Content marketing is the buzzword, it creates market awareness, lead generation, and positions companies as thought leaders, so it’s likely here to stay. However, it’s important to realise the difference between authentic, engaging content that enhances the brand proposition, and content that has been created for its own sake.

I really like content marketing, however, creating content that doesn’t engage with your audience is the equivalent of talking without really saying anything, which isn’t useful for a brand that’s trying to convert customers.

All too often, marketers create content which doesn’t reflect the core purpose of their brand. The content has been created without the marketer really thinking about the purpose it serves and what the audience will get out of it.

When creating content it’s important to stay true to the brand’s values while aiming to create something that’s authentic and engaging for the audience. Successful brands tap into their audience personalities and preferences.

Content is everywhere so the P’s apply – purpose, positioning, product, performance. Brands need to make messages relevant and appealing to public, or risk becoming part of the clutter, especially for small businesses who haven’t got huge marketing budgets to spend.

uberbrand has identified three key types of content that businesses should employ to keep audiences continuously engaged:

– Hero content is something businesses invest a lot of time and resources in, with the intention of attracting a lot of traffic. Whether it’s a video, an ad, or a product announcement, hero content is any big piece of news that showcases the business’s ongoing activity. By nature, hero content should be occasional, not daily.

– Hub is the content that’s most relevant to your core audience: in-depth blog posts; regular podcasts; or a weekly video series. Hub content is engaging content for a loyal audience which keeps coming back for more.

– Hygiene is regular content that keeps the brand active. It can include content like how-to-articles, company updates, or third-party news stories. Hygiene content aims to increase brand awareness through frequent posts.

Some of the most successful or engaging content has come from quick, savvy marketers thinking on their feet. Creating a witty response to a trending topic or current event can send a businesses brand recognition through the roof. But it’s absolutely essential that the response is in line with the company’s brand.

A great example happened during the Oscars: when the wrong Best Picture winner was announced, eyewear company Specsavers quickly joined the conversation with a tweet that said, ‘Not getting the best picture?’ along with a photo of an envelope, which read, ‘Should have gone to Specsavers’. The quick-witted response was on point, audiences loved it, and, most importantly, it stayed true to the brand’s values.

Content marketing shouldn’t be difficult. When putting a content marketing plan together, it’s imperative to take a step back and think about what the brand wants to say, what the audience wants to hear, and how to create something that’s both interesting and relevant to the audience while staying true to the brand.