Content marketing, when done right, can cut through the noise and deliver an engaging experience to audiences. More and more marketers are seeing the benefits of investing in print and digital products that foster direct connections with their consumers through custom content. And publishers who are looking to diversify their revenues are providing those marketers with more options than ever before in order to connect with consumers.
Vice President of Product at Bookmark, Arjun Basu, has seen the evolution of content marketing over the past 15 years as shifts in publishing and consumer demands have evolved. And as ad dollars have shifted away from print, Bookmark has shifted the way it does business as well.
“One of the things that that [shift] has done is that a lot of marketers have seen the relevancy of content, or at least content that engages the consumer, as a legitimate form of marketing. So that’s been good for us,” says Basu in the latest episode of AudioMag. “Content is now seen as a viable and sometimes even desirable marketing tool in the overall marketing mix for a brand and there are companies now that are there to serve that.”
The rise of niche publishing has also fed the demand for content marketing, as brands are better able to pinpoint far more specific audiences.
“I think the rise of niche and content marketing are concurrent in many ways. We have seen the flip side – the fall of anything general: general stores, department stores, general interest magazines, anything that in a way doesn’t have a focus or that wants to be everything to everyone,” says Basu. “The magazines that make it now are niche and in the custom world whether B2C or B2B there is a media product for absolutely everyone. So I think the rise of niche and rise of content marketing are one in the same.”
Publishers who work directly with brands to create custom content can also tap into that brand’s existing data about their customers to inform the kinds of products and content best suited to connect with that audience.
“Data leads to personalization which leads to further niche creations and the finding of audiences. So you might have a client that has three or four different audiences and you can tailor your content to each one’” he explains.
Key in content creation is strategy, and understanding the tone and voice for the brand if that hasn’t already been established. Those planks – figuring out the strategy and voice – take a lot of resources upfront in the process, but are crucial to a project’s success.
“Strategy is at the heart of everything so before you are outputting anything you have to create a comprehensive strategy that ticks off all the boxes from the client side from what you come into it as a marketer and the research that you have done about the audiences. About how the audience prefers to consume messaging from not just the client but from everyone in general,” says Basu.
“At the end of the day people are not going to click if the underlying message there is not speaking to them. So you can make something really lovely and it will show up in someone’s feed and they’ll see it but they won’t do anything because it doesn’t say anything. At the end of the day it really is the message that leads to interaction and leads to engagement.”
Hear the full episode of AudioMag here.