quality content mix that is still cost-effective and timely.
Being strategic allows brands to be smarter with their budget and resource allocation. It also promotes effective goal setting and measurement by providing clear indications of what works for your audience and what doesn’t over a significant period of time. The insights gained can then inform both short-term pivots and continual planning for the long term.
By continuing to invest in content marketing, brands can not only remain top-of-mind with their audience, but drive leads, boost engagement, and gain actionable insights into what works best. Ultimately, content is worth the investment – it not only helps brands get through challenging times but can help them develop their identity and grow their online presence. And that is truly valuable.
For more tips for 2023, check out our handy playbook. If you’d like to learn more about how content can help your brand, drop us a line at [email protected].