If you’re an established business, and you’re thinking, ‘What’s the big deal with content marketing? Isn’t that just blogging? Not worth my time,’ then I’m afraid you’re potentially missing out on a huge opportunity to strengthen your brand/products/services online. Content marketing in 2015 has come a long way from weekly blog post and painfully obvious social media advertisements, and it’s certainly worthy of your investment.
Many businesses misinterpret content marketing as being synonymous with boring, scheduled blogs, and therefore underestimate its value. Although blogging is important, the true power of modern content marketing comes from social engagement. Today, customers buy from people and businesses they know and trust: they establish personal relationships with companies online in the same way they do with their friends. With this in mind, here are some truths about content marketing, which conveniently also tell you why you should be doing more of it!
Content marketing humanises you
Consumers today are cynical, and are much less receptive to blatant advertisements and promotional material than they once were. If your primary goal of generating sales is obvious, then you’re probably less likely to generate those sales.
Source: B2B Marketing Insider
The goal of managed social media and shared content (like videos and blogs), is to build a community, to build trust and to generate discussion, not necessarily to push a product. Take, for example, the well-known Dove: Real Beauty Sketches campaign.
The video series features no product promotion and minimal branding, and it was a sensation—drawing emotional responses, countless shares and posted responses. Purely because of that series, and those like it, Dove is often thought of as being more compassionate, understanding and respectable than other beauty companies; the commercial value of this type of positive association is immense.
Media consumption and user experiences are changing
These days, most of us take our content through mobile platforms, and this is where custom content shines. When we have the entirety of the internet in our pockets, we tend to move between many sites in a very short time: we nibble, not feast. This means a business’s digital presence cannot be confined to a webpage when a customer is likely to only hang around for a moment, and move on, if unengaged.
Because mobile browsing usually means that a brand’s ‘uptime’ is limited and fragmented, it pays to craft different user experiences that suit this environment. How many people regularly invest time in Woolworths’ mobile website? Probably not as many as those who would read or skim their online magazine, Fresh.
As custom content, Fresh is excellent—there are high quality seasonal recipes, tips, and both high-profile and local guest content. Because the magazine mimics, and sits alongside, entertainment content, it allows Woolworths to distribute promotional material beyond ‘commercial time’ without obviously saturating the consumer. By being engaged through discovery and sharing, the reader sees value in, and sticks around for, quality online content.
Have you started a dedicated content marketing plan? Maybe you’re thinking about one (in that case, we can help you there). We believe very strongly in content marketing strategies; we’d love to hear your thoughts or experiences!
David is Studio Culture’s Head of Digital Marketing.