Content marketing or the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs and social media) has solidified its position in any forward-thinking businesses marketing spend. There are multiple ways to present your content to your immediate following and not all methods get the desired results.

In our more recent content marketing campaigns and the analytics that surround them, we have started to see an increasingly more engaging consumer. One that requires a lot more convincing than previously suspected.

Content Marketing

It’s becoming evident that “hard-selling” a product or service is losing its effectiveness. In some area’s this strategy still works, however most of the data is showing us that consumers are engaging content at up to 10 different instances before converting and contacting a business.

It’s clear that brand awareness has taken centre stage and demands a lot more out of marketing professionals from day-to-day. We have identified three key areas we would like to focus on to better leverage content marketing for businesses in SA.

1. Creating a relationship rather than making a sale

We see it so often in Corporate South Africa where 80 – 90% of any content marketing put forward is all about the businesses products or services. This content to a potential customer has very little success with as little as 1% conversion rate in some cases. This approach is dead and should be buried… A dynamic approach involves exploring ways to give your consumer the best value up-front. At times the bottom-line may take a small hit to build strategic relationships.

With that said we are not insinuating that you give away things for free left, right and centre as that wouldn’t be a sustainable model. However, leveraging smart promotions where users engage with your content and share things in return for products and services will go a long way as appose to being fed a “broken record” along with every other competitor in your industry.

2. Leveraging influencers within your industry

This content marketing strategy follows on from point 1. The basic principle is to contact “bigger fish” in the industry, offering them value in return for exposure. To succeed with this strategy, you will need to make “strategic” sacrifices and remain persistent. 90% of the influencers you attempt to contact will not entertain collaborating with you. However, it only takes 1 big influencer to boost your exposure 10-fold.

This process also requires zero expectation from the get-go and should always be assessed for risk vs reward. If you are not willing to give as much as you are getting, then the model is doomed to fail. What this might look like for your business is giving a few select influencers that are willing to collaborate value through free products or services in return for them reposting, tagging or sharing your content to their following. Bear in mind this approach is not only for small businesses, there is a great amount of value in collaboration amongst bigger corporations and we believe majority of South African firms have not successfully leveraged this yet.


3. Successfully documenting rather than creating

Its increasingly evident that content marketing relies quite heavily on frequency. We have found time and again marketing professionals hit a roadblock when they attempt to constantly create dynamic content from scratch. This isn’t sustainable and often leads to very bland content when its forced out just to meet the weekly post schedule. We are currently working on a more dynamic model that promotes documenting all aspects of our day-to-day.

The authenticity you get when documenting things live and as they happen is unmatched and solves a lot of your frequency issues. You are looking for a balance of strategic content or “thought pieces” in conjunction with day-to-day frequency boosters. The model is predicated on execution being of the utmost importance.