content marketing Content strategy

Context: The one thing you can’t afford to ignore

Content marketing might feel like a production line. Strategic thinking adds meaning and value, just as people bring a factory to life. Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash.

Fifty-one percent of companies reported that their top content marketing challenge in 2020 was creating content that generates quality leads.

Leads and conversions are key success metrics for content marketing. How can content marketing work without great content?

Success happens when the right content reaches the right audience at the right time. The ultimate goal is to grow the business by attracting loyal customers and increasing revenue and profits.

This goal may appear to be at odds with the notion of great content.

It isn’t.

Great content is multifaceted and nuanced. It is more than meets the eye. Think of the long list of names that last year’s Best Actress Oscar winner read at the awards ceremony – the people who made it possible for her to do award-winning work. Or the machinery required to make a dozen perfect Krispy Kreme donuts.

Great content is like that. It’s the result of a purposeful strategy, careful planning and the efforts of many people with complementary skills and perspectives.

Experts often use the term “context marketing” to describe the myriad factors that drive the production and distribution of content. It’s a relatively clinical term for a multidimensional process of coming to know a brand, a product, a medium, an audience, and even individual people.

We believe context is the key to success. Here’s why.

Context equals deeper understanding

When they have an integrated strategy, content marketers can cultivate a richer understanding of their market, which influences both creation and distribution and has long-lasting benefits, particularly for businesses with a keen eye for talent retention.

A contextual approach invites teams to dive deeper: to listen more, ask more questions, learn more, and think ever more creatively about relevance and impact. Customers’ needs are constantly changing. To work in a vacuum is to deny this tenet and risk failure – on a small and a larger scale. Context marketing acknowledges that the customer life cycle never ends. It involves critical thinking and constant re-evaluation.

Context is about people

To understand your customer is to understand that he or she is an individual, not one of a faceless mass of button-pushers. Brands that are most successful today create personalized experiences for people on their individual customer journeys, yielding further insights.

Use these insights to create more and better content. Automation software can help you reach people in the right place at the right time. Formats such as infographics, lists, podcasts, videos, and other easy-to-digest content can speed up comprehension and action.

Context demonstrates maturity

When you put in the effort to understand your customers, their needs, and their relationship with you, you’re cultivating long-term value that enriches your brand. A focus on technical context such as optimization can deliver results, but it doesn’t provide enough context.

Let’s go back to our original definition of content marketing and take a look at how contextual thinking within each element can demonstrate your brand’s maturity.

The right content: Is it relevant to your audience? Is it engaging? Is it well written, accurate, and easy to navigate? Is it in an appropriate format? Are you using data to make meaningful connections and tell a compelling story?

The right audience: Have you created and shared detailed customer personas? Are you regularly mining your data for fresh insights and sharing them with your team? Are you adapting your strategy based on outside factors affecting your audience?

The right time: Have you determined the appropriate platform and frequency of distribution? Is the CTA appropriate? Are people enthusiastic about your content? Do they seek more information and/or make a purchase?

Brands that understand content’s role in boosting their bottom line will answer these contextual questions with ease. Most of us, however, are a work in progress. Use context to better understand where you fit in today’s competitive marketplace.

Content marketing, placed in its own appropriate context, is so much more than marketing. It’s not just words or pictures on a page, an adjunct of business development or ecommerce. It’s a business function that creates and reflects value. Its potential is endless.

Consummate Prose Consulting loves helping companies build a content strategy that supports brands’ business goals. Contact us today to learn more about how content and context can help you succeed.

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