Have you paid attention to the man-made fires burning in the Amazon?
Hoping for cash inflows, the Brazilian government doesn’t care about the world’s lungs.
Despite Brazil’s economic focus, world leaders are concerned about sustainability.
Because we risk depleting natural resources in our lifetimes.
So why does this matter to you as a marketer?
Since sustainable content marketing keeps your content visible like the Amazon keeps people breathing regardless of national borders.
Like the fires in the Amazon, your content marketing faces an external threat due to the recent Seismic Content Marketing Shift.
As a result, you must make your content marketing sustainable to retain the long-term of your marketing and its ability to generate business value.
Let’s examine what’s involved while providing you with a roadmap to make your content sustainable.
Sustainable Content Marketing Definition
Sustainability evolved from the increasing need to take care of our limited natural resources on a global basis.
Because scientific research predicts global resource depletion during our lifetime.
To avoid this doomsday scenario, we need to take action now. So we must reduce pollution-causing habits and careless consumption of non-recyclable materials. And, more importantly, we must work together across the globe.
The UN definition of sustainability consists of 4 elements:
- Environmental: Use natural resources efficiently to avoid harming the environment.
- Economic: Use assets efficiently to maintain profitability over time.
- Human: Maintain and improve human capital.
- Social: Preserve services while supporting local communities and society more broadly.
At its core sustainability “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
This provides the basis for the definition of sustainable content marketing.
- Environmental: Update, renovate and re-promote existing content to remain relevant and visible. This includes related content and business data and information.
- Economic: Use business human and financial resources efficiently to build business value over time.
- Human: Reduce duplicate and repetitive work to free employees to be more creative.
- Society: Contribute to your community and society more broadly by supporting higher level business goals with your content marketing.
Further, as marketers, we must commit to content sustainability! Unlike the Keystone Pipeline from Canada to Texas, we can’t make token sustainable gestures while funding resource destructive programs!
Why Sustainability Matters For Your Content Marketing
In addition to building brand, customer demand and sales, as marketers, we’re responsible for conserving our business’s value and our community’s resources.
We’ve polluted our audience’s trust over time. So they no longer believe us because we’ve practiced “got-you” marketing and “me-me-me” promotion.
To practice sustainable content marketing means being ethical and transparent in both our actions and the results we produce.
Further trustworthy behavior extends across your entire organization and must start at the top!
To be a trustworthy organization, your leadership’s words and actions must be consistent. Otherwise your c-suite further reduces your business’s pubic standing! Edelman’s Annual Trust Barometer Research proves this consistently.
3 Reasons You Need Sustainable Content
Sustainable content enables you to deal with the challenges posed by the recent Seismic Content Marketing Shift.
This seismic marketing shift results from the combined impact of 3 trends:
- Voice-First Marketing speaks in sentences to find content.
- Marketing AI requires a data and structure focus associated with content.
- Content Saturation limits your marketing results due to ever-increasing combination of data, information and content.
Together, these factors and their interactions have changed the entire data, information and content landscape.
This massive external content disruption extends beyond your content marketing. It expands your competitive set to include: movies & television, music and online gaming.
With AI, companies like Netflix and Amazon have changed content consumption behavior and challenge your content distribution with:
- Bingeable Content. By seamlessly serving the next episode in a series, viewers have to proactively stop watching their device.
- Personalized Content Experiences. They deliver tailored content recommendations.
- Part of Member’s Content Inner Circle. Lock out other content options and distribution by being a go-to option.
When 70% of US adults use a voice assistant in 2019 (according to Bing Research), your content competes with any content, information and/or data that:
- Answers a specific user question based on the person’s wants or needs.
- Provides entertainment.
Actionable Sustainable Content Marketing Tips:
- Create a regular email newsletter to provide consistent content. Help your audience to develop the habit for consuming your non-promotional content.
5 Sustainable Content Characteristics
Sustainable content extends beyond content reuse, renovation and re-promotion.
Because you create it to be evergreen.
The 5 characteristics of sustainable content marketing are:
- Serve a specific business objective with an associate metric. Ideally, this goal extends beyond create profits and improves society more generally.
- Meet a specific audience information need or want based on the person’s micro-moment and context. (Need help? Here’s how to create a marketing persona.)
- Create content to be long-lasting with a storyline. It needs a beginning, middle and end to be understood by listeners. But serve the information based on device, platform and user context. Note: Only provide the unit of content that answers the user’s question.
- Publish content on owned media first. This associates your content with your data, both business and content.
- Track related content metrics. Include a call-to-action and related UTM for tracking.
Actionable Sustainable Content Marketing Tips:
- Make every page further engage visitors. Use connected content.
- Regularly audit content across your organization. To make the process easier, schedule content associated with recurring events in advance. Also plan your audits by topic to support related links.
- Renovate your existing content to keep it visible. Check that all of the elements of each piece of content can be found quickly.
Sustainable Content Marketing Conclusion
To compete for attention and engagement in today’s post-Seismic Shift information landscape, you need sustainable content marketing.
Because your marketing not only competes against other forms of entertainment and information, but also against AI-powered businesses.
As a result, their content improves as their systems learn and gets better at predicting personal audience information needs. This applies to email newsletters, search, other content and customer service (including chat and texts.)
Further, regardless of the depth of your corporate financial pockets, you now compete with Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google as well as content titans like Disney. They have the resources to acquire content, media and technology companies to get sole access to their content, data and employees.
BUT—don’t give up!
Instead, adopt a sustainable content mindset to remain competitive.
Before cranking out more new content:
Stop and assess the content across your organization for sustainability.
Where possible work with colleagues across your business to capture, organize and structure your content, information and data. This helps you to get a seat at the data table while saving financial and human resources.
Then schedule content updates, distribution presentation changes, and additional promotion.
Even better, by aligning and improve your existing content, you’ll improve its sustainability while eliminating redundant activities and waste across your company.
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