Five Questions To Ask Before You Get Into Content Marketing

Rear view of class raising hands --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
SHARE
THIS



In this guest post, Storyation’s head of content, Lauren Quaintance (pictured below), talks to some of Australia’s top content marketers and gets their tips on improving your own content marketing strategy…

I got married almost a decade ago in a tiny 150-year old wooden church near Queenstown in New Zealand. My husband and I aren’t especially religious – and we lived a three-hour flight away in Sydney – so we didn’t meet the reverend until the days before the wedding.

Lauren Quaintance

He was a beatific older gentleman who didn’t seem to mind our unconventional wedding soundtrack which included blasting out La La Love You by alt-rock band The Pixies as we exited the church. But I know other couples who had a series of meetings with their priest in the months leading up to their nuptials where they were asked some blunt (and sometimes awkward) questions.

Things like: are you a spender or a saver? Who will be responsible for household chores? Where do you want to be in 5 years/10 years/25 years? It’s not terribly romantic but it has always struck me as sensible and I wonder, if you asked them now, what those couples would say was the single most useful question they were asked. The one question that really helped them to navigate the path ahead and ensure the success of their relationship.

You could say that like marriage, content marketing is a long-term play and the more I meet marketers struggling with content marketing for one reason or another I want to ask them: what is the one question you wished someone had asked before you began? So I asked some of the smartest people I know in the industry to answer this question. One of them, Bupa’s always assiduous head of global content strategy Matt Allison, offered three questions and I’m happy to share them all.

Matt Allison, Head of Global Content Strategy, Bupa

What specific business outcomes (i.e., NPS, sales, lead generation, brand awareness) do you want the content to achieve – and in what order?

I cannot overemphasise the importance of being crystal clear on the opportunity – and outcome – you’re chasing right from the start. In addition to helping drive organisational alignment, once you’re clear on ‘what’ your content marketing is going to deliver, it’s a lot easier to shape and prioritise ‘how’ you’re going to get there. 

What’s more important: discoverability of content (SEO) or quality storytelling?

And how do you balance both requirements? Search and quality storytelling aren’t mutually exclusive and you really want to nail both elements. However, I always come back to the customer so from my perspective, your content strategy should be primarily data and SEO-led, but underpinned by beautifully crafted content. Utopia for many marketers is to build a sustainable pool of free, qualified leads, which reaffirms the importance of search.

Another way to frame this discussion is: would you create the world’s greatest piece of content, if you knew no one was going to find or engage with it? I wouldn’t create that asset as a standalone, unless it delivered a specific business outcome, and it was integrated into the broader content and buyer journey.

How are you planning to scale your content operation? (Assuming you want to.)

You don’t need to have all the answers when you start producing content; and your approach will evolve over time. However, you do need to ensure your operating model has the fluidity to enable you to scale production and distribution, or pivot in other directions as required.

Georgia Rickard, former editor, Australian Traveller and Senior Editor, Storyation

Can you tell it visually?

CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella said it best: “We are moving to a new world where the true scarce commodity is increasingly human attention.” The net result: written English is no longer the most effective way to communicate (don’t believe me? See the rise of internet speak, abbreviations, emojis, gifs, the proliferation of imagery technology, the explosion of video…). It’s not appropriate for every brand in every instance, but as society shifts towards more visual forms of storytelling, it’s increasingly important to ask: could I tell this visually? And if so, why aren’t I already?

Andres Lopez Varela, digital marketing consultant and former Global Content Editor, Tourism Australia 

Where along the path to purchase do your consumers need the most help?

By understanding at which point/s along the path to purchase your consumers or customers need help, you’re more likely to be able to design your marketing content in a way that specifically addresses their pain points and makes conversion easy.

For example, if customers have trouble distinguishing between brands and products in your particular space, give them content that breaks down the differences in a prescriptive, accessible kind of way. If signing up is easy for your customers but getting the most out of your product or service requires a bunch more work, then give them content that is instructive and focused on the benefits of learning how to use your product.

This question is a fundamental one that also sets you on the path to finding the right data (and lots of it) so you can begin to understand your audience. Don’t dive headlong into content marketing thinking you have the right stuff just because you have great creative or producers on your side; only dive in when you know the motivations, challenges and needs your audience has.

