Content marketing connects brands and consumers
Businesses use a variety of communications tools to meet specific needs. Business owners may run TV or radio ads to make shoppers aware of an upcoming sale. Or a marketing director may send out emails encouraging recipients to attend a special event. But an increasingly popular strategy is the use of content marketing – which operates differently than paid media or PR.
In a simplified explanation, content marketing sets out to entertain readers or viewers, and evoke a sense of “likeability” toward the brand.
Why is content marketing important?
Why is this important? It’s hard enough to get consumers to pay attention to advertisements and marketing ploys as it is, and it can be difficult for businesses to achieve the outcomes they’re looking for because marketing and advertising are subjective; there’s no set guarantee that if you run an ad, it will increase next quarter’s sales – in fact, it could be your that ad reminds consumers of a competitor and they buy that product instead…it happens.
However, if a consumer likes your brand and regularly comes to your content portals to read blogs, watch videos or interact with some other form of branded content and entertainment that you provide, it becomes something they look forward to. They then make a positive association with your brand and will come back on a regular basis to see what’s new, which makes your company top of mind for them and could lead to increased brand conversions if they aren’t regular customers of yours already.
Quick tips for setting the tone
Keep in mind that this isn’t time to drive a hard sale – you’re not writing a blog post on why they should buy your products or why you’re better than your competitor. Instead, pick a topic that’s relevant to consumers or businesses in your industry and expand on that, with the simple aim to highlight an area of interest. For example, if you’re a health food retailer, you may do a man-on-the street style YouTube video, interviewing passersby on how more consumers are forgoing fast food, and choosing fast casual, or more healthful options.
This style of marketing is becoming more popular because there’s a lighthearted element to it and you’re really just trying to put something out there that people will like and enjoy. Content marketing puts you in the driver’s seat and lets you create the content that matters most to your business. By utilizing writers, SEO professionals and graphic designers, your internal staff can create branded content as frequently as you would like and disseminate that through the variety of communications portals in your possession. This helps your further develop your brand voice and reach your target audience on a different level.
Note from the Editor: at the Spark of Genius Business Camp in Austin yesterday, a select few people confided in us that they didn’t know what content marketing was, so in that spirit, we’ve answered their questions with the overview above.