Why do we need a new form of marketing anyway?
Do you hate spam?
Do the words “advertising” and “salesy” make you squirm in your seat?
Chances are your customers feel exactly the same way.
Why do we feel so disgusted by someone advertising to us without our agreement? How is it that in a world where so many people can say so much so easily no one wants to listen?
Is it maybe possible that as human beings, to live well, we should have some choice over who we communicate with? If a husband cheats on his wife, why should she stay in a relationship with him? If an employee steals from a company why should they continue to employ him or her.
Traditional advertising concentrated largely on communicating to people about a product in a way they often didn’t agree with. Businesses would pay broadcast channels to “interrupt” their programs with marketing messages. The skyline of a pleasant drive in the countryside became suddenly made ugly with a massive billboard screaming “buy these cigarettes.”
The world today has reacted to this constant avalanche of advertising by saying ENOUGH! And a different, more enjoyable marketing style has come to dominate the media channels of today.
“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value”– Albert Einstein
A great way to explain a concept that been around forever but only recently fully appreciated is “content marketing”. When we say content marketing we mean creating some form of content, whether written, filmed, animated, designed, printed, etc. that acts as a channel for prospects to get to know and build a relationship with our business.
In some respects, every type of marketing could be thought of as content marketing. The emphasis on what today has been known as content marketing is the value that the content provides the audience.
In a more traditional advertising model, say in the 80’s, a business could get a radio or TV airtime ad slot or some space on a billboard and broadcast their message to “buy my great product” however they liked. There were limited channels around at the time so it was likely that a lot of people got this message.
Because there weren’t so many slots available on each network the ad cost was expensive. Because there was no direct way to measure how many sales each advert created it was hard to gauge it’s value. This style of advertising could be called “spray and pray”. The message got broadly sent out and who knows how many people it hit home with.
Spray and pray advertisingA lot of these ads added so little value to their audience, viewers would literally tune out and do something else during these “ad breaks”. Yes I was born in the 80’s. I remember it well.
Then a huge bomb was dropped on the world of communication called the internet. Suddenly it became cost effective to only consume the exact content you wanted.
People started questioning whether they really wanted to have these traditional “spray and pray” adverts hitting them in the face where ever they went. Economical subscription business model networks like Netflix and Spotify began to make the need for advertiser funding unnecessary.
Suddenly the challenge became who can provide the best experience to the consumer. Suddenly the word “advertising” and “sales” became dirty words. In a world where customer choice seemed to rank above all things a new style of marketing needed to be dreamed up…
Enter content marketing. No longer acceptable was the old school advertising approach of singing your own praises. Would you walk into a room where the conversation was continually being interrupted by some idiot saying how great he is? This had clearly almost become the norm with traditional channels like radio and TV.
Content marketing offers value and choice to your target audience within not just the product but also in the promotional content itself.
A message with value to it’s receiver
Before we go completely into a “spray and pray” must die crusade, realize that traditional marketing still works. The very act of getting your message out there does give results.
The thing to understand about it is that it’s far more suitable for larger established businesses who can add exposure to their already established brand message. For a small to medium business it’s not going to make a lot of sense to pay a large amount for a single TV Ad or billboard and nothing else.
Without any sense of an established recognized brand most people seeing this one lonely message are simply going to shrug and think little of it. It’d be so much smarter to instead create a stream of much more affordable digital resources that you can continue to push out to your audience.
With content marketing the goal has now become how well you can provide your target market with content that is valuable to them.
Please get this small distinction. This is now a world where customer choice dominates. It becomes necessary to make your advertising campaign a valuable message all by itself so that your target audience sees it as a channel they’d like to tune into.
Do something else and you immediately become that annoying guy in the room who keeps singing his own praises that just makes everyone want to leave and go party somewhere else.
As you can imagine this makes the skill of really understanding your target market even more important. You have to know what your ideal buyer finds valuable before pumping out content.
This isn’t as difficult as one might imagine though…
In a communication climate dominated by choice how do we ensure our messages are noticed and taken to heart?
How to Add Value to Content
There are a few basic ways you can add value to a piece of content:
1. Entertain – advertisers have long known this. Even in traditional media marketing entertainment value had a lot to do with how much the message got home. With content marketing entertainment also plays a key role.
2. Educate – with the enormous potential for cheap available online publishing, such as e-books and blogging, the ability to provide excellent informative content has become easier and cheaper than ever before.
This article right here is an example of content marketing that mainly seeks to educate. My purpose in writing this article is to provide you value by helping you understand how to play the marketing game better and get better results in your own business or organization.
3. Motivate – by truly understanding our audience’s hopes and dreams we can communicate a message that emotionally moves them. We can drive them to act in a direction they already believe in. By providing motivation we add an emotional value to help our viewer or reader do what they really want to do already.
4. A combination of the above – we can use one, two or all three of these methods within any piece of content. Certain approaches tend to work better for different industries. A surf brand would probably do better to concentrate on entertainment, a gym on motivation and a consultancy firm on education.
That doesn’t stop a surf brand adding huge value by going in depth educating its customers on exactly what makes it’s boards so premium.
Excellent content draws prospects to your brand and keeps interest and engagement high
Next time you talk about your business or service
What I’m trying to really help you to get here is that every time you push out a message from your brand…
Ask yourself this:
How is that message entertaining, educating or motivating it’s receiver in a way that truly helps your customers and potential customers?
If you can get this right you’ll literally have to pay people to stop beating down your door and wanting to work with you.
Good luck coping with the traffic if you get your content strategy right
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- Because of the internet today’s communication channels are dominated by choice.
- “Spray and pray” advertising isn’t the only way to promote anymore.
- Content marketing is a newer kid on the block that seeks to provide real value to your target market by giving them something that really helps them.
- When creating content for your audience think of how it will entertain, motivate or educate them. Also consider which of these content directions makes the most sense for your brand.
I’ve realized this is really the tip of the iceberg on the subject of content marketing.
I’ll definitely write more on the subject soon.
If there’s any particular aspect of this subject you’d like to know more about please let me know in the comments below and I’ll be sure to write more on the more popular questions.
If you’re looking to apply this very effective strategy to boost your business, realize that content marketing is the core of what we offer at Team Rocket. If you’d like to know more about how we can create powerful content for you please email us or give us a call.
Rocket expansion is our wish for your business or organization.
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