Content marketing: from reach to relevance
Back in 1900, Michelin may have been a pioneer with its famous Michelin guides. So, why has content marketing waited until the 2010s to become a hype? Michelin expanded the reach of its brand through its guides but had little to no competition. Today, many brands provide similar information and can reach consumers at any time they want. Digital urges marketing to shift focus from ‘market reach’ to ‘customer relevance’. The challenge is to be relevant to individuals,.. on a global scale.
To truly engage consumers, content marketers will focus on typical buyer persona. For these persona, research will have to reveal their typical buying habits: where do they search for brands, how do they select products, what influences them, what touch points do they use and when. Based on this data, consumer needs are identified for each step in their decision journey. The result will be a massive overview of content requirements that will challenge any marketer’s budget.
Relevance needs a return
As visual content seems to significantly impact consumer engagement and conversion, brands have started to focus on creating content and using social networks to activate consumers. Product content was offered across websites, retailers and digital touch points in-store. But as with all investments, ultimately they need to provide returns. Today, brands are seeking ways to balance consumer engagement with marketing efficiency.
When looking for ways to drive efficiency, brands will have to look at the bulk of their content. For most consumer product brands this will direct them to visual product content. This content is required across the decision journey, needs localization and changes every time new products are introduced.
Working for major brands in consumer electronics, home furnishing and retail, INDG identified 5 steps to drive the ROI of visual product content:
1. Create a grid of all visual content needs
First off all, brands will need to determine for what touch points they need visual content. Next this content needs to be categorized to identify what digital assets can be reused. This is a crucial step that will provide extremely valuable insights for central and regional marketing teams to prevent redundant production of content.
2. Determine content formats
Next, brands should identify typical formats for visual content. This might sound dull and less engaging but it’s not. It just urges brands to decouple creative power from content production. In turn this will provide more consistent content that is better usable across touch points. The media industry has been using a similar approach for many decades. Just think about TV show formats that are even being licensed across countries.
3. Replace traditional production with CGI
While most brands use traditional photography and video production for the bulk of their content, it is probably not the most efficient way. Brands will need access to a physical product, send it to a studio for shooting and collect it afterwards. This content is always ready AFTER a first product was produced, content is not reusable, high costs for logistics and write-offs. Today, computer generated content prevents all these challenges and can reach similar (if not better) quality content. And best of all, it can always be modified to create derivative shots featuring other angles or other product materials or colors.
4. Setup a content production pipeline
While some studios may have offered CGI work before, very few are able to serve content production as a service (rather than a range of separate visualization projects). The major difference between the two is that a large scale production approach is organized to guarantee and increase quality and service levels over time. The content producer will also heavily invest in production innovations that will drastically reduce cost of ownership and time to market. Content production and marketing will consequently be seamlessly aligned.
5. Store content in a digital asset management system
In order to deal with major amounts of content, the access to content will ultimately have to be managed in order to be able to find it, manage versions and distribute it for regional marketing efforts. Working with CGI content requires a good organization of so-called master assets: 3D blueprints of products that will be used as a single source for all product content. This will minimize any risk for redundant productions and provide a consistent, high quality product experience.