LONDON/GHENT: Successful content marketing lies in finding the right mix of volume and value, planned and reactive, bait and hook, according to an industry figure.

Writing in the current issue of Admap, Professor Steven Van Belleghem, of the Vlerick Business School at the University of Ghent, sets out Ten new rules for content marketing – based on his own experience as a content publisher and on interviews with companies leading the way in content marketing around the world – which he believes can help businesses and brands in getting their content to stand out from the crowd and in getting an engaging response.

"It is important to maintain a certain content frequency, which means it is better to create ten small pieces than a single huge one," he advises.

So, for example, a strong blog post can be built on with a short accompanying video, visuals, infographics, etc: one post can become a series of micro-content pieces that can be shared via any number of channels.

Content should also add value for the consumer and this can be achieved very cheaply, as demonstrated by a swimming pool company that prospered by simply answering, in a series of blogposts, the 200 questions most frequently asked by buyers.

"It's great to have a plan for your content," Van Belleghem acknowledges, "but it's a good idea to have 80% of your content planned, with the remaining 20% allowed for what is happening in your customer's world."

The popularity of live-streaming apps like Meerkat and Periscope also indicates how 'in the moment' is becoming a key trend.

"A lot of content marketing is simply about fantastic bait," Van Belleghem observes, "but once in a while it's smart to use a hook so when customers enjoy the content, you can also try to acquire their data."

That's something Hubspot, the inbound marketing software business, does particularly well, he says.

"If you have created enough quality content, you will have generated enough goodwill to ask for something back. If you give 90% of the time, you are allowed to ask 10% of the time."

Data sourced from Admap