You might have heard the phrase “content is king” from a marketer in the past few years. At Continuum, we tend to agree with this statement and we are going to tell you why. The way in which consumers consume has drastically changed in the past ten years. They have become all too aware of the ploys, plans and objectives of traditional marketers and have begun consciously ignoring adverts and brand messages.
How do you reach a consumer that doesn’t look at banners or sponsored ads? The consumer who actively denotes his displeasure with the way in which advertisers try to attract them? The consumers who would put advertisers and marketers in the same bracket as the tax man?
The only answer is by adding value to the proposition, creating adverts that don’t waste the viewer’s time even if they don’t want to buy the product. Firstly, why do people use the internet? Generally, it is to either research or gain information, or to look up cats in hats. We are going to hope that it is for the initial reason and discuss the scenario.
A potential customer has a problem, let’s say his lawnmower is broken. He searches online, “lawnmower repairs in Ireland”. Your content comes up on the first page of the search results and the Meta data (little description seen on the search engine results page) intrigues them enough to look. He reads an article on the most common problems found with lawnmowers and how they are fixed. Although he understands that the company just fix lawnmowers, they also have a section on lawn care.
Wow. These guys are experts and really want to help me.
To finish the point, the way in which consumers take in media has changed therefore so does the sales process. Brands can no longer interact with consumers with tacky sales pitches and over the top, clouded hyperbole used in adverts is all too often blatant and irritating to the consumer. Instead, content marketing allows brands to engage, interact, inform, and teach consumers. Your expertise, knowledge on industry topics and brand tone are all being assessed by the potential consumer and content marketing is a great way to impress.
What content should I produce?
Okay, so you have an idea of what content marketing is. Now, what content should you produce?
Try and think in the traditional sense of a sale in a bricks and mortar shop. If you wanted to buy a rabbit and you walked into the local pet shop, as a customer, you do not expect to walk out with just the rabbit. Walking out of the store, you expect to have the rabbit as well as information and care advice for it. Although the pet store is under no obligation to give you advice, it is an essential part of the sale for the consumer. It builds relationships and paves the way for repeat purchases.
Online content is no different. You need to cover relevant topics that are broadly related to your product or service that give customers advice and guidance. Customers will appreciate your expertise and patience in not trying to push a sale on them.
Producing solid, informative and useful content gives your online brand a face that customers can trust.
A simple rule of thumb is that your content must be like a story. It must have a clear start, middle and end. Keep it light, if it is boring, the visitor will be on your competitor’s page in about 10 seconds. Bye, Bye sale!
As a business owner or boss, how horrified would you be to find out that one of your store employees wasn’t helpful or was giving out poor advice? Why would it be any different online?
So, as we now know, content marketing is important. Now where can you use it?
Social media is a great place to start. It is no longer acceptable for brands to direct messages at consumers, you must engage with them. It is a channel where the voices of your brand, your customers and your prospective customers all hold equal weight. This engagement is great for your business and that’s why creating content that is shareable, unique, and thought provoking is so important.
Content Marketing pretty much affects all of the Digital Marketing elements in your integrated digital strategy. Whether it is PPC (creating inciting ad text), Email (creating short, light and informative content) or SEO (Google loooves relevant content), Social Media or Article Marketing.
You get the point, it’s important and directly effects your plans success. If you need some help getting your content under control, why not get in touch?