Despite all the recent hype surrounding content marketing, the concept has been around for centuries. Its profile has increased massively for one major reason – consumers are fed up with advertising messages and are blocking all that noise out.
What’s wrong with traditional advertising?
People today have shut off the traditional world of marketing. They watch television shows on catch up TV to skip advertising, mute the radio during add breaks and subconsciously block out banner ads and pop ups while surfing the web.
There has to be a better way to make people actually want to take in your advertising – and that’s where content marketing fits in.
But for content to work as a marketing tool for business, it must be something that potential customers actively want to consume – not blatant marketing.
How is content marketing any better?
Content can be a variety of things – articles on a website, email newsletters, podcasts, videos, infographics and mobile apps.
By providing the answers your target market wants to know, you are doing them a service, and developing your reputation.
It’s about creating something that will resonate with an audience, which educates them, builds a brand’s reputation and gives the consumer a compelling reason to act.
What are the benefits to your bottom line?
Once you’ve captured their attention, you have the chance to inform the audience about how your business can solve the problems they face and provide answers to the questions they plug into search engines.
After tapping into their pain points and frustrations, you have the chance to present your products and services as a solution to their needs.
Who can it work for?
If a business has a product that solves a need for a consumer, then it’s perfect for content marketing. A good example of this in action is a well known Ballarat business.
Haymes Paint knows DIYers turn to the Internet for advice on painting.
So much of its website has good quality decorating tips with no strings attached.
You will not find a sales push in its content, but Haymes provides photos, stories and painting advice that keep its target market coming back for more.
And when inexperienced home decorators suddenly want to become experts, they habitually turn to the Internet for trusted information.
The Haymes website has an answer to all the regular questions. And by helping people with this well-presented information, the company’s brand becomes trusted.
The bonus is that these activities represented less than 1% of the company’s total annual marketing budget, proving content marketing doesn’t have to be expensive.
Content marketing is not as easy as it seems
Simply writing advertising copy or shooting videos that promote your business will not work effiectivery.
The strict necessity is to deliver content that people actually enjoy consuming, and digital media professionals can do that for you.
There is a fine line between providing useful information and simply publishing sales content.
The best content marketing happens when a sales push is not detectable, and the audience wants to keep enjoying more of the same content because it benefits them.
That’s the difference between content marketing and the advertorials from companies trying to sell you “stuff.”
Where does social media fit in?
To put it in old-fashioned terms, if content marketing is the brochure or yellow pages for your products, then social media is the telephone that customers use to access your product.
You cannot have a successful social media following without having interesting content to populate Facebook, Twitter etc with.
And having a stack of quality content on your website without promoting it on social media means not enough of the right people will see it.
Content marketing will not replace social media by any means. They are two very different things with two very different functions.
However both should be part of your marketing strategy.
Need advice specific to your organisation? Contact one of our content marketing experts to find out how to deliver content marketing that works.