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We often speak to clients who still think about content marketing as a nice-to-have, an add-on to their other advertising and marketing efforts. These clients would think nothing of regularly spending money on buying traditional advertising space with far less measurability than the online channels we manage. The problem is that some brands have still not made the mental leap that enables them to understand that Content Marketing IS the new Advertising!

Until fairly recently, the way we used to promote brands was to communicate an advertising message through carefully selected media channels. Agencies relied on media strategists to analyse each medium, based on very costly but inconclusive research, to determine which medium best reaches the desired target audience. Once the media strategy was approved, it was the job of the media buyer to start negotiations with the media houses to determine rates, discounts, position and placement.

Life has become a lot easier since then! This is mainly due to a couple of key developments:

  1. Mainstream media is no longer a must on all media schedules. Mass media is expensive and the corresponding audiences have become much proliferated.
  2. Mass media is no longer the best option for many brands as these brands have become more selective with the audience they are seeking to attract. The wastage factor of mass media is mostly quite high.
  3. Television, magazines, radio, etc. are essentially owned by an external party which means that you (as the advertiser) have no control over its content, distribution, performance and promotion.
  4. Most importantly: Brands have become publishers! They now have the power to BUILD their OWNED media to strong, targeted and useful communication channels that can offer two-way communication with customers on a more frequent basis.

What brands need to realise is that they need to invest their time and money on their own media channels, like their websites. Just like with publishing a magazine, you need to dedicate resources to generating interesting content; making sure the design is appealing; that the click path of your website is logical and intuitive; and that your ‘distribution’ channels are in place (SEO, SEM and social media platforms) to introduce your website to users who are seeking information you can supply.

Content marketing is a more effective, cost efficient and smarter way to communicate with your audience through a media channel that you own and control. Invest in your own media properties and build a strong communications channel that will, in time, outweigh any other channel as the best medium to communicate to YOUR audience.

Start to see Content Marketing as an investment in your own brand!

Contentum is a content marketing company based in Cape Town. We specialise in helping brands to develop tailored content strategies, generate useful and relevant content, and manage social media channels.

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