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Is your organisation prepared to capitalise on content marketing?

by Stephen Hobbs

March 9, 2021

Almost 70% of businesses are actively investing in content marketing, and 24% of marketers planned to increase their investment in content marketing this year. But how many brands neglect the forethought needed to realise the full potential of this technique?

Start with a strategy

Digital has driven a huge appetite for content — from articles and blog posts to whitepapers and videos — and it is all too tempting for busy marketers to churn out ad hoc content in order to meet this demand. Yet like any aspect of marketing, content marketing needs a considered strategy to guide what you produce, when and why, and to inform how you distribute this. A plan is also crucial to measuring success, based on crystal clear objectives.

A content marketing strategy should consider audience, revenue, profit and brand, and it must be firmly aligned to the growth agenda of today’s CMOs. But it must also evolve with shifting audience behaviours, ensuring valuable content is continually delivered to the right people at the right time, and in the right format. Only then can it offer true value. It is not a tick box exercise. It needs proper consideration.

Pivot with technology

Factor technological evolutions into your planning too. Chiefly, 5G networks have the capability to transform the use of AR and VR in brand video content, massively upping the creativity stakes. But again, use of shiny new tech will only work if it is informed by, and aligned with, a well-defined strategy.

Leading brands are increasingly using data to serve hyper-relevant content based on their audience’s browsing habits, and it is fast becoming an expectation. Data and automation hold the key to content which really hits the spot, and prompts the desired action from your user.

Data will become more granular and content more targeted. Data is also key to measurement, enabling more accurate attribution, and allowing marketers to identify exactly which piece of content prompted which consumer action. Forget page views and dwell time — performance data and measurable results are key to effective marketing.

Influencers have an important role to play in content marketing too. While a number of poorly judged brand partnerships have raised a question mark over their value during the last year, they still have much to offer, but they must be informed by a long term vision.

The opportunities for brands are many and varied, but success hinges on a strategy. That said, your content marketing strategy must be agile; it needs to bend and flex as technology prompts changes in audience behaviours, as new platforms emerge and existing ones lose traction, and as macro trends affect needs, wants and emotions.

Agility maximises efficiency

In today’s fast moving world, an Agile approach is hugely important, with 32% of marketers reporting using some element of Agile to manage their projects. Brands can no longer plan content months in advance, due to multiple online platforms, live feeds and disappearing content. Instead, Agile methodologies help marketers to stay ahead of the game, breaking work into manageable chunks and enabling quick adaptations and a swift response. Agile working maximises efficiency and minimises wastage.

Mediablaze adopted the Agile way of working when we worked with We used the Scrum framework — essentially using iterative progress to achieve a specific goal — to experiment with digital marketing and optimise conversion. One test, using shoppable content pages instead of linking to product pages, drove a 40% increase in product page interaction from social.

Brands need to be alert to the fact that content marketing has matured, and be ready to embrace the technology at our fingertips. But without a strategy that enables consistency, value and impact to be delivered, brands will fail to maximise their investment. More worryingly, brands who fail to plan risk wasting time, effort and money, and damaging the audience relationship in the process.

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