Strategies for Success in New Media: Key takeaways from NMX 2013

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At the New Media Expo held in Las Vegas earlier this month, brands, agencies and online writers to discuss the ways in which the new media landscape is taking shape and how marketers can thrive within it.

Unlike traditional media, where a select group of media publishers had complete control over content, the pathway to success is not etched in stone. With social media and web publishing capabilities, brands, agencies and publishers alike have the opportunity to form deep connections with their audiences. Those making the biggest splash are creating content that addresses the needs of their audience, tells a memorable story and offers a compelling call to action.

Here are a few of the best practices discussed that resonated with us, hoping they’re helpful to you too.

1) Find your Niche (and stay true to it): When crafting your initial content strategy, it’s crucial that brands do not try to be everything to everyone. Tackling all subjects and channels at once will only overwhelm your content team and confuse your customers. Instead, decide upon one or two topics you can speak about passionately and run with them. Then focus on two to three channels where your audience spends the most time. For example, Florsheim Shoes hosts a men’s fashion-focused style guide on its website to share style tips for men. Each piece ties in footwear, but also offers knowledge about a range of fashion tips, including complementary clothing pieces. The articles are written to perform well in search – where most consumers today seek information. To be considered an expert, content marketers need to offer a unique perspective and give the audience an experience they cannot get anywhere else – all within their areas of authority.
Articles by Florsheim Shoes feature style tips for men.Articles by Florsheim Shoes feature style tips for men.

2) Listen to your customers needs and address them. If you were a doctor, you would never give a patient with poison ivy a prescription for cold medicine. Instead you would listen carefully to your patient, examine his rash, and provide medication and resources to improve his health. The most successful businesses differentiate themselves by following a similar process: listening to the challenges of their prospective customers and addressing those needs in an honest and timely way. Brands that are succeeding today are the ones that produce resources to proactively provide value to businesses and consumers early in the buying journey. With tax season just around the corner, H&R Block has already started rolling out content to help its customers be prepared and offer team contact information for further advice. By anticipating what your audience is looking for, you will naturally expand your reach and acquire new prospects.
H & R Block publishes content for customers preparing for tax season.H & R Block publishes content for customers preparing for tax season.

3) Break the rules (but not all at once). We’ve seen many brands break the mold with their content marketing efforts. Red Bull hosted a cliff-diving competition, Coca-Cola launched its Coca-Cola Journey website, covering everything from women’s rights to small business owners in Kenya, and Old Spice engages its Facebook Fans with its wildly successful “Believe in your Smellf” campaign. The rise of social media and mobile devices has blurred channel barriers and given way to countless opportunities to cut through the noise. Brands that make the biggest bang are selective with their experiments, carefully comparing the impact of each tactic to previous activities. Marketers don’t need to organize a world-class extreme sporting event to take a new approach. Instead, by continually revamping content topics and testing which subjects and keywords attract the most attention, marketers will develop a content strategy that elicits customer engagement and retention.

New media will of course continue to evolve this year, but no matter how the landscape shifts, content will remain a core driver of brand marketing activities.

How are you approaching content marketing in 2013? Share with us below or connect with us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Patricia Travaline, Vice President of Marketing, Skyword

@travwin

Patricia Travaline
Patricia is currently the Vice President of Marketing at Skyword where she is responsible for elevating the company's overall marketing initiatives and creating growth strategies. Most recently, she served as Senior Director of Divisional Marketing at RSA, The Security Division of EMC.

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