Content is King: The Role of Content Management in Online Marketing

Content is King: The Role of Content Management in Online Marketing

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-68318-012-8.ch005

Abstract

This chapter is dedicated to the fledging issue of content, in terms of the different types of media and information posted on the social media and relevant platforms to broadcast the brand messages and to engage the consumers. This specific theme of content strategy is one of the major novelties introduced in digital marketing, as not only there is no equivalent in the traditional context but the digital marketer needs to adopt a new mindset and break some well-established boundaries. Besides the different content development approaches, we also discuss the different ways to attract and build an audience, applying techniques, both for organic and paid growth, as an engaged audience can be a valuable source of competitive advantage for the brands and the companies.
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Questions:

  • 1.

    Why does not always the strongest survive in the internet?

  • 2.

    How can the content become as important as the product/ service?

  • 3.

    How does the marketing mix change when applied online?

  • 4.

    What has leadership to do with content?

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Introduction

In the previous chapters of this book, there is a lot of discussion about the content, the related strategies and why they are so important. Even only one minute in the social media will make the problem very visible: too many posts (tweets, pins, photos etc.) - too little time. With our attention span reduced to 8 seconds, according to a recent Microsoft research (Watson, 2015) and our augmented ability to do multiple things at a time without really focusing on any (Deichman, 2010), it has become a real challenge for marketers to attract and keep the users’ eyes on their content. The new reality today has exposed us to a plethora of articles written about any given subject, and we face the enormous, unstoppable production of content, surmounting the demand. New standards emerge for marketers but also for content consumers. This is not a hype nor a newly emerging trend: As humans, we have the fundamental need to promote ourselves, support our beliefs and share our ideas (Zhu & Chen, 2015), and when we get the feedback we are expecting, for our brains this is a rewarding equivalent to sex, money and social acceptance (Meshi et al., 2013). With over one million selfies taken per day, we are clearly living in the era of “me-formation”, where literally our favorite subject of talking and sharing is ourselves. Remember the Rutgers University research in Chapter 5, about the streams of “me-formation” flooding the Internet (Naaman et al., 2010). The marketer really has to deal with the following challenge: the digital environment is too noisy, too cluttered, and the bar rises to the level of producing and sharing content that, when compared with “me” content, posted by friends and relatives, it will win the contest and grab the user’s attention. How can we do this?

In an attempt to compare traditional and digital marketing, we often talk about a shift in focus: beyond the Service Dominant Logic to a new era of Co-Creation Dominant logic (Kaufmann & Manarioti, 2016). Traditional marketing is mostly about the products/ services and the brand, and, even when it is customer-focused and behavioral, the presence of the company is intense throughout the communication. For example, there is probably zero possibility to watch a TV commercial where the product will be absent or the brand logo will not be presented. Traditional marketers are used to talking about their products; one could say they are addicted to it, as the business pendant to me-formation, except that the discussion is not focused on a person but on the brand. Relating this mindset to the online context means that the brands will produce and share content that will promote and advertise their product/ services, stores, and offers. In addition, brand managers will prominently place this content in front of the users, pushing the information to them scheduling a TV commercial or a print ad. This is a successfully tested practice with only one shortcoming: the content will be ignored, because online plays by other rules than offline. In the online marketing context, it is not the strongest but the most interesting and relevant one that survives; the focus is on what is useful for the readers, what matches their interests, what type of content they want to consume. As discussed in Chapter 5, digital marketers go where consumers are (Ashley & Tuten, 2015) and tailor their means and messages to fit in the small area where the brand’s purpose and the interest and the need of the user converge. This is why puppies, kittens, and funny gifs are prominently featured on brand pages, and it’s this new mindset that constitutes the major shift that is the cornerstone of content creation in modern marketing.

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