Recent years have spotlighted the growth of content strategy as a marketing and transformation lever–defining the role for content in the enterprise and building plans that are audience-driven, based on their needs and preferences to match your business goals and objectives.
The next wave is building agile content systems—being able to produce a large volume of content fairly quickly and deploying the right type of content at the right time to the right person.
In Altimeter’s recent 2021 State of Digital Content report, a study of 375 enterprise marketers globally, the research reveals a few key findings:
Content marketing has a role in nearly every industry and a distinct one in different marketing use cases. What’s needed for building awareness, shifting perception can be quite different for nurturing prospects, converting leads, and serving customers.
Digging into the data, thought leadership for example was found to be a priority for content particularly for companies in healthcare, manufacturing and professional services.
Amy Scissons, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of Russell Reynolds Associates, read the report and highlighted a few of the global executive advisory firm’s new priorities. “Cracking the code on digital content is no longer only about audience and message, it’s about agility and relevance,” said Scissons. “Marketers are faced with addressing how to insert their firm’s point of view in the existing conversation that helps their clients and prospects meet their day-to-day challenges.”
“We are at the early stage in our digital content journey,” she continued. “We are thinking big and looking at how we quickly build the [digital asset management] to enable agile content development and delivery across our ecosystem. It will get really interesting when we see how effectively we are able to engage our audiences and grow brand influence – then use those insights to build better content.”
Ricky Busby, director of eCom and website content strategy at Georgia Pacific, also interviewed earlier this year, related to the findings on scaled deployment for more personalized content. “Success requires aligning people, process, and technology,” says Busby. For instance, a company may need new technology to execute, which in turn may require new internal processes or resources. In addition, producing the increased number of creative assets for personalized content has its own inputs and work streams. “It seems straightforward, but it’s actually quite complex.”
Retail marketing executive Matthew O’Connell zoomed in on the content supply chain. “A historical impediment in retail for smart content development has been lack of clarity on what the pre-production and asset development requirements would be to meet the A.I. deployment needs,” says O’Connell. “With limited production resources, how much is too little?”
Product detail images, features, benefits, and user-generated content, he explained, can be repurposed to feed automated development of personalized assets to drive sales. Branding on the other hand, needs more thoughtful and involved content creation.”
What gets blurry, especially in retail at companies like Macy’s, O’Connell notes, is the difference between content and advertising. This has implications on the budget conversation, and he advises marketers to take a full-funnel view and investment in content solutions.
Four shifts that content marketers might make:
Content marketing continues to fuel marketing transformation, and continues to evolve even within its own formula and forms.