As traditional marketing becomes increasingly less effective, it may be time to consider a different approach to marketing, content marketing.
Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing materials that have value and relevance to the consumer to attract, inform and retain an audience and encourage them to take profitable actions. Click To Tweet
The ultimate goal of content marketing is to drive sales or donations. By meeting people where they are currently at and taking them on a journey with your content, so they see the benefit your organisation brings.
One of the significant differences in content marketing compared to traditional marketing is its focus. Content marketing doesn’t focus on pitching your product or service right away. Traditionally marketers would make sure the organisation’s product or service was mentioned in every piece of content they put out. These days people don’t trust that, they don’t want to be sold to. Instead, content marketing puts providing value at the forefront of its mission, giving people a reason to want to engage with your brand.
CONTENT MARKETING IS EFFECTIVE
The popularity of content marketing has rocketed in the past few years as more brands are finding positive results from this method. Big brands such as Coca Cola, Nike and John Lewis all use content marketing as a means to engage and encourage potential customers to a sale, but it’s not just the big brands. Small businesses are finding benefits in providing value and relevance to potential customers. Why? Because people want the content!
By providing people with what they want you’re able to provide a positive experience that consumers remember. When you answer an issue, they may be having you’re putting your brand in their minds when it comes to solving that issue or taking steps to improve in the future.
It’s all well and good being the brand consumers think about but how does content marketing impact the bottom line? Evidence has shown there are at least three significant impacts of providing content of value to potential customers.
• Increased sales
• Cost Saving
• Improved customer loyalty
EXAMPLES OF CONTENT MARKETING
Content marketing can come in all shapes and sizes depending on the organisation producing the content and the intended audience. We see brands producing videos, written articles, podcasts, virtual reality experiences and a whole lot more to gain attention, provide value and encourage action.
An example of effective yet simple content marketing is the videos we made with Leonard Cheshire, a UK charity for disabled people. Working with TV & Radio broadcaster Mark Lane, who uses a wheelchair himself, we filmed a set of 8 short videos one sunny day where Mark provided gardening tips for disabled people. The videos were distributed on Leonard Cheshire’s social media accounts along with links to Mark, the National Garden Scheme and Leonard Cheshire.
If you have difficulty bending down, @MarkLaneTV‘s third tip is all around using long handed tools. #MarksTopTips @NGSOpenGardens @WeDoStories pic.twitter.com/qFpDXwn2O0
— Leonard Cheshire (@LeonardCheshire) 27 March 2019
THE FUTURE OF MARKETING
It may surprise you to learn that content marketing isn’t new. Though its role within digital marketing came about with the digital age the concepts behind content marketing date back further. In 1895 John Deere launched The Furrow magazine, in 1900 Michelin put out The Michelin Guides and in 1904 Jell-O distributed free copies of their recipe book which contributed to sales of over $1 million in just two years.
The idea of sharing recipes around a food product is still being used today. The brand Raynolds Kitchens provides an example of this concept in a digital age, by using the same recipe-sharing idea on their Instagram account. Reynolds provided stunning images and videos of delicious food on a continuous table. Click on the photos, and you’re told about the food, click on the videos, and you can watch the food being made, and if you visit their website, you’ll find the full recipes all based around their products.
Providing added value to the customer is now expected, and the brands who do it well are winning over those who don’t. It takes more than producing content to do it well. You first need to know who you’re trying to reach by developing customer personas and then you need to create a strategy to reach them.
MARKETING WITHOUT CONTENT IS IMPOSSIBLE
Without some form of content, it’s impossible to effectively market yourself to a broad audience and build a sustainable brand. This is particularly true in a digital marketing age.
Great content has a considerable impact on the success of your social media marketing, SEO, PR, inbound marketing, even your pay per click needs content to be successful. If you’re using any of these methods to improve your marketing check, do you have a content strategy underpinning it all? If not it’s time to start one now. A well thought through content strategy will vastly improve the success rate of your other marketing efforts.