content marketing and comms people

What is content marketing? Does it have a place amongst the comms mix? Actually, yes, says one campaigns delivery manager.

by Soraya Mitchell

‘Content is king’ so say a lot of people without really knowing who first said it. Bill Gates apparently, so very prescient of him.

To prove the point  there is now a whole movement dedicated to the noble pursuit of  ‘content marketing’, which has spawned America’s Content Marketing Institute and the UK’s Content Marketing Association.

‘Content marketing is the only marketing left’ so says Seth Godin, Marketing Guru and bestselling author. But, many of you might ask, what does content marketing mean and should I care? Is it a salad, or a no-bread sandwich or the emperor in new clothes syndrome?

At Staffordshire County Council (SCC) , we recently launched our inaugural Staffordshire Digital Content Summit, dipping our toe into what this content marketing lark might be, hosting a number of sessions exploring digital content and engagement, digital leadership, email marketing, video, the use of Google Analytics and the digital future of public services. We had an array of great speakers from across the country who gave up their time to share with us their expertise. Coming through loud and clear from every one of them  was the importance of creating quality content – and none of the speakers as far I know had had the chance to confer.

Brilliant content, tailored to audience and platform, engages. People want to share it. It brings people together and to you. Your organisation or brand pushes higher up that list on that search engine, which uses cute animal names for its algorithms that we never know quite what they do but suspect that they ‘put the onus on content and social sharing.'

And if your job is communications, chances are that you produce content - often lots of it. The question is, are you ‘working it’ and are you making it work for you?

It’s this question I’m grappling with at the moment and am building a strategy for how at SCC we approach our content and our key areas for development. There’s a lot to do and the digital content summit was just one aspect of how we improve, focusing on the governance, co-ordination, creativity and evaluation of what we create, produce and share.

It’s evolution not revolution. It might not even be content marketing, but it’s a start. It’s about creating fantastic content to share with our partners and residents so we can all better understand what it is we do and what it is that together we want to achieve.  And besides, who am I to argue with the richest man in the world?

Soraya Mitchell is campaigns delivery manager at Staffordshire County Council.

Picture credit.