Content marketing may been seen as a means of growing relatively small companies’ visibility online, but this doesn’t mean that it isn’t relevant for the biggest companies in the world, too. In his telling predictions for content marketing in the coming year, Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, says that in 2014 at least three Fortune 500 brands will hire a Chief Content Officer.
While companies might be growing bigger, global and more diverse, the brand message and identity customers are searching for is smaller, more individual and more personal. Faceless corporations are fast becoming as unfashionable as flares, and the hard sell is the mini-disc of the advertising world.
Speaking to the Content Marketing Institute, Mitch Joel, President of digital marketing agency Twist Image, says of the coming year: “[Brands] will start seeing content as an engine to extend the brand narrative beyond advertising. Content as a means of brand personalisation will be key.”
He raises one of the key points of content marketing – the ability of personalisation. For a small business, content marketing is a great tool for broadening your audience by way of focusing and directing your message. A large company may not need that same scale of broadcast, so what content marketing offers is a way of humanising and tailoring your message to a select group of customers – customers that could represent your most valuable targets.
Mike Weir, Global Head of Category Development, Technology at LinkedIn echoes this sentiment: “Real-time content marketing will become the new goal as companies strive to participate in conversations versus just sending content to people on their own schedule,” he says. To quote a much admired ad-man (Don Draper): “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.”
Through informative blog posts and targeted social media posts, large corporations can bring their message into the public arena without forcing it down their customer’s throats. This doesn’t necessarily mean they can change the conversation, but that they can select what they share and how they broadcast their brand.
To give an example, during Southerly’s recent Social Media Clinic we illustrated how multinational logistics firm UPS is already using a clever and comprehensive social media strategy to drum up unprecedented levels of user engagement.
2014 will be the year that content marketing is fully adopted by Fortune 500 companies’ marketing plans, and it shows no sign of abating.