If you weren’t yet already aware; one of the big trends in business is Content Marketing, or Demand Marketing. It is about producing pieces of content – graphics, pictures, videos, memes, etc. that contains information about aspects of your business dealings without being overly promotional so that people will want to interact with it. It can be funny, clever, amazing, cute, customer testimonial, how-to guide, or simply informative. The key is to attract legitimate attention and interaction.
This is in stark contrast to the traditional model where marketers interrupt an event in order to promote their business. Whether you are interrupting our favorite TV show, listening to music, sports game, or other activity; people do not want such messages and are quite skilled at ignoring them. The only way we seem to interact with TV ads is to press the skip/fwd/adv button as soon as we can.
The basic premise is to create interesting pieces of information that people want to consume, then make it available in places they will find it and perhaps pass it along to others. Social media channels seem like perfect outlets for such content as it is easy to skim and share.
Reads, likes, comments, and shares drive up search rankings and integrate more easily with Alexa, Siri, and such.
Remember that humans are caring and social creatures (for the most part) and often share content with multiple friends who might also enjoy or benefit from your content. One influential follower who shares the post might bring additional hundreds or thousands of other viewers. And a video that has logged 1,000,000 views has likely earned more than double the exposure as viewers play it multiple times or play it for a group of friends/colleagues.
Content marketing allows for huge opportunities on social media but it has life beyond the newsfeed. Each interaction with content builds and strengthens a connection to other humans. These connections are critical in forming preferences to brands for products or services.
They also help serve as early identification system for potential customers and can be the beginning of automated marketing systems to help them understand that they do, in fact, want/need your services.
Spam and unwanted email is easily filtered and discarded without ever being seen. But curated and focused emails are easily filtered to the TOP of a subscriber’s list. They also get opened – multiple times – and can multiple multiple clicks and interactions. All of this can be integrated into profiles/preferences that continue to make the sharing of content more effective.
Beyond The Sale:
Content programs drive sales. They also build social interactions (pre-sales). They can also be used for active and preventative support as well as add-on sales of new products. Most importantly, they can help convert customers into repeat customers, and even into powerful advocates who enthusiastically (without pay) help you attract and sell products to even new customers.
As you might have guessed, the best approach is that of a highly strategic plan that is integrated across multiple aspects of business operations. Interestingly, content can be used in many different purposes with only minor tweaks. A white paper can be broken into 3-4 blogs, and further into dozens of tweets to promote them both to different audiences through keywords and tags.
Feel free to connect with me to start the conversation on how we might incorporate a content strategy to suit your business needs.