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  • Writer's pictureC.E.K. & Partners

Content Marketing: 6 Practical Questions to Ask.

Three agency professionals in an office setting
Diverse team of young agency professionals

Slamming on the brakes with your marketing or content development is an all-too-common reaction during uncertain times. Whether it is economic downturn or inflationary period, but we caution you—don’t do it!

It could leave you in a less competitive position. Experience tells us those B2C and B2B companies that stay the course with marketing during uncertain times do better than those that don’t.

Companies need to continually rely on strategic communications and the consistency of distributing digital content.

What follows are 3 of the many reasons to stay the course with your content marketing, along with 6 very practical questions to consider before you make any additional changes.

Here are three reasons to stay the course with content development:

Reason 1 – Content Marketing Takes a Long-Term Strategy

Content marketing is intended as a long-term strategy. It isn’t expected to demonstrate ROI right away. The different types of content produced support customers across their buying journey as they plan for what’s next—when people are researching and planning. In fact, people consume more digital content today than ever!

Reason 2 – Maintain Top-of-Mind Presence

Experience tells us that those brands that continue to invest in marketing communication during uncertain times find themselves on a stronger trajectory. Consistency in communications matters. Plus, people are online more than ever now.

Developing content—whether it is a virtual webinar, a panel discussion or blog post—signals you’re taking the time to educate and inspire others, which is more relevant today than in years past. Be mindful about the content, and certainly avoid aggressive selling, but do continue with developing content that provides relevant information to your customers and prospective ones. Plus, the communication you produce highlights your company’s stability, its commitment to customers and its agility in adapting.

Reason 3 – Being Human Requires Engagement

Being human matters more than ever in an increasingly digital world. It means continuing to connect in an authentic and compassionate way.

A quote we love from Maya Angelou that we believe rings true:

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

During business conversations, it's okay to take on a personal tone, and we’re talking with our peers on a deeper level, too. More than ever people want and need to engage in a meaningful way—and this also applies to B2C and B2B brand communications.

With B2C and B2B brand communications, it has always been our recommendation to use a tone of people talking to people. There's a need for both B2C and B2B content marketing to display authenticity, compassion, and if you have one, your company's purpose.

While content should infuse plenty of empathy, it should balance that with providing helpful business information people are searching for about your products, services and solutions.

As you make decisions about your content marketing, here are 6 key questions to consider:

Question 1 – Should you eliminate your content marketing budget?

Will eliminating your content marketing budget be detrimental for your B2C or B2B company's future success? Perhaps, you think you'll be able to use AI or other tools. Consider whether you can maintain your content marketing efforts, and your content marketing goals are now and into next year. A human should be at the helm to make strategic decisions.

Are you trying to achieve something different than when you created your plan? You may find some new goals, such as putting people first and helping your customers in different ways, which may require new content and resource centers.

There are some core goals that should stay steady:

· Communicating consistently with simplicity and clarity

· Generating awareness and building trust

· Delivering relevant content that informs and educates

· Engaging customers across different content formats & channels

Perhaps you can even consider revving up your content development—giving you a much-needed edge.

Question 2 – Should you adjust your content marketing plan?

As you review your content plan, be flexible with the topics and identify what might be timely now. What is relevant? Should you be posting about the surge in card-not-present (CNP) fraud? If you provide cyber security solutions, yes. If you provide banking services, it’s relevant, but probably should be reprioritized after content about interest rates and the ongoing inflationary period.

Question 3 – How should you engage your content agency partner?

Open discussion on revised budgets and strategic plans allows your content agency partner to help you think through how to manage your content marketing plans and develop you annual content calendar. Furthermore, they can help you think through which content could be developed in-house without jeopardizing producing high-quality content, and which type should be produced by the content marketing agency.

Question 4 – Can you leverage existing content and repurpose it?

If you need to stretch your budget and be mindful of the amount of time you can allocate to creating new content, pause and evaluate the content you’ve created to date.

As you review your content marketing, your team should ask:

· What content can be repurposed as it exists or with minimal edits (such as refreshing with new imagery or updated statistics)?

· Without needing to start from scratch, what content could be more significantly edited to work?

Question 5 – How should content formats and distribution channels change?

Whether you’re having your content marketing agency repurpose or produce new content, consider the need to explore different formats. Should content be more accessible as a blog post instead of a gated download? Should content be adapted to a more visual format such as an infographic or interactive digital piece instead of a long-form PDF like a white paper? In lieu of trade shows, should you layer in the top emerging platforms that brands are using?

Here are two of the top emerging platforms:

· Virtual gatherings using a video conferencing platform, ranging from conferences and panels to more social ones.

· Webinars with partners to discuss the implications of the changing market dynamics and industry landscapes affecting business.

Of course, the answers to these questions will depend on your industry.

Question 6 – Are your current call-to-actions (CTAs) still relevant?

As you reevaluate your content, consider your existing CTAs. Are they still appropriate? Or are they too aggressive with hard sells?

Are you taking the steps to ensure your brand maintains its digital presence today to secure its longevity and readiness for today and into the future?

Don’t delay your content planning or hold back on producing digital content. Listen carefully and stay engaged by continuing to communicate with your customers and community.

Developing and managing content isn't easy! We’re here to help you, whether it is to think through the changes needed or to act as an extension of your team to provide the necessary expertise and capacity in a thoughtful and productive way.

We're a certified woman-owned small business. As an Atlanta-based market research and strategic communications firm, we're trusted by Fortune 1,000 companies, innovators, category disruptors, start-ups and nonprofits to custom design research tsudies, articulate their purpose, develop their brand stories, and create content.

Creating content is hard. It takes time and discipline.

The C.E.K. & Partners' team is here here to help.

What are you waiting for? Contact us today.


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