It’s entirely probable that the most used acronym of 2018 will be GDPR!
While many Digital Marketers may have lost sleep over the knock-on effects of the notorious data legislation change, here at Coast Digital we’ve embraced it with open arms. For us, GDPR has given credence to a mindset that should already be standard practice in an industry that relies so heavily on relevant engagement.
We’ve put together this short guide to help you rebuild your content marketing strategy in the wake of the new GDPR legislation.
In this guide we’ll look at:
- Identifying the advantages of the post-GDPR landscape
- Why it’s important to improve the quality of your content
- How content can cultivate future prospects and opportunities
- What are the rules around gated content?
- Relevancy & Transparency
- Multi-Channel Marketing
- Quality Counts
- The Power of the Pitch
- In a Nutshell…
- Let’s talk about content marketing…
We’ve all been using gated content as part of our content strategies for years, and with great success. Even though GDPR doesn’t actually mention gated content specifically the rules have thrown up many of questions around what we can and can’t do.
Article 7 covers collection of personal data. In summary, it states that consent must be clearly given for processing of personal data; the details of that processing need to be laid out upfront and the subject must be able to withdraw consent at any time.
It also specifically goes on to say:
When assessing whether consent is freely given, utmost account shall be taken of whether, inter alia, the performance of a contract, including the provision of a service, is conditional on consent to the processing of personal data that is not necessary for the performance of that contract.
In other words – consent is not freely given if you’re collecting data that’s not required to deliver the goods or service (content in this case).
In the classic gated content example, collecting an email address and phone number so that in exchange the user can download a piece of content, is not a compliant option for processing.
What can we do instead?
This guide sets out to emphasise why this is good for the marketing landscape. It also aims to encourage marketers to do a better job of making content interactions more meaningful.
This is the part where you need to swap your marketing hat for your consumer hat.
When it comes to the new data protection regulations, it’s important to remember why things have changed.
Since the whole point of GDPR is to promote the responsible usage and storage of data, the two key pieces of information to remember are:
- Be as transparent as possible about the data you gather and the reasons you need it.
- Build strong relationships with a more relevant database of clients or prospective clients.
From surveillance to engagement
It seems to us that the fundamental purpose of GDPR isn’t to hinder the use of personal data for marketing, but rather to reinforce a more caring approach to the data we gather and our reasons for doing so. Effectively, what the new legislation encourages is valuable engagement with your audience. That’s why we believe that a content-driven approach is the key to obtaining data that’s relevant and insightful.
If a consumer is made aware of why it will benefit them to ‘opt-in’ to your communications, and they can see the value of it, then what you’re doing is cultivating an honest relationship with relevant customers or prospects.
If anything, GDPR has made it easier for you to capture your target audience, build up brand awareness, and reinforce your credibility to people who actually care!
In today’s vast digital landscape, there are so many ways to connect with consumers. Your target audience could quite literally be anywhere, meaning you have to be everywhere.
It’s not enough to rely solely on one or two channels to market your offering; to reach the right people, you simply have to increase your touch points in order to be present on the right channels at the right time.
Channel selection operates under the same principle as the content you put out, it’s not only about what you’re saying, but also where you’re saying it.
That’s not to say that you should just blindly utilise as many channels as possible just for the sake of it. The key is to select the most appropriate channels to reach your target audience. To do this, it’s essential to consider where these potential consumers are most likely to see your offering. Different channels affect different consumers, but you can make educated predictions about which channels are most relevant based on your knowledge of your target market.
When considering which channels to select, ask yourself these questions:
- Where are my target audience likely to be?
- Which channels will allow me to effectively get my message across?
- Which channels can work well together to enhance my message?
- Which channels are sustainable within my budget?
- How functional are these channels for measuring success?
Content marketing has always been a powerful tool in the digital world. The image on the right explains our approach to content marketing – and what it really boils down to is this:
Quality content across the correct channels = quality interactions.
Making a positive impression
In light of GDPR, it’s possible for users to access your content offering but still opt-out of all marketing communications. However, if the quality of your content is second to none, then you’re still increasing the likelihood of prospective conversions.
It’s important to remember that a form completion should not be your end goal. Your goal should be to make a lasting impression on people who interact with your content who are – thanks to GDPR – more likely to be your target audience. The quality of your content matters to your audience, so it needs to matter to you too.
If your content is clear, empathetic, and valuable, it won’t be easily forgotten.
Once a user has accessed your content offering, (be it an infographic, an article, a webinar, etc) what they’re doing is showing an interest. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re interested in progressing towards a sale now, but it’s a great way to plant the seed for future interaction.
That’s where your useful and insightful content comes into play. After consuming your content, what your users will hopefully be left with is:
- A positive, lasting impression of your brand
- A clear explanation of your services
- An understanding of how your services can benefit them
- An empowered feeling of choice engagement, instead of forced engagement
The key takeaway here is to never underestimate the power of the pitch!
Incentive to Interact
Another worthwhile idea to consider is incentivising your soft pitch by introducing a sense of exclusivity. Offer your audience a trigger phrase or promotional code for when they get in touch – this kind of thing is also a great way for you to track the amount of users who have been influenced by your first-rate content.
So, when you’re planning your post-GDPR content marketing strategy, remember to keep these handy tips in mind:
- Let your content work for you by making it as engaging and serviceable as possible
- Be transparent about the data you collect and why
- Plat an unforgettable seed for potential interactions in the future
- Choose your channels carefully and with purpose
- Optimise your content with relevant incentives
Encouraging warm, in-bound leads is a much more beneficial position to be in than cold calling users who downloaded your content, didn’t engage with it, and (not to put too fine a point on it) didn’t really want to hear from you.
Free strategy workshop
Want to learn more about building a solid content marketing strategy?
We’re offering a limited number of free content workshops.
Book a session with our experts and learn how to optimise your future content strategies for maximum success.
To speak to someone about booking a workshop, or to find out more, get in touch today!
You can also check out our Essential Guide to Content Marketing to discover how to create content that stands out from the crowd!