It’s really important to deliver content that’s engaging, practical and not just necessary to drive sales. 2012 seems to be the year of content marketing, a year for story telling. If you pay attention, you can see many people talking about content marketing and you can see it almost everywhere.
What is Content Marketing?
It is said that if you are not content marketing, you are not marketing. In the other words, marketing is impossible without great content.
This is a recent term used to describe “the creation and sharing of content to engage current and potential consumer bases”, which is really just a lofty way to say intelligent content development.
According to CMI – “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the aim of driving profitable customer action. It has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty.
Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling, it is to (in a nutshell):
1. Understand your prospects (their likes, dislikes, behaviour, personality, etc).
2. Understand their content platforms preference (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ etc) and then deliver relevant pieces of content on proper channels or platforms.
3. Create compelling pieces of content (videos, posts, articles, stories, podcast etc) to suit each different needs.
4. Engage consumers to have them interact with the content, to share their opinions and thoughts with you.
Content marketing is a kind of non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are actually delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent.
Of course, to carry out a successful content marketing strategy without sucking, a great deal of research, strategy and planning is needed.
According to the Roper Public Affairs, 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. 70% say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company, while 60% say that company content helps them make better product decisions.
Content marketing is a game of high stakes for a sliver of consumer attention. All to develop relationships, create affinity and set up brand preference. It is being used by some of the greatest marketing organizations in the world, including P&G, Microsoft, Cisco Systems and Coca Cola.
Speaking of Coca Cola, I want to share something with you – recently CoCa Cola launched something called Content 2020 effectively taking a leap of faith away from traditional marketing and into content marketing. They are committing their strategic and marketing resources to content marketing. The focus on the branded storytelling is what they will do, their commitment is a significant enough shift to call for a deeper look. To me, it seemed like a repackaging of the term “Social Media Marketing”.
Here are a couple of really awesome videos that explain the concept in detail, including ideas about liquid content and so on.