5-step guide to help you master the art of content marketing

January 12, 2022
SCMP Insights
(Credit: The article is published as part of MARKETECH APAC’s thought leadership series What’s NEXT.)

The continuing Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way consumers search for content and, most especially, the type of content that catches their attention.

To help you stay attuned to customers’ rapidly evolving needs during 2022, follow the five-step strategy compiled by Darryl Choo, South China Morning Post’s business director, international

More marketers are recognising the power of branded content in our rapidly evolving digital age. Consumers are constantly being bombarded with all sorts of advertisements, so it is vital for brands to tell stories that resonate with their customers to ensure they stand out from the crowd. 

Content marketing also offers a range of other business benefits , including helping companies to build brand awareness, cultivate consumer loyalty and generate organic growth through publicity. 

Up to 80 per cent of marketers regard content creation as one of the top priorities, Hubspot’s Not Another State of Marketing Report 2021 says. It also shows that content marketing makes up  26 per cent of their business-to-business marketing budgets, while spending is on the rise. 

Here at South China Morning Post –  a global publisher that offers marketing solutions services – we are also seeing more companies investing in branded content. 

Plan your next successful content marketing campaign
To better plan, manage and evaluate a successful content marketing campaign, it is important that companies put a clear structure in place. Here is our five-step guide to help you plan your next content marketing campaign. 

1. Define your strategy with a framework for measurement 
Brand equity modelling is a useful tool to assess the impact of measures of brand equity on long-term brand performance. Marketers should first include metrics such as “trust”, “quality” and “reliability” with a definitive monetary value and hierarchy, alongside other tangible indicators such as the audience engagement level or sales conversion. With such a framework, marketers can constantly measure the effectiveness of each campaign and adjust their strategy to optimise the results.  

2. Know your audience through data
Storytelling is a form of art, but tailoring your content to the right audience is a science. Making use of first-, second- or third-party data is instrumental in mapping out the key communications challenges of engaging your target audience. By analysing the data, which shows such things as who your audience is, what content they consume and how they behave, marketers will have a better idea about how to strengthen the brand relevance to the target audiences in the right context. 

3. Internal support for creative process 
Compelling content requires creativity, but the bureaucratic approval process sometimes kills imaginative thinking. As such, marketers should lobby internally and get the backing of C-suite, or senior executives,  to ensure the least intervention in the creative process, while gatekeepers are in place for quality assurance and crisis prevention. Ideally two to three sign-offs would be sufficient in keeping the right balance between gatekeeping and the creative process. 

4. Tailor your distribution plan to match user journey 
With a massive volume of content available, both online and offline, marketers need to work towards more than just clicks and eyeballs. Instead, they should curate a content journey – through the right distribution channels at the right time for the right audience – that allows people to discover your brand, generate interest and build brand loyalty. 

5. Focus on long-term benefits
Most content marketers define the success of a content marketing campaign by the number of sales conversions. This overemphasis on short-term results prevents marketers from benefiting from the long-term returns – gained from creating real bonds with your customers and cultivating customer loyalty.