If you run in the tech, marketing or digital media circles, you’ve likely heard the term “content marketing.” Right now, it’s hugely popular with thousands of companies across all industries due to the fact that traditional marketing doesn’t work anymore. In today’s world of digital media, consumers DVR right through commercials, press “Decline” on the 800- numbers that call their phones and block pop-ups online.
Even though consumer preference has changed, the need to market hasn’t and, as such, today’s climate calls for a different type of marketing – a type of marketing that offers value to consumers and avoids being pushy, intrusive or cheap.
Enter content marketing.
Content Marketing 101: A Modern Definition
Content marketing is a broad field and it encompasses many different types of media – everything from visual to written content can be used for content marketing purposes. Although it may seem difficult to pin down, content marketing is simply a marketing approach in which companies undertake the task of creating, publishing and dispensing valuable, niche-focused content to attract customers to their business. In content marketing, companies are seeking to pique a customer’s interest, provide valuable information during all stages of the buying cycle and to, eventually drive sales.
Driving sales, however, is not the immediate goal of content marketing. The immediate goal of content marketing is simply to communicate, offer valuable information and inform readers. In content marketing, the idea is that if a company delivers valuable, interesting information on a regular basis, customers will eventually reward said company with purchases, referrals and loyalty.
Examples of Companies Winning at Content Marketing
- For an example of high-quality and effective content marketing, take the outdoor clothing brand Patagonia, which puts out a beautiful, image-dense catalogue that features more articles on outdoor pursuits than it does advertisements for the company’s clothing.
- Red Bull. Take a look at the Red Bull website and you’ll understand immediately why this company has succeeded in reaching over 5 million customers. Although Red Bull’s product is really only a sugary energy drink, the company has succeeded at creating a longstanding content marketing campaign that communicates that Red Bull helps you perform better, stretch the boundaries and go further.
- Ever since companies like Abercrombie & Fitch and LuluLemon have gotten into hot water for their decided exclusivity, Dove has spearheaded a content marketing campaign that screams inclusivity and they’ve profited hugely for it. The “Celebrate Natural Beauty” campaign helps women (the company’s target audience) celebrate their own bodies while also offering helpful tips, topics and tricks that tie in nicely with the product. The company’s customers have responded with an outpouring of support and Dove’s “Real Beauty” YouTube sketches have received over 63 million views.
- Dollar Shave Club. When you’re a wee David set to take on three Goliaths, you’d better stand out. That’s exactly what company CEO Michael Dublin did when he started Dollar Shave Club and took on Gillette, Wilkinson Sword and BIC to overthrow the razor industry. Possibly the best example (although there are many) of this company’s content marketing prowess is their cheeky intro video, which received more than 14 million views on YouTube.
3 Tips for Effective Content Marketing
- Be a storyteller. Red Bull could have been just a sugary energy drink, right? But instead it’s a veritable tonic of awesomeness and achievement, all because the company has a team of highly skilled writers who are great at telling stories. Storytelling is at the heart of content marketing and, when you master the art, your content marketing will take off in a big way. For more specific instruction on how to be a better writer and storyteller, check out this resource.
- Seek to answer questions. Customers today live in a virtual tornado of products, options and purchasing decisions and you can be certain that the primary question on most of their minds is “Why should I buy this over that?” in order to be effective, your content marketing needs to anticipate this question and answer it before customers can ask it. Think about Dollar Shave Club again. Razors are razors, right? But millions of customers have decided that they should pay to purchase Dollar Shave Club’s razors because the company is edgy, quirky and dedicated to bucking the institution, much like Apple did back in the day.
- Think about content distribution before content creation. Not all types of content are created equal. If you create a series of videocasts and then realize that none of your audience actually participates with that type of content, you’ve wasted a good deal of money and effort. That said, think about how and where you’re going to distribute your content before you create it. Doing this will help you hone your content and ensure you’re creating types of content your consumers will love.
In order to succeed in today’s environment, content marketing is a must and companies that do it right will enjoy huge returns from their customers. If you want to learn more about content marketing strategies, contact Bigfoot Media. We are here for all of your digital marketing needs and would love to help your business create a game-winning strategy. Call us today for a FREE consultation or shoot us a quick email to learn more.
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