WHY CONTENT MARKETING?
Content marketing: why is everyone talking about it? We know that it’s not a new strategy. Anyone with a blog, even before blogs – anyone with any kind of advert has technically digressed into content marketing. However content is now deemed as essential to any businesses core marketing strategy. Some might say that it’s the ‘future of marketing’… and I know that might seem a bit steep for an approach that has always been around in the marketing world. So if content marketing has always been there, why is it so important now?
Whilst content marketing it isn’t a revolutionary strategy, it may well be the future of marketing. Not because it’s new-fangled, but because of the way the world now digests information on the internet – especially information from brands online. So whether content marketing is part of your SEO plan, marketing plan, social media plan… or stands alone as your content plan – your actual content really does have to pack a punch.
Why? The vast majority of the world now spends a lot of their hard-earned time online; with British people spending more time on tech than they do sleeping. People are on their phones, tablets, smart TVs, and will soon be looking at the world through their Google Glasses and checking the time on their Apple Watches. Essentially, they are always connected. With this in mind, consumers don’t want to see adverts all the time, they want something interesting to read and share. They want to look clever and funny to their friends, family and colleagues. And if that ‘something interesting’ comes from a brand… then we’re in the consumer’s good books.
WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING?
“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” According to the Content marketing institute.
Right. That is all fine and well as a definition. What about…
“Content marketing is creating owned content that aims to change behaviour, which your customers will want to read and share.”
Got it in one. It doesn’t have to be complex, it just has to provoke an action. Be it a smile, a smirk or a share. But how do you make your content stand out?
HOW TO MAKE IT SHARE-WORTHY
With so much content on the web, it has to be quality, relevant content in order for people to take notice. It has to be like Jeffrey from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air: Funny, interesting, and giving you something you want (We stole that anecdote from Buzzfeed, thank you for your wisdom). You want people to WANT to read the content, and if it is stale or boring they simply won’t take time out of their day to read it.
So, what do people like to read?
- Make it human – We are humans, not machines. Anything that is uplifting, restores faith in humanity or is cute, people will love. Everyone likes a little extra happiness to their day. Remember John Lewis’s Monty the Penguin advert at Christmas? Cute, right? And everyone loved it.
- Identity – People like to feel part of something larger than themselves. By honing in on identity, you can create a shared experience. Do this with your brand in mind – make something that people want to be part of, and you’ll often find that something already nestled in your target audience’s interests… you just have to pull it out. For example, GIFs, lists and hair: all popular with young women. Check out L’Oréal’s ’12 GIFs that will sum up your relationship with your hair…
- Humour – humour is the number 1 category when it comes to sharing. This boils back down to identity, in that people always want to seem funnier than they are. By sharing something funny, they’re boosting their social currency. Also, we all love a good laugh. Innocent drinks, we salute you for your always funny and on time content.
- Nostalgia – nostalgia brings back to identity – create a shared experience by hailing back to someone’s past that they can remember fondly.
- Information – People like to feel smarter, and like to learn. So teach them something – but make it in a funny, easy way for good sharing opportunities. That’s why infographics always work well.
- Relevance – There’s always something on the internet or on the news that a brand can turn around to make their own. This kind of content marketing needs to be quick fire, strike-while-the-iron’s-hot kind of approach. Keep an eye out for what’s trending, and see if your brand can work with it. See, for example how brands reacted to #TheDress…
With a particular shout-out to The Salvation Army, who responded to the Dress with a fantastic advert for an important cause.
Overall the content must relate to the target audience. Without sounding like a cliché, think outside of the box. Don’t think that just because you’re in a B2B environment you can’t create humanity orientated content, or just because your business is retail that it must be all about the products. Talk about what your target audience is interested in. And go from there.
These are just 5 tips for content, there is so much more you can do. Sometimes the most off-the-wall content is the most successful. Get your team and have a brainstorm where anything goes. Then hone these ideas down to create a definitive strategy with your target audience in mind. Get those shares, and see those sales.
Written by Emmy