With over 71% of consumers actively turning away from content that seems like it’s trying to sell them something, content marketing is a delicate balance of presentation and pitch.
When it comes to content, marketing strategy is everything and an understanding of your audience is imperative.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is an indirect sales strategy that appeals to audiences through the creation of something that they will find valuable and relevant. What sets content marketing apart from traditional advertising is that the product or service you are trying to promote is secondary to the actual subject of your content. This way, the product or service is integrated into the content in a way that communicates its worth without being ‘salesy’. Content marketing can come in many forms including blog posts, listicles, editorial, images, and videos.
Why is Content Marketing Beneficial?
Put simply, consumers crave content. Every time you watch a YouTube video, click on a Buzzfeed Article, check out an infographic, or even read a Facebook post you’re consuming content. Younger generations are very anti-advertising and tend to view the advertising industry as dishonest. Instead, their purchasing decisions are influenced by the content they consume, for example one in five young people say they are influenced by Snapchat. With 74% of companies reporting that content marketing is improving lead quality, it’s clear that audiences are responding to it. In fact, around 40% of social media users report that their purchasing decisions are made based on the content they’ve seen on social media.
“You’ve Convinced Me, Where Do I Start?”
We mentioned it before, but content marketing absolutely has to start with your audience. If you don’t know already, find out what kind of content they are consuming and which platforms they are consuming it on. What do they find relevant? If your audience is mothers, you might find them frequenting mummy blogs or even watching family vloggers on YouTube. They’re likely to be searching tags like “baby” and “parenting” on Instagram so take a look at what these searches yield and what seems to be the most popular.
Content marketing takes both research and creativity. Once you know who you’re targeting, what they are interested in, and how and where they are consuming content, you then have to take things one step further by creating content that ticks all of these boxes but is somehow also new and exciting. Many businesses and brands choose to outsource this work to creative agencies that specialise in this area in order to expand the resources available to them to take the pressure off of their in-house staff. After all, having a great idea can only take you so far if you don’t have the skills or equipment to implement it.
A Word of Advice
The biggest piece of advice we can give when it comes to content marketing is to avoid shoehorning your product in. There’s a difference between a carefully crafted piece of content that communicates your product’s usefulness in a subtle yet effective way, and a piece of content that has a bit of advertising tacked on to the end. Integration is key so avoid trying to force your brand onto subjects or movements it has no business being affiliated with.
Do you have a product or service you think could benefit from content marketing? Take advantage of the full range of skills and services our creative team offer by contacting us here or on 0161 850 2381.