As content marketers and digital evangelists battle furiously with one another to deliver a high impact on audience reach and search results — the new content marketing equation has turned tables to have a compelling storytelling that provides meaningful experiences.
The Kingdom of ‘Content’
Content is no more just the ‘king’, it is the ‘kingdom’. Customers and communities are voraciously hungry for ‘great content’.
Content maturity that was earlier believed to be only about monetisation (customer conversion through content pieces) now goes much beyond that. It is to instantly create, consume, publish and share information at lightning speed.
Moreover, with the advent of smartphones, tablets, and constant connectivity, all of us are empowered to create content on per-minute (rather per-second) basis. Possibilities galore, there are endless technologies that feed the societies need for new, scalable, compatible and secure content solutions.
Again, more often than ever before, content needs to be everything all at once. The future of content marketing is to keep a few features in mind: visual, real-time, mobile, human, cross-platform, multi-channel, social and optimised.
Hence, the biggest question that enterprise owners are facing worldwide is: how to break through this noise and clutter of deep pool of content and create engaging and meaningful content that customers feel the need to interact with and tell others about it? The answer lies in creating actionable Content Maturity Model.
How having a Content Maturity Model helps an Enterprise?
A maturity model identifies an organisation’s current standing and identifies problem areas or growth prospects. It also offers the benefit of benchmarking against industry best practices and supports the organisation in its journey to achieve the final desirable stage of content maturity and likability. A healthy content marketing maturity model is often used by companies to evaluate and assess where they stand.
A business’ Content Marketing Maturity Model is evaluated through 5 stages of evolution. They are:
- Dormant Stage: This first stage is reserved for organisations that are reluctant or resistant to use social technologies or content marketing platforms due to unwillingness to participate or lack of impact evaluation. There content marketing activity is extremely infrequent and is solely based on ‘push’ communication methods, such as email marketing, direct mail, and advertising.
- Testing: Organisations in this phase begin to take baby steps in creating a content marketing strategy. Individuals or departments tend to test in isolated pockets. For example, such organisations would be producing basic form of content around the company’s products and would start evaluating potential agency relationships. But that’s it, nothing further than that!
- Coordinating: In this stage, management begins to coordinate across teams and departments and build a forward momentum. Content strategy is developed and tweaked wherever required and begins to be executed by respective teams. Herein, the generated content is made to go through the processes of optimisation, grading, scoring and is then distributed across marketing channels. Processes are further streamlined and formalised. The most noteworthy development in this stage is alignment with the organisation’s communication strategy as a whole.
- Scaling and Optimisation: Companies in this stage are serious about their content and there is an organisational shift toward growing and improving social applications. They go beyond thinking and planning, but are actually employing scalable initiatives to pump the quality and speed of content. Organisations at this stage are most likely to have a dedicated team of content editors, writers and producers who are engaged in generating optimised and meaningful content for their audiences.A known flaw that can prove threatening to the content marketing at this stage is that marketers tend to become too obsessed with the latest channels and technologies while neglecting the evergreen channels of communication, such as, newsletter or email and search marketing. The trick lies in incorporating new trends into the strategy while maintaining a strong hold on the conventional channels that have proved their worth and mettle over time.
- Empowering: This final stage of an enterprise content marketing maturity model is marked by content that can be monetised on its own. Here, organisations empower all relevant employees; fosters and rewards top performers towards a successful, real-time integration of content marketing. Organisations, in this phase, are able to integrate content marketing into all aspects of their branding. The innovative and widely published content that such companies create will be either branded or related to the company’s core proposition. Content divisions and departments in such a company would be most likely entrusted with their own P&L responsibilities. At this stage, a company’s own content pieces (website, blog, social media platforms, et al) are often outnumbered by earned media i.e. consumer-generated content.
In the end, one must understand that content is a mere illustration of the kind of sentiment you wish to evoke in your reader, the type of story you wish to convey, the sort of experience you want them to feel and the depth of journey and relationship you wish to create with your reader. So, let us all integrate our approaches and create compelling content that conveys the best answer in your industry, for your brand and towards your audience!