6 billion hours of video are watched monthly on Youtube. According to Facebook, the company’s 1.23 billion users log into their site for 17 minutes each day — that’s more than 39,757 years of time spent (collectively) on just one site. In a single day! And there’s dozens of other new media options for people to lose themselves in as well. So who has time to pay attention to advertising?
Yes, message fatigue is one of the main challenges facing today’s marketers. People– in general– are burned out from being hit with advertising from seemingly all directions. Many, hip to the routine, have started to tune out all forms of (unwanted) messages and have retreated into their own private, virtual worlds instead. This reality can make traditional marketing methods seem like an exercise in futility. Luckily, there are ways to overcome the many challenges posed by modern living. So where to start?
Start by creating a conversation that your consumer base wants to be a part of. Content marketing techniques engage audiences long enough to cause them to want to participate– and come back repeatedly. This results in consumers bonding with your brand (in ways that hardly seem like they’re being marketed to). Not sold? Consider that Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and John Deere– some of the world’s most successful brands– consistently use content marketing to sustain brand dominance. Using content marketing to overcome consumer Attention Deficit Disorder keeps your business relevant and your consumers engaged… whether you’re an industry leader, a small business owner (or somewhere in between)
Let’s explore what Content Marketing is and isn’t.
“Just Google it.” The phrase is ubiquitous. People are constantly Googling you, your business, and keywords or phrases related to your industry. If you’re devoid of content that supports consumer engagement, you’re hurting your business; even worse, you’re a few steps away from irrelevance. By having content marketing that’s ready for consumption and easily searchable online, you avoid the irrelevance trap.
Remember, Content Marketing isn’t Advertising. So what is it then? Basically, content marketing is a way of communicating with customers that disguises the fact that you’re selling them a brand. Instead, audiences are given permission to get engaged, since they no longer believe they’re “being pitched to.” They may even (correctly) believe that the information they’re engaging with is making them more knowledgeable and informed. The belief behind this strategy is this: if businesses consistently deliver valuable information to their consumers, consumer will reward them with their business and loyalty.”
Content Marketing Categories. While content marketing can be divided into many different sub-categories, here’s just a few to get you familiar: how-to content, shareable visuals, crowd sourcing, online discussion forums, and behind-the-scenes type access. What do all of these tactics have in common? They create a fun experience for consumers that they won’t mind telling other people about. The best part is how– when consumers do share your brand-related content– they feel like they’re promoting their own interests, instead of your brand. This keeps them engaged!
Specific Examples. “Brew Guides” promoting the coffee industry, beauty make-over videos, and educational infographics like “Top 25 U.S. Business Schools” are all examples of content marketing, because they speak to consumers. It’s also content marketing when a popular band encourages fans to take photos of their shows and post them to their social media sites and Virgin Atlantic fills their online blog with great travel content, specifically designed to awaken a person’s “travel bug.”
Now that we’ve whet your appetite regarding the many content marketing techniques, it’s time to create this type of content for your brand! Trust us, it’s going to work. After all, what do you have to lose… except an outdated marketing approach?