Two infographics caught my eye this morning. The first, a guide to content marketing, shows the state of content marketing. This infographic shows how important content is to marketing managers and chief marketing offices.

Here is the infographic:

Source: assets.econsultancy.com via Martin on Pinterest

 

This infographic looks at how companies use content to support their marketing efforts and how they plan to use content increasingly to market their products and services.

The second infographic looks at content marketing for small businesses. This infographic shows small business owners different types of content – from press releases to videos – and how they might work for their businesses in terms of marketing what they do. This infographic makes content seem more of a science than an art.

Here’s the infographic:

Source: netdna.copyblogger.com via Martin on Pinterest

 

And it’s this idea of content as a science which content marketers and marketing teams may want to consider more thoroughly. Because content by its very definition is an art. The science comes with the analysis of user behaviour and how that relates to purchasing behaviour.

During my time working on a variety of business to business publications there was always a tension between what the publisher thought the readers wanted and the most popular types of content in the publication.

The content that readers most enjoyed tended to be the fun stuff. This may have been cartoons, games or other light-hearted content.

Despite knowing that this content was very popular publishers continued to deliver, and give prominence to, more serious content.

And herein lies the problem for organisations: how does more light-hearted content fit into your overall content strategy? A scientific approach to your users and readers based on campaign requirements will help you produce content that is on message with your products and services. It will help you match content consumption and engagement with users’ buying behaviour (as the top infographic shows). But is that enough? This content could prove to be the least entertaining content.

So, what are you going to do? Back on those media brands that I worked on, we knew that we had to provide entertaining content so we continued with what was considered to be more light-hearted information. This was the content that users were more likely to remember and share. And around that we continued to deliver the more serious news, opinion and longer-form articles. That said, the lighter content was perceived to be lower value event though it was more popular.

The mix was important and will be in any content marketing strategy. The problem is, the fun stuff might not fit a campaign but it might be popular and more sustainable with users. The challenge will be to figure out how introduce a range of formats that can accomodate more fun stuff and to figure out where it fits in the overall content strategy.

And don’t forget: however serious you think your brand might be, your users remain human. That means they like to be entertained.