Savvy marketers now understand that traditional forms of advertising are no longer enough to reach out to today’s consumer. Content marketing is the method of creating and distributing relevant material to your customer base in order to drive profitable consumer action. Rather than directly selling, what you are doing is keeping the lines of communication open and the Internet is the perfect medium for doing this. But is content marketing just the latest in a long line of marketing buzz words, or is it something that can have real benefits. In short, is it worth the effort?
The answer is yes. And you don’t need to take our word for it: most of the major brands such as P&G and Microsoft are using content marketing techniques today. As just one example of where it has paid off, look at L’Oréal’s recent campaign. In 2012 it collaborated with Rolling Stone Magazine on its ‘Women Who Rock’ annual issue. This invited consumers to get involved by voting to decide which female emerging musician would be on the flip cover of the issue.
According to Debora Koyama, AVP Marketing at L’Oréal USA, “We are very satisfied with the program having much stronger results this year achieving or surpassing our targets and benchmarks from a number of page and video views, earned impressions to brand health tracking metrics.”
If you want to get the best results from content marketing then there are three key areas you have to cover.
Images: Highly visual content such as images or infographics can be much easier for your audience to absorb and if done well it can make a big impact. It’s a good way to share tips or information on your latest products and this kind of content is also very easy to share so it has the potential to go viral quickly. Make sure you add your company’s name and web address somewhere within the graphics.
Blog posts and articles: As an expert in your sector you will no doubt have valuable advice and tips to share with your customers. A relevant and regularly updated blog is a great way to keep visitors flowing in to your website. You can also think about spreading the net further by posting articles on relevant blogging sites. It will showcase your knowledge and help you connect with clients, presenting an image of you as a reliable and competent supplier.
Videos: These days it is relatively quick and easy to put together a professional looking video – you don’t necessarily need much special knowledge and expertise. Once you have your video then it’s a valuable tool to connect with your audience over platforms such as YouTube. Be imaginative and come up with something really unique that people will want to share.
But remember that whatever you post, your content marketing strategy should always be coherent. Have the same themes and brand message running through everything and this way you will create a strong identity for your company. And keep plugging away! You are unlikely to see results straight away but this does not mean it will not pay off in the end.