Since the start of 2017, we conducted an experiment: What would be the impact of a six-month absence from our social media, blog and eNewsletter?
Why did we do this? Content is the current marketing fad, with copious amounts of text, images and video produced in the vain attempt to be noticed. We thought it would be useful to undertake a live example to demonstrate our pursuit of marketing metrics that matter.
‘Hello darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again.’
Content (and social media) more broadly is often an example of where marketers are often shouting into the darkness, creating activities to look busy, but with tenuous pathways towards tangible outcomes.
‘People talking without speaking, People hearing without listening’
Instead, content like any marketing tactic needs to be considered as part of a chain of activities:
- The Input: ‘how much content have we published’
- The Output: ‘Who has read/seen/viewed this content’ and are they aligned to our target market?
- The Outcome: ‘Has this content led us closer to a purchase decision?’
Very rarely does one marketing tactic alone lead to a purchase decision. Furthermore, the user could be distinct to the purchaser or influencer, requiring the ability to engage and motivate multiple stakeholders.
Content that does not reach its audience, or is not part of the decision-making process, will not lead to a purchase intent.
Does content have a role in marketing? It does, if there is an understanding of where it supports the journey from acquisition to commitment and through to retention. Treat social media with similar caution; it is extremely easy to spend resources on social or content and not generate a suitable return.
‘And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement hall” and whispered in the sounds of silence
What impact have we had from a six-month absence from content? Nil, in terms of project commitment and deployment.
What role does content serve for us? Our marketing metrics highlight (and this experiment now verifies) that content is part of our broader stakeholder engagement. Our role for content is public relations through supporting our position on Marketing Governance.
Always understand your market before executing marketing tactics. How do you use content and what gaps exist? Complete our short two-minute questionnaire to find out.