A Break From Traditional Marketing
When you think of traditional marketing, you probably think of product marketing advertisements: short-form print ads or commercials that are obviously selling something. You probably encounter these ads everywhere: on the radio, in magazines, on the side of the highway, in text messages, on television, and on the Internet. And you probably ignore them.
Traditional marketing just doesn’t work as well as it used to. Decades of living in a culture of persuasion, inundated by obnoxious interruptions and stilted ad copy, has desensitized us to the advertising message. It has trained us to become experts at ignoring the sales pitch. We simply turn the page on print ads, fast forward through the commercials on our DVRs, and click the little “x” on every pop-up window without even reading what it says. For companies trying to build their brands, this is a difficult state of affairs.
How Content Marketing Works
Content marketing does advertising differently. It’s not about pitching a particular product or service; it’s about providing valuable, relevant content. Good content attracts potential customers by appealing to their hunger for substance. It’s doesn’t try to trick them into buying something. It piques their interest. It’s compelling. It’s worth sharing. Sometimes, it goes viral.
Good content marketing:
– Delivers high quality content that solves problems
– Establishes a company as an expert in their field
– Cultivates positive sentiment for brands
– Targets specific demographics
A successful content marketing campaign provides consistent, high-quality content that solves people’s problems. Here “problems” are broadly defined to include everything from an unanswered question to a bad mood. “Solving problems” is another way of saying “providing something of value.”
Types of Content Marketing
Types of content in the content marketer’s toolbox include blog posts, podcasts, infographics, motion graphics, presentations, white papers, webinars, and much more. And the list of topics is as diverse as the companies doing the marketing – everything from sports to science, breakfast foods to legal counsel. Whatever the topic, a successful campaign establishes a company as an expert in their field which lays the groundwork for long-term trust. The company should aim to become a go-to resource for an information-seeking customer base.
Content Marketing and Your Brand
Content marketing cultivates positive sentiment for brands. One of traditional advertising’s biggest problems is the irritation factor. When a customer is annoyed, she’s not in a buying mood. Content marketing doesn’t interrupt, it attracts. It’s not breaking in to your browsing or video watching. Instead, it’s what you’re browsing for. It’s what you’re choosing to watch. And while you’re watching that video or studying that infographic, you’re beginning to associate the company that produced it with the content you’re enjoying.
But it’s not enough to simply create or curate great content, it’s also important to tailor that content to the customer. This is why a great content marketing strategy requires some market research, so that the content addresses the “problems” specific to a given company’s customer base.
With content marketing, the producer engages customers, building lasting relationships based on something more than buying and selling.
Full circle (and somewhat ironically) this leads to more buying and selling.