To start, what actually is Content Marketing and what is the benefit?
Quite simply, instead of driving sales of your product or service, you are providing relevant, useful and engaging content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues or get them engaged with your brand. Content marketing can be broken down into a variety of ‘things’; images, video, presentations, blogs, social media, to name a few.
And why can it not be ignored?…
In a world where there is now a whole spectrum of channels to communicate and drive sales of your product/service to a huge potential audience, it’s key not to overdo the sell. The everyday customer is now both smart and savvy. Depending on the industry, some tens, hundreds & thousands more competitors will be on your heels, and, in a world where choice is increasing and loyalty decreasing, you could find yourself in a sticky situation. Providing useful and engaging content can give you a competitive advantage. It’s no longer good enough to provide a quality product or service, the customer expects added benefits.
Traditional marketing methods, on their own, are becoming less effective. Therefore, we are seeing a rise in content!
You probably come across content marketing every single day and don’t even realise it. This blog post is a prime example…
Here are some of my favourite examples of content marketing over the last year (or so…)
Tesco Mobile – Twitter
Most B2C organisations have joined the world of Twitter, primarily to improve customer service. You’ve probably experienced many, with the majority of responses similar to the following – ‘Please let us know the package ID and we’ll look into this’ etc. Tesco Mobile decided to follow a more ‘out of the box’ strategy… Witty banter and quick comebacks formed part of the Tesco Mobile brand strategy. The language, tone of voice and use of emojis became a huge hit with millennials. None of their content is directly promoting Tesco Mobile as a service but their social following and reach is by far greater than their competitors.
See more: https://twitter.com/tescomobile/
Innocence Smoothies – The whole brand
Of course, they have a great product, but most people recognise the Innocence brand through their ‘quirkiness’. And this ‘quirkiness’ is represented throughout a whole spectrum of content (most being completely unrelated to smoothies). Their posts and imagery uploaded to various social media channels creates a ‘buzz’ and enjoyment. Users are more than happy to share to their friends and followers if it’s something that sparks their interest – one of the many powers of content marketing!
See more: http://www.innocentdrinks.co.uk/bored
"If the customer does not find the content useful, they’ll switch off. It’s not easy but, if done well, the benefits can be exponential…"
Nando’s – Recipes
Probably one of the first restaurants you think of when someone mentions chicken? Nando’s have recently started to share recipes and videos telling you how to make similar Nando’s recipes at home. Sounds ridiculous, right? – They’re essentially telling you to not visit their restaurants?! Wrong. They’re providing useful, relevant and engaging recipes and videos (that all use available-to-purchase Nando’s sauces) and keeping the brand in thought. It’s a win-win in my opinion.
See more: https://www.nandos.co.uk/eat/recipes
How to be a winner at Content Marketing?
Making sure your content marketing strategy aligns with your brand and overall business strategy is essential. The little details make a big difference – does the tone & language used in your social media match your brand image? Does the style of video fit with your brand perception? Are the images used in your blog posts relevant to the company?
It can sound simple – produce a quick video or blog post and post it on social media – but the key thing to remember is relevance. If the customer does not find the content useful, they’ll switch off. It’s not easy but, if done well, the benefits can be exponential…
By David Lewis - Marketing & Social Media Executive