Hey everyone! Thank you so much for reading our Nimble blog. Today, I am particularly eager to share with my readers a topic of discussion I literally have made a business out of- Content Marketing! 😉 Our tenets as an agency are built on the very essence of storytelling and I think it is high time that the topic is discussed and its myths busted. 💪🏻
The first open discussion on this topic came from David Meerman Scott, who basically defined Content Marketing as;
the creation of valuable and relevant content yourself (instead of using traditional means).
David is almost assuming that YOU are your own PR team and it does sound as if the authority that content marketing posit, is agnostic of any form of broadcast or print marketing that was considered paramount if any business owner needed to advertise their products or services. Remember the days when you had to pay top dollar just to get the word out on your business? Do you also vividly recall how it was n.e.v.e.r really certain the traction your particular print advertisement had on your audience? Don’t get me wrong. I am not against print advertisement or any ATL (Above The Line) marketing, in fact, my very first job out of University had everything and anything to do with traditional marketing. And I still see the value in this albeit a little particular nowadays.
And then the dawn of Social Media came and it swept marketers high and dry.
I believe the audiences of today are far more discerning than ever before and those traditional methodologies of marketing may not be as prevalent as marketers once hoped it to be. Marketing has certainly evolved and certainly judiciously as well especially with the onset of Social Media. (our favourite!) So how do we, as marketers keep up with the ever-increasing demands of our target audience?
This brings me then, to Inbound and Outbound Marketing as a topic of discussion I absolutely love to teach in my sharing sessions at our workshops.
Here’s how marketers define Inbound and Outbound Marketing.
- Consumer-driven (2-way communication)
- “Pull” Marketing (always, likeable & lead nurturing)
- Blogging (heavy emphasis on content strategy)
- Earned Social Media (social media community building)
- Search Engine Optimization (saturating Google with educational value)
- Emails to opt-in list (subscription-based email marketing)
- Marketer-driven (1-way communication)
- “Push” Marketing (intrusive, talking at customers)
- Broadcast & Print advertisement (banner & display ads)
- Social Media advertisement (social media advertising)
- Display Advertising (promotional content)
- Emails to purchased list (paid email lists)
So what does this mean to marketers?
Content marketing is indeed the heart of inbound marketing and there are several reasons why I love it. Today more than ever, brands are competing for people’s time. To stand out, marketing has to defy many obstacles in order to cut through the noise. This means building campaigns from the ground up, starting with your business goals and my favourite, social listening. (Another blog post coming up!)
Why content marketing?
- Content marketing is far more authentic
This means having deliberate control over how brand stories are crafted to resonate directly with your target audience. Video marketing and blogging are some powerful ways to persuade your audience that YOU are worth their time. When done tactically, the results supercedes traditional marketing in many ways. This is because content that is evergreen and valuable that seeks to reach out and educate the audience in informative and entertaining ways, always win.
- Content marketing allows brands to humanize their campaigns
Gone are the days when we leave our PR to media owners, newspaper giants, magazine editors or advertisements on mass media in hopes that how and what they journal or advertise would give business owners the leverage and traction they need for their business. The burgeoning rise of consumers looking to online reviews before making a purchase, says it all. Hence, make your content as accessible as possible and genuinely provide value for your customers. The return on investment is worth all the creative hard work. No presumptuous advertisement. Forget celebrity endorsements. Pure, authentic content that seeks to engage and educate prospects and customers alike is a #win.
- Content marketing turns followers into fans
When business owners found the sweet spot of their own branded content, this is where marketing is done right. Knowing the best creative for their audience and distributing this on the right platform, gives more reasons for followers to quickly turn into fans. They naturally promote your brand because you have provided something they want and need. They look to you for thought leadership and are pulled in to the community that you have built.
Content marketing continues to become more and more sophisticated all the time. The key is to win the hearts and minds of consumers in fresh, exciting ways.
Marketing has certainly evolved to become more dynamic and quite frankly, intelligent. To think that content marketing is the only form of marketing left is certainly true. Today, the destination is our audience. And as mentioned, content can come in a myriad of forms these days. Making content front and centre of the digital conversation makes the emotional experience of consuming brands more effective and genuine. The onus is on us as content producers to decide the type of content ie; promotional, informative, entertaining, functional even service-focused to ensure relevance as well as consistency.
CONTENT MARKETING MYTHS: BUSTED.
- Producing top-tier content is easy, I mean isn’t it all just writing? No. Creating and crafting content is painstakingly tactical. My team consistently produce long and short form content on the daily that have different metrics of expectation and goals. Most business owners don’t see the value of content marketing because they expect the returns of publishing content to be as tacit (and fast) as the returns of traditional marketing. My advice is to really enjoy the process of creation. This is not a quick payoff. But when it does, it is worth it.
- Doesn’t more content equate to more reach? No. As they say, the rule is not to produce massive amounts of content but a focus on the quality of that content. Seek to understand your audience and what they are in need of help with, the reach will come organically. This is also where social listening comes in because when you actually actively listen to the digital conversations about your brand, you extract key insights that may be crucial to your next marketing campaigns.
So if content marketing intrigues or intimidates you (or perhaps both), I would love to chat with you about how we can creatively revolutionize your marketing efforts. Hit me up anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how Nimble can help find that sweet spot of your content marketing efforts.
Would love to connect!
(From cake to digital.)