From customer magazine to content marketing: you should pay attention to this

It’s striking that most authors base their thinking and content marketing theorems on a kind of zero situation. The most important target group seems to be the marketing directors of online start-ups. Those who are just starting to rebuild their marketing fundamentally.

Many mature companies, on the other hand, have questions that can not be solved easily with common blueprints. There was already marketing with content operated long before it got the name Content Marketing.

Marketing with content has been around for a long time

In such companies, there is a regular customer magazine as well as a website with narrative elements and a Facebook page. Even e-mail newsletters and press distributors are not inventions of the content marketing age.

Of course, the decades-old customer magazine is an instrument of content marketing. In fact, print magazine has produced content marketing, not the other way round. But be that as it may. Today’s content marketing has grown into other functions, such as SEO, PR 2.0 and reputation management.

Overcome silo thinking

Companies that have been marketing content for a long time and want to take these new features with them are facing different challenges than the start-up. The boundaries between marketing, corporate communication and sometimes even human resources that have been established for years cannot be overcome in a coup d’état. But they hinder the free flow of content. In addition, personnel responsibilities are mostly distributed by channel. Colleague Müller is responsible for the print magazine, colleague Meier for Facebook. The website looks after IT. This results in silo thinking, thematic individual courses, and inefficiency.

One short-term approach to this dilemma is to first focus on one of the existing channels. Due to its high content density, the printed customer magazine is ideal for this. When preparing each issue, large quantities of material are usually researched, viewed and utilized. In addition, seasoned print editors have always been used to thinking in stories and consistently putting themselves in the reader’s seat.

The customer magazine as a starting point for content marketing

With explanations about personas, communication goals, topics etc. you do not have to spend much time with experienced editors. In any case, shorter than it takes to teach editorial work to an SEO specialist …

So why not make the customer magazine the core of the content strategy? In the first step this means:
– Expand topic planning to social media channels.
– Think beyond the traditional journalistic formats when transposing them.
– Always think about seeding in addition to long formats and also work up the content in short formats such as infographics, top ten lists, short presentations, tip boxes, and picture galleries.

Changes in structure and processes are inevitable

That looks still manageable and can work in conjunction with a certain social media management quite first. However, this entry also means changes in workflow and responsibilities and must be well planned.

However, a complete interministerial revision of the structural and procedural organization will become inevitable for a really efficient implementation. Because turning away from channel-specific and turning to a topic-specific way of seeing and working brings about a paradigm shift in the entire professional communication work.