Look around you, everything is smart – smartphones, smart cars, smart TVs, smart meals, and even smart cities. It’s no surprise then that content, (our close friend in the digital era) is the latest to sport the smart tag.
But what is smart content? In the same way that phones, cars and cities etc. have earned the title, content that uses technology-enabled tools to optimise output and efficiency is deemed smart.
The need for optimised content has been fuelled by the sheer growth of digital media, and resultant overcrowding in the online marketing space.
There is no escaping the fact that today a marketing plan is incomplete without a planned and structured content strategy. It is no wonder then that ‘content marketing strategies’ occupies the number one spot in the Forbes’ list of top 7 online marketing trends that will dominate 2014. However, having compelling editorial and marketing presence on websites and social media is not enough – it has to be rewarding to the brand in reaching out to the right audience, the end consumer.
The UK’s Digital Editors’ Network (DEN) which comprises national and regional press is certainly in agreement. The group has dedicated its meeting next month to discuss ways to make content smart for audiences online. ‘I see ‘smart content’ as social, measurable and audience-focused, rewarding for all involved and timely,’ said DEN’s co-founder, Francois Nel.
So, how can we create smart content? We discussed this in an earlier post titled ‘The only marketing you need is a good story,’ which stressed on the importance of quality content rather than a blatant marketing pitch. But this post is more materialistic, it is about finding the means to convert the clicks to hard-cash. Sounds ambitious? It is, but it is also achievable if brands invest in smart tools to supplement the content in place.
Whether it’s a press release, blog, video, webinar or whitepaper, PR agencies and in-house communication teams that passively sit back after hitting the publish button, will find fewer takers for their content, no matter how exciting the story in question.
One option offered by Cision’s content marketing suite is amplification that guarantees the brand visibility on leading news sites by leveraging the right distribution, database, measurement and analysis systems in place, designed to deliver ROI.
The bottom line is that content marketing is by no means an overnight approach to generating brand engagement and following, but it is definitely a faster way to boost visibility and loyalty for a brand. As the Internet gets increasingly saturated, the need to use content marketing tools that determine the fate of communication has become imperative to a brand’s success – and smartness.