For those of you who are not yet familiar with content marketing you will be very soon. Content marketing is one of the fastest growing trends in advertising. Here is a definition that I took from the Content Marketing Institute “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
For years businesses of all sizes have banked on traditional call to action advertising campaigns to get business through the door such as newspapers, direct mail, radio, TV the list goes on and on. The demand for traditional advertising continues to change as advertisers look for alternatives to grow their business. There still is a place for traditional media and it can be very effective if done properly but today’s consumer is a more intelligent buyer in that they do more research on that little thing we call the internet before they buy. This shouldn’t be completely foreign to traditional advertisers as many businesses have been using advertorials through print with great effectiveness for many years. Just look at content marketing as an extension to that.
When done well the content appears as a news article about a specific industry topic with a catchy headline. The technical term for this if you want to impress your media rep is native advertising. It should not be obvious in any way that this is an advertisement. The goal is to provide consumers with relevant information so that they can make a more informed buying decision. This should be a consistent marketing strategy such as Metroland’s In Your Neighborhood platform where we produce and post monthly content geared to your business.
Customers attained from content marketing are far more likely to be loyal repeat customers as they are educated on what it is that sets you apart. When combined with a traditional advertising strategy such as direct mail or a print campaign it can be very effective. Relevant content is also a great tool to communicate with your current customers through social media and email marketing to remind them why they do business with you versus the competition. Here is an example how it can work.
This is an opportunity to separate your business from the competition especially those who are still exclusive to traditional advertising. A good example is a direct mail package with a new restaurant inside let’s say a pizza guy with 3 or 4 competitors in the package. Chances are all 4 will have similar specials so if you are the new guy on the block why would they try your product when they already know they love “Tony’s Pizza” Most people are going to stick with what they know unless you are giving away free pizza’s which doesn’t make any sense from a business perspective. But if the “new guy” has a content marketing strategy explaining why using healthy ingredients is important, using better ingredients, the importance of using fresh ingredients, how using the best cheese makes a better quality pizza.….the likelihood of picking up the phone and responding to the ad is that much greater. Personally I would be more likely to try the new guy as there is already a buzz in the community. This also holds true for established businesses who want to find new customers.
Chances are you are still using traditional media to promote your business which may or may not have the impact it once did. Regardless of that success you need a content marketing strategy to separate yourself from the pack and take your business to the next level. Content creates loyalty, attracts a more educated customer, enhances your SEO as search engines reward quality regular content and in the end when combined with your traditional marketing increases your ROI. With solid content your customers will look forward to your advertising and you will earn their business with a soft “not in your face” approach. This is the present and future of multimedia advertising and it should be part of your marketing platform.
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