Here is a quick video we have made to explain some of the basics about content marketing. It defines the subject, discusses market shifts, explores the goals of content marketing, and looks at some of the implications in terms of technology and strategy.
The video, and full transcript is below.
Let’s answer the question why content marketing, and let’s find out why Seth Godin says ‘Content Marketing is the only form of marketing left’.
Content marketing is the creation and distribution of relevant and valuable content, to attract and engage a defined, target audience, with a clear, commercial objective. So it’s nothing new. But in the digital age, it takes on a whole new importance. As Junta42 explains, there are 5 pillars of content marketing that can be very useful as a framework. Content marketing is editorially based, tells a story, it is marketing backed, it has an objective, it is behaviour driven, it tries to change or maintain a recipients behaviour, it is multi-platform and it is targeted towards a specific audience.
But why is it useful to you, to help you sell products and services or build customer relationships? Well, content sells, it is the vehicle for building customer relationships, that are scalable, measurable and commercially valuable.
If we look at the changing landscape around us, we can see some shifts. Consumers are moving from an environment where they are happy just to be pushed interruptive adverts, to where they want to be pulled towards content that is interesting to them.
Brands need to stop broadcasting at people and now engage with people. It’s not all about the brand anymore. It’s actually about the customer and their likes and dislikes. It’s no good just to talk and then listen for a response. But listening first is now possible using the major social media platforms. And we are moving from bought media to owned and earned media.
A key realisation, in this environment, is that people have lives and desires and preferences, rather than just being “prospects”, only able to make a purchasing decision. So often, marketing teams are focused on converting, rather than engaging and retaining.
We are seeing the media industry disaggregate, as customers individually, and as communities of interest, build their own voices, that are often more visible and vocal, than mainstream media. It is important that you realise, your brand can build, direct to consumer relationships.
You can own your own niche. Don’t rely on your legacy brand online, but build authority with your target market, directly. And it’s important to realise that we don’t know it all, but we can become a gateway for knowledge.
As one recent report explained ‘70% of buyers use a search engine at the start of the buying process and 75% click on organic results’. That’s how important content is.
The CEO of Ogilvy and Mather recently stated:
“We are seeing an arrival of a new agency model, where we move from being a generator of messages, to the producer, of content. And brands are able to own media themselves.”
Where they used to have to go through media, and pay, or rent customer attention, they now can deliver information directly to consumers, and are themselves, media organisations.
And content must go far beyond your sale speal. As you’ve noticed, people don’t want to be sold to. What people do want is news and information about the things they care about.
So content marketing builds an engaging, entertaining and informational skin around your brand, so that customers can be drawn, through the different layers of this content towards a purchasing decision, in their own time and their own way. And good content marketing helps establish trust, because by publishing content that shows buyers you understand their problems, and that you can show them how to solve them, you build credibility.
In the field of content marketing, we think there is a clear technological imperative. Content volumes are through the roof. As are usage data volumes. But the cost of storing content and customer data is falling. As we see these volumes increase, the methodology for categorising content, delivering content, managing content and recommending content are progressing and maturing all the time. Therefore tools and systems are able to help you in the process of content marketing by delivering personalised content, to each user, across the right channel.
One of the key objectives of a good content marketing programme is immediacy. Instead of one-way interruption, web marketing is about delivering useful content, at just the precise moment, just when the buyer needs it. The second objective is relevancy. What makes content engaging is its relevancy.
The huge volume of interactions with your content across multiple channels, yields a massive amount of customer insight. Content and topic preferences, user behaviours and journeys, segmentation categories, and you can build up very detailed profiles, of every individual user, which is useful, when it does come to your sales message.
So, in summary, the benefits of content marketing, are that you can attract new customers and advocates, as people find your content through search and social recommendations. You can engage and retain existing customers, increase the amount of touch-points you have with them every single month, by delivering entertaining, engaging or informational content that meets a need of theirs. You can build authority in your niche, become a trusted advisor for customers and future customers, and you can generate actionable insight, off the back of those interactions.
To finish off with another Seth Godin quote, ‘one way to sell a consumer something in the future is simply to get his or her permission in advance,’ Effective content marketing gets you that permission in advance, to speak to somebody about your product and service, in the future.
If you’re interested in finding out more about content marketing, or how idio’s Integrated Content Marketing platform is helping major brands and publishers deliver personalised content across multiple channels, build deep customer relationships and evolve actionable customer intelligence, then please just get in touch. Thank you for listening.