Is your brand still stuck in the past? Or have you been brave enough to attempt content marketing? Although it’s starting to enter the mainstream marketing vocabulary, there is still confusion among brands about what content marketing is and how it differs from other marketing practices.
If you find yourself confused about how content marketing works and what it is and isn’t, take a look at these five ways it differs from traditional marketing rules.
1) It’s not about you. It’s about them
Traditional marketing usually attempts to express what the company wants to say. Content marketing is about expressing what the audience wants to hear.
What information is your audience looking for? What value are they looking to receive? These are the questions you should be asking yourself when pursuing content marketing. Answer these questions and deliver on these needs as best you can through your content.
2) Don’t grab attention. Maintain it.
Much of advertising and traditional marketing practice is about ‘grabbing’ your audience’s attention through bright colours, a catchy jingle, a celebrity endorsement or any other number of tactics. Content marketing is less about grabbing your audience’s attention momentarily and more about maintaining it over an extended period of time.
Customer focus on your content will lead to a trusting relationship, even before they make a decision to purchase.
3) Try to drive relationships.
Creating a relationship with your customer is one of the most important goals of content marketing. Even with potential future customers, you should be concerned with engaging them in a meaningful relationship.
Creating a relationship means establishing a sense of trust between your brand and the customer. This is built by interacting with your customer through content in a consistent, predictable and constructive way. These relationships become extremely valuable to a brand when your customer begins to expect your content, engage with it (for example, through comments and sharing), and would miss it if it were no longer there.
The more you build your content library, the more your brand’s personality will be developed. Your customer will build a relationship with this personality so make sure your content is strategically planned.
4) Don’t tell your audience. Show them.
If you’re great at something, content marketing suggests you should demonstrate your greatness rather than shouting it from the rooftops. You should show your knowledge by publishing information-rich, valuable content.
Demonstrating your authority in a certain area will put you at the forefront of your customer’s mind when they think about your industry or service. This kind of association is far more valuable than the passing publicity traditional marketing gives you.
5) Instead of aiming for immediate results, aim for a slow burn process.
Immediate results are a “quick fix” for your business, which guarantees immediate revenue but no long-term commitment or promise of return. A slow burn process requires a greater investment of time while generating a more valuable result at the end, a relationship with a brand-loyal customer.
Content marketing will never get you immediate results. In many cases it will take a business several months to see any results at all. Unlike advertising efforts, where emphasis is placed on quick results, content marketing requires a significant amount of patience. If your business can patiently invest in this long-term strategy, the resulting impact to your brand will be similarly long-term.
If you’d like to know more about content marketing and how it might fit for your business, contact Lush – The Content Agency.
By Carla Young.