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Content Marketing 101: How to Use Storytelling and Strategy

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”Content Marketing Institute

According to HubSpot, there are 6 fundamental benefits to content marketing:

  • Audience retention

  • Lead generation and increased conversions

  • Higher Search Engine Results Pages (SERP rankings)

  • Raise brand awareness

  • Generate industry authority

  • Create loyal brand advocates

In Brightspot’s latest webinar, Content Trends in 2022 and Beyond, the content marketing landscape has changed with an increasing need for personalized storytelling.

“It takes a lot of content to make a really good, personalized experience and it is important to know that when you set out on that path because the moment you annoy somebody by not being aligned with their interests you may lose them.,” says Rob Irvine, VP of Content, Brightspot.

Audiences need comfort within a community. By creating a conversational and reflective tone, it helps the content attract and engage with others. And as such, content should be continually positioned and maintained as relevant. This includes strategizing the channels for distribution. For example, physical restrictions during COVID-19 increased the production of eBooks, webinars, and podcasts. The level of engagement and interaction correlates with content relevancy, personalization, and mode of distribution.

Others have coined content relevancy as context marketing. Context marketing focuses on the process of delivering marketing content at a specific point in a customer’s journey. To enable its success, timing and specificity are key. Conversion and retention rates prove to be higher compared to content marketing. By knowing your audience, generalized and ambiguous statements can be converted to circumstantial and specific information that ties in with your audience persona. Why is the content relevant? Why should they care? How does it tie in to their real life? If people feel like you are working to solve a problem and enable a solution, they will more likely become engaged.

Irrespective of whether you’re focusing on content or context marketing, increased visibility is impacted by the quality of the content produced. Search engine results pages (SERPs) rely heavily on published content which, in turn, helps build and establish brand awareness. This year’s The State of Content Marketing Global Report published by the Search Engine Journal (SEJ) highlights this importance. To optimize content and improve the reader experience SEJ recommends:

  • Creating a clear title so the reader knows what to expect

  • Adding links to relevant supporting content

  • Maintaining consistency in tone

  • Focusing on user content and original research


In addition, Google’s content search capabilities are being updated significantly. Their Multitask Unified Model (MUM) allows Google to process content in 75 languages simultaneously. This includes the analysis of videos, podcasts, data, and content from static images. Google hopes that they will transition from a “search engine” to an “answer engine,” enabling content to appear as answers in more conversational tones. MUM is bridging the gap between language barriers, cultures, and ultimately the media format that was being used. This will be a long-term process but there’s tremendous value in finding graphs, images, videos, and podcasts as answers to inquiries. Timestamped results for videos and podcasts will also appear with the exact point in a recording that addresses an inquiry. Therefore, the variety of content that is being created will have a much greater role as Google transitions to utilizing its MUM technology.

Content marketing is not a new technique. However, it is being redefined to fit the changing needs of audiences. Traditional searches with hyperlink results will one day be transformed with a more humanistic, technologically forward approach. Conversational tones that provide contextual information will likely bring greater success to content marketing efforts both for individuals and companies alike. At Longview, we are advocates of content marketing. Through our strategic approach, we dig deep to understand audiences, develop compelling narratives, and determine the distribution channels to accelerate business growth. Download our Content Marketing Guide where we recommend our top distribution channels along with easy-to-follow best practices to maximize your content marketing efforts.

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