THE WHAT, WHY AND HOW OF CONTENT MARKETING

This article was written by Tammy Collins, Commtract expert, Digital Marketing Professional, Content Strategy & Creator and Media Campaign Manager and the founder of Next Media Marketing

Everywhere you turn, you’re hearing about Content Marketing. Here we break down what it is, why you need to jump on the content bandwagon and how you can do it well!

WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING?

Content marketing, in its most simple form, is the creation and sharing of content, be it articles, images, videos or podcasts to a target audience to (non-blatantly) market the idea of a product or service. Unlike traditional marketing, of which its purpose is to blatantly sell the product.

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WHY CONTENT SHOULD BE IN YOUR MARKETING MIX

If you’ve been speaking to agencies or publishers, or read any marketing blogs worth their weight in marketing knowledge, they will (or should have) recommended content marketing to you and with good reason. Below is why it is a must to have in your marketing mix.

1. First and foremost, done right, content marketing will generate salesplain and simple. If that isn’t enough, read on!

2. Content Marketing offers you the opportunity to be an authority in your field. It allows you to demonstrate to your potential clients that you are an expert and that you know what you’re talking about. It allows you to highlight all of the features of your product and service and do so in a way that will interest your target audience. It’s also an opportunity to entertain your audience. Make them smile, laugh, think. It’s an opportunity to make your mark on prospective clients!

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Content allows you to share knowledge in an entertaining way, positioning you as an authority in the field.

3. Content marketing allows you to tell stories and stories sell products. Imagine your product is an un-kinkable hose. Now imagine one of your customers is sat at a bus-stop telling all of the waiting passengers a really funny story about how your product saved their life because of it’s amazing un-kinking feature. Fellow passengers would walk away having been both entertained and informed about your product and be left with a smile on their face. Now most importantly, if any of them were in the market for an unkinkable hose, yours would now be on the list of brands they would check out before purchasing. Well, that’s a little like what content marketing does for your brand. It’s story-telling. It allows you to sell in features and benefits in an entertaining and most importantly non-salesy way, that really resonates with your audience. And if you have different audience segments, you can create a range of content and images (or in story telling speak, tell the story in different ways) to make it compelling to different audiences.

4.    Content Marketing allows you to entertain or educate your audience, earning you consumer brownie points. The next time that consumer sees or hears your brand name, their perception of your brand is now altered (hopefully for the better!) based on the brand experience your content created.

5. Content Marketing is a highly effective way for you to create and control your brand image. With the likes of Instagram and Facebook, can be done so cost effectively.

6. If you’re uploading content to your site, Content Marketing can bode well for your SEO efforts. Forbes go into detail here. 

7. Most importantly, your competitors are likely on the content bandwagon, so jump on! Don’t let your competitors have an edge on you.

HOW TO GET IT RIGHT

Done right, content marketing should look and feel like content, not marketing. Consumers should not get a whiff of a sales pitch when consuming your content. Here’s a few pointers for making great content and not turning it into an advertorial.

Content needs to be subtle. Potential consumers shouldn’t feel