The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as a “… strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” To be perfectly clear, we are not talking about ads. In it’s purest form content marketing does not have a sales focused call to action, sometimes it is not even branded. It’s aim is purely to inspire an ongoing relationship by adding value to peoples lives.
Ever since the rise of the major social media platforms, brands have been able to communicate directly with their customer base, as well as prospect customers. Where traditionally media outlets would have been used to communicate a brand’s message, companies now have an opportunity to become media outlets in their own right. It didn’t take long for marketers to realise that pushing a “buy now” message in every social media post turned followers away.
How your content is distributed
Content Marketing covers all avenues where content can be applied. This can be on social media, in email newsletters or even on offline mediums like product packaging. For instance printing a recipe on food packaging could be regarded as content marketing. The actual recipe does not have a sales message but it provides advice on how to use the product, thus adding value for the customer and making a sale more likely. While content marketing can be applied on any platform, digital as well as in traditional mediums, the best platforms for your brand and product ultimately depend on your product and how people use it.
Why should you create content?
1. Lead the conversation about your brand
Today, more than ever before, purchase decisions are influenced by our peers, who are voicing their opinions about products and services in a social media environment. We have little to no control over how people speak of our brand or our products. These public conversations and opinions about our brand, even when they are of a positive nature, are not likely to be aligned with our corporate communication strategy. In order to maintain consistency in our communication and brand message we have to become (or remain) part of the conversation – better yet, lead the conversation. Creating your own content is one way to stay involved and retain some control over the public conversations about your brand.
2. Let’s not forget about our competition
When we are talking about staying front of mind, we often assume that there is only one ‘seat’ available in that space. Though, realistically we are sharing that space with other brands with similar product or service offerings. The void we create here, by not being present in this space, will most likely be filled by one of our competitors. A well planned content marketing strategy will help you create relevant content that will keep your brand front of mind.
How to get started
It seems like an easy task to handle in-house, but DIY content marketing efforts often fail due to poor planning. Your expertise in your field is at the core of your content marketing strategy, but you may need assistance with planning a strategy that is sustainable long term and to give you a frame that will help you create new relevant content on a regular basis. If you require assistance setting up a content marketing strategy APR Creative can help.