Everyday large and small companies are waking up to amazing results through publishing and distributing their own stories in order to attract and retain customers. Traditionally the model was to find a good reputable newspaper or Media Company with a huge subscriber base and place an ad.
It worked for a while, until such a time the proliferation of media meant that people were inundated with adverts. People began to look for a way to avoid these adverts.
Advertising in the traditional sense became less effective.
Companies noticing the decline of the effectiveness of this approach turned to entertaining and being helpful to their audience in order to capture their attention with the hope of selling to them. A practice that is known as Content Marketing that started 100 years ago.
Fundamentally, Content Marketing is the idea of communicating with your customers without being salesy (selling to them). Its permission and non-interruptive marketing. The idea behind it is that if you can provide valuable content to your audience, they will ultimately reward you with their business.
The quote below sums Content Marketing quite nicely.
“Traditionally marketing and advertising is telling the world that you are a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world that you are one.”
But wait. Why should you even consider Content Marketing for your business?
#1 Engage with your clients
Brands serve their clients best when they engage them with stories. The human factor is now more important more and the world is more transparent more than ever. Customers now want to know the behind the scenes and the goings on at your company. They want to know how the product is made. They want to be involved at each and every stage.
Won’t I be giving away my secrets? Does any of this stuff make any business sense? You might ask. Great question, but the thing is, having the ingredients does not make one a chef.
#2 Emotional Connection
In today’s world where there are many products and businesses offering services similar to yours, customers need more than a reason why they should shop with you or use their services. Customers need an emotional connection with your brand. To see the power of story-telling, one simply has to look at Hollywood. It built an entire industry on storytelling. Think how you would root for the underdog in most movies. You did this because they created characters you could relate to and naturally you wanted them to win.
The same with your business or brand. You need to share stories that your customers can relate to.
#3 Solve your clients problems
As narcissistic as it sounds customers do not care about your products or services. They care about themselves, wants and needs. Focus your business on solving their problems and you will have them eating out of the palm of your hand and beating a path to your business. Help them make better choices by providing information that will meet a need or solve a problem.
“Anyone who tries to make the distinction between education and entertainment doesn’t know the first thing about either.”
Red Bull, the energy drink maker sold 5.2 billion cans in 2012. Key to this was its use of Content Marketing to create videos that their thrill seeking audience found entertaining and could relate to. One of their more popular videos, the Art of The Flight has over 14 million views on YouTube. By the way this has been developed into a full feature film.
Their goal is to entertain their audience whilst making them feel that there are part of something bigger. Of course as a brand this does not mean you have to take to the extreme like Red Bull. However, find out your audience’s interests. Maybe appealing to their humour might do the trick.
Content Marketing is the fire and Social Media is the gasoline. A lot of companies and brands struggle with their social media. Part of it is because they do not understand that for social media to work you need content. The adage that Content is Key holds true in this case. In fact I always want to develop that statement further and say Content is KaChing meaning it is content that will allow you make money online.
You see content provides the client with a reason to reach out. It maybe a funny clip that makes them want to share and tag you in their post. Hmm?
#6 Finally Content Marketing motivates people to buy
All of the above we have mentioned should get you to one place – the customer consuming your product or service. Content Marketing motivates your customers to buy.
Wrapping It Up
Content marketing can play a huge role in your business. Yes there are times when you might need to advertise and times where creating and publishing content applies. Fortunately the bible assures us that,
“There is time for every purpose under the heaven. A time to laugh… and a time to weep…”
I look forward to reading your stories and feedback on how well Content Marketing is working for you in the comments section or on any social media platform of your choice. If you found this helpful pass this on to your friends and loved ones.