The world has evolved in general and so has the world of marketing in particular. Today, traditional TV ads, newspaper postings, and billboards no longer serve the same purpose that they used to serve a few decades ago. People no longer like to get disturbed in the middle of their favorite television shows, and from the newspaper to roads, the number of ads are too much for people to notice, develop interest and ultimately take action. High creativity may result in a successful campaign occasionally but we are talking about the trend here.
The latest trend is not healthy for traditional marketing. Content marketing may be the best answer to the growing complex marketing needs of the present era.
Do you remember watching a funny YouTube video by a YouTube star and enjoying it thoroughly and witnessing a product or logo placement just for a span of a few seconds? Perhaps you came across that 2:36 min rap video for Toyota’s Sienna minivan that was called ‘Swagger Wagon’.
Nobody wants to watch another car ad showing a cool car being driven on a smooth road but people loved the rap video. Both these are examples of content marketing and even if you don’t explicitly know what content marketing is, the chances are that you came across dozens if not hundreds of content marketing examples in recent years, and perhaps got inspired into taking action as well.
As defined by Hubspot, “[Content Marketing is the] strategic marketing and business process focused on creatin and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience, and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Content marketing embeds the intended message within (written or digital) content that customers want to read or watch and enjoy, such as a good blog, a music video, a comedy skit or a public service message. The content can also be educational in nature. In essence, the customers get what they desire in exchange for giving permission to allow marketing within that content.
As briefly mentioned above, traditional marketing techniques may have certain limitations and drawbacks, the most important being the smaller attention span of viewers in the fast-paced world. In contrast, content marketing provides numerous benefits.
Let us study these benefits in detail to understand how content marketing may prove to be beneficial for any brand, product or service.
Adds Value for the Viewer
Probably the first and most important benefit of content marketing is that as opposed to traditional marketing, which usually portrays fancy cars, bright colors or unrealistic themes, content marketing provides valuable content to the viewer.
During traditional marketing, more often than not viewers tend to mute or ignore the message because the message usually fails to touch the pressure points. On the other hand, however, viewers may specifically be looking forward to watching content marketing material as it provides them with real value. The value can be in the form of entertainment or education, depending upon the brand and underlying content marketing strategy.
Actually Educates Potential Consumers
Another positive aspect of content marketing may be seen in terms of the fact that content marketing has much greater potential to actually educate potential consumers about the product. Traditional marketing is known for making fancy (and often unrealistic) promises; however, the message can be embedded in content marketing material in such a way that it actually shows practical benefits to viewers and educate them about the way and benefit of using the product or service.
Potential to Attract More Customers
As opposed to some of the other modern marketing techniques, such as Google or Facebook ads where payment is made for each ad click, content marketing can be quite cheap and may attract far more customers. For example, a single well-written blog can attract hundreds of thousands of viewers which may turn into potential customers.
The Exponential Impact
How many traditional ads have you seen that are shared on social media? Probably one in a ten-thousand ad is capable of forcing viewers to share them on social media. On the other hand, a well-designed content for content marketing has far more chances of being shared all over the internet; hence, providing the exponential positive impact to the marketer. For example, if you have embedded your beauty product in a well-crafted beauty tips video or blog, the relevant video or blog will be shared by a considerable number of people if they find it helpful.
Hits the Bullseye
With content marketing, it becomes easier to target the right kind of audience. The content is produced specifically for the target market and it is shared with a large pool of targeted audience. It multiplies chances of the audience actually taking the desired action.
Well, there is no doubt that content marketing is highly lucrative for marketing in a modern sophisticated environment. In order to achieve maximum results, however, it is important to design content with due care and deliberation. While a lot can be written and argued about the art of crafting content, the most important thing to remember is to stick to the basics of content marketing. What it really means is to not get carried away with advertising your products or services. As a best practice, 90% of the space should be dedicated towards content that customer really wants and the remaining 10% may be used to embed the marketing message.
It is equally important to keep readers’/viewers’ perspectives in mind when working on the content. Only the content that addresses the needs of readers/ viewers gets viral and achieves desired targets in the long run. Remember that the content you are creating is not about your business or product. Instead, the content is for viewers to benefit from, and the business perspective forms a small part of it. Moreover, develop content that is easier to find and categorize.
Content marketing is a relatively new technique. A lot of people are still grabbing the concept and working on developing better strategies. One of the first steps could involve researching and seeing how other people are using this technique to maximum benefits and what experts have to say about it. Look at how other businesses in your specific industry or sector use it and how successful they are.
Content marketing is new but it is not going to remain new forever. The time to exploit an opportunity is when the opportunity has just arrived and the least number of people are aware of it. Now is the time to take action. Strategize the content marketing initiative for your brand, product or service for long-lasting positive influence on potential customers.