Give them content that addresses those three things, rather than your own product or brand’s messaging framework, and you’re going to find that you have more engaged customers who have an affinity with your brand and are more likely to act when you ask them to.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Bupa lauren quaintance storyation

Latest News

me&u Appoints Clementine Churchill To Head Of Marketing
  • Marketing

me&u Appoints Clementine Churchill To Head Of Marketing

me&u, Australia’s first and leading mobile ordering and payment platform, has appointed Clementine Churchill as Head of Marketing as they continue to drive rapid growth and expansion in Australia and new international markets. A highly experienced marketing leader and recognised industry thought leader, Churchill joins me&u from My Muscle Chef, one of Australia’s top rated […]

MILO Asks Fans To Compete To Win #TheMILOCup In New Campaign Via Ogilvy
  • Marketing

MILO Asks Fans To Compete To Win #TheMILOCup In New Campaign Via Ogilvy

MILO is on the search for Australia’s best made MILO, calling on fans to share their creations for the chance to win #TheMILOCup, via Ogilvy Sydney. This integrated campaign follows on from the success of last year’s ‘Hot v Cold’ campaign, which encouraged Aussies to settle the debate on whether MILO is best enjoyed hot […]

New ANZ Research Shows That LGBTQ+ Visual Representation Relies On Stereotypes
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

New ANZ Research Shows That LGBTQ+ Visual Representation Relies On Stereotypes

New research from Getty Images, a world leader in visual communications, has found that LGBTQ+ representation in ANZ remains low and stereotypical. It’s 2021 – this needs to change – especially in marketing and advertising. In partnership with GLAAD, the LGBTQ+ media advocacy organisation, Getty Images has launched a full-spectrum Guidebook in direct response to […]

Dir David Attenborough’s Life Stories Launches On LiSTNR
  • Media

Dir David Attenborough’s Life Stories Launches On LiSTNR

Natural historian Sir David Attenborough is one of the most commanding and respected storytellers in the world and now the iconic series, David Attenborough Life Stories, is available on LiSTNR as part of SCA’s recently announced partnership with the BBC. David Attenborough Life Stories is a series of talks on the natural histories of creatures and […]

Menulog Makes Key Marketing Promotions
  • Media

Menulog Makes Key Marketing Promotions

Menulog has doubled down on its marketing support for restaurant partners, with the promotion of Senior Marketing Manager, Rami Tamer, to a newly created role of ‘Head of Partner Marketing’, as well as the promotion of former-Blue 449 Performance Manager, Jaryd Buggins. In the new Head of Partner Marketing role, Rami will lead a team […]

Barry Drinkwater Leaves ARN Brisbane After 28 Years, Will Hand Over Reins To Alisson Longhurst
  • Media

Barry Drinkwater Leaves ARN Brisbane After 28 Years, Will Hand Over Reins To Alisson Longhurst

ARN has announced Barry Drinkwater will be handing over his content director reins at 97.3FM and 4KQ to respected radio executive, Alisson Longhurst. Drinkwater has had a stellar career in radio spanning more than four decades, and was acknowledged as one of Australia’s Top 20 Content Directors by Radio Today in 2020. He began his radio career […]

Australian Radio Industry Joins Global Working Group On Android Automotive
  • Media

Australian Radio Industry Joins Global Working Group On Android Automotive

The Australian commercial radio industry has joined a global working group of broadcasters, carmakers and tech experts collaborating on the innovation of radio in Android Automotive. Android Automotive is Google’s infotainment operating system which is being built into new connected cars. Industry body Commercial Radio Australia is part of the working group, led by the […]

Triple M’s No Talk Day Returns To Inspire Conversation Around Men’s Mental Health
  • Media

Triple M’s No Talk Day Returns To Inspire Conversation Around Men’s Mental Health

For the third consecutive year, Triple M’s No Talk Day will return on Thursday July 1 to raise awareness around men’s mental health and encourage courageous conversations on Triple M’s 45 stations across the country with support from partner Beyond Blue.  From 6:00am – 6:00pm on July 1, Triple M is encouraging listeners to clear […]

Businessman using tablet payments online shopping with speed icons customer and data network connection on virtual screen.
  • Marketing

62% Of Shoppers Doing Most Of Their Purchases Online: BigCommerce And PayPal Report

Consumer shifts in how and where people buy products evolved significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, creating new opportunities for retailers to use new channels, fulfilment strategies and payment options, according to the results of a new survey out today from BigCommerce and PayPal. While a majority of the 3,000 consumers surveyed from the United States, United Kingdom […]

New Talent Agency, Liquorice Plants Roots In NZ
  • Marketing
  • Media

New Talent Agency, Liquorice Plants Roots In NZ

The brainchild of co-founders Gina Williams-Folau (main photo) and Greer Bland, the talent agency Liquorice was born out of a desire to make things easier for brand managers. Liquorice offers social talent for brands wanting to hit the sweet spot with Kiwi audiences. Launching with a roster of big names on board including Millie Elder-Holmes, Athena […]