How is your content marketing strategy performing? Are your efforts effective, or do you feel like your work is being lost in a sea of content?

Because content marketers are constantly in competition for viewers, the fight for an audience can often seem taxing. So whether you feel like your campaign has been ineffective to date, or you’d just like to take it to the next level, where do you go from here?

Seeking advice from a seasoned professional is always a good place to start.

For a more in-depth perspective on content marketing, Media Shower spoke with Simon Berg, CEO of Ceros.

What makes an effective content marketing experience?

Ultimately, content marketing is about engagement. If you aren’t finding a way to get your audience involved in the story, you’re just another passive media provider – and chances are, you’re not as interesting. So figuring out how to make the content conversational, rather than one-sided, is critical if you want your audience to remember you.

There are several more tactical ways to evaluate your content marketing experience to ensure that it’s effective:

1. Story. Does your content tell a story? It can be educational, entertaining, or emotional, but having some kind of story is essential.

2. Relevance. Are you talking about topics that your audience cares about in a way that resonates with them?

3. Format. Are you using the best format to tell your story? Content consumers are increasingly opting for visual, interactive formats over long-form text and static content.

4. Distribution. Are you sharing your content at the right times through the right channels?

5. Interactivity. Does your content encourage viewers to participate in the narrative and provide a flexible path for exploration?

6. Calls to Action. Do you provide clear next steps to keep viewers engaged?

How much content is too much?

It’s better to create less content that’s high quality than more content that’s mediocre. At Ceros, we’re all about unlocking creativity. The worst thing that can happen in content marketing is investing time and energy into a piece that falls flat. And the bar is set higher than ever before in terms of content. Your prospects and customers are being exposed to more content every day. In order to capture your audience’s attention and keep it focused on you, your content has to stand out in terms of quality, format, and approach. Today, brands can bring a creative vision to life in unique, engaging ways in the same amount of time it would take to build a traditional static eBook.

What are newsjacking best practices?

Effective newsjacking comes down to speed. In a traditional content marketing model, the only newsjacking outlets were social media and blogs. To create more robust, interactive content, you used to need weeks of development time, which didn’t work at all for news and trends.

Today, all that has changed. We’re seeing technology that empowers marketers and designers to create real-time interactive content with speed and ease. For example, we have clients in the professional sports industry who can create an interactive post-game recap with highlights, play summaries, scores, and video footage in just 10 minutes. That’s about as real-time as content gets!

What are best practices for content marketing in retail?

Recently, we’ve seen the following trends start to take off in retail content marketing:

1. UGC. Brands are leveraging the power of their customers’ content to showcase their products, highlight positive reviews, and put their buyers in the spotlight.

2. Creative Partnerships. Brands like Burberry, Gap, and BCBG have leveraged partnerships with talented patrons (celebrities and independent artists) to create great content that reinforces their brand values without selling anything directly. Brands are also using social media takeovers as a way to include other voices in their content.

3. Exclusivity. It’s no longer enough to offer “exclusive” discounts to consumers. Brands are finding new and creative ways to create exclusivity for their biggest fans through loyalty programs, special preview events, and pop-up boutiques. The content created around these exclusive events is getting more creative as brands expand their marketing toolsets.

Are there trends in B2B content?

B2B brands have long traditions of creating static, self-serving content. Two major trends we’ve seen in the B2B space lately are a shift toward interactive content and a growing emphasis on data-driven content.

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