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Forget Media Planning, Embrace Content Planning

  |  June 28, 2011   |  Comments   |  

Content can be created, bought, and borrowed; here's how.

Media planning as a function has been around for ages now, and with increasing media fragmentation it is getting difficult to find audience within limited resources. Newer and newer media platforms are emerging and marketers are increasingly losing control over these platforms as most of them are now being controlled by consumers themselves. Thanks to social spaces like social networking platforms, blogs, user-generated content video platforms, discussion forums, and so on and so forth.

One thing which has not changed is 'consumers' need for good content' irrespective of platforms. And that is the primary reason for this huge fragmentation that we are all experiencing. Consumers are finding relevant content elsewhere and they are not sticking anymore to traditional ways of consuming content.

From marketers' perspective, it will get even more difficult to create content for all possible media channels, it has always been. I feel that everybody in digital domain needs to think about content in a different way. Historically, content has always been a responsibility of creative agencies or nowadays digital content agencies. The content was always thought about to be created by brand itself through its agency partners, it needs to change and needs to change quickly to survive in the game. Let me give you a perspective on how content can be everybody's responsibility and capability.

We always treat media these days as owned, bought, and earned media, likewise content can be created, bought, and borrowed. Let's understand this in more detail.

Created Content

This encompasses traditional ways of branded content created by agencies for any brand. It includes TVCs, PR articles, radio jingles, branded videos, etc. The brand has full control on the content and messaging which goes to an audience at large. The end users have no scope of participation in brand-created content and is normally broadcasted to them through various media. If the brand is global, lots of content made for other countries can be repurposed to suit other local markets, especially when some global celebrities are involved.

Bought Content

Marketers who find it difficult to create content can go for this option of buying content from appropriate and relevant sources, e.g., a cosmetics brand can buy content from a beauty and lifestyle portal and use it on brand's own websites, microsite, etc. This bought content helps the brand to expand its social presence too, if disseminated properly through relevant social channels. Many advertisers are paying bloggers also to create content for them in their web spaces.

Borrowed Content

How Content Planning Helps in Digital Marketing

Content should be intrinsic to your digital strategy. Going forward, you can't afford to have a digital strategy without content being an integral part of it. It's not 'how important is content in a digital marketing strategy?' it's 'how important is content strategy in digital marketing?'

Here's a list on the clear benefits of having a good content strategy in place:

  • Content increases search engine ranking for the brand's web presence. The efforts of search engine optimisation (SEO) are far more successful and effective when the brand's content is well distributed across web spaces. The brand becomes 'searchable' by the users as a result of good content strategy.
  • An efficient content strategy helps in reducing search engine marketing costs to a great extent as brands start to appear more often in the organic listing of search engines.
  • A good content strategy helps the brand in being device agnostic. With increasing web access from mobile devices and tablets, marketers are finding it difficult to distribute content across devices. Whenever a brand develops content, it should be developed keeping in mind its visibility and suitability across smartphones, feature phones, tablets, etc.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

RP  Singh

RP Singh is a digital marketing specialist with over 12 years of new media experience working in India, China, and Southeast Asia. As the CEO of Sirez Group, RP looks after 4 companies under Sirez: Sirez Infosystems, MRP Digital, Apptology and Sample&Try. He has worked at leading media networks WPP and Starcom MediaVest Group including organizations such as GroupM, Starcom, Ogilvy, Trident Group, and Smile Interactive. RP has worked on brands like P&G, General Motors, Amex, Diageo, Qualcomm, Nokia, Lufthansa, Pepsico, Economist, British Airways, GSK, Tourism New Zealand, HSBC, Ford, Perfetti Van Melle, Akzo Nobel, Apollo Tyres, GE Money and Hero Honda among others. He believes digital is about the consumer, not technology. RP has trained over 600 marketers in digital marketing so far and also a member of advisory council for World Brand Congress. A lead trainer and mentor for afaqs Campus, an active blogger, and a visiting faculty at leading B Schools.

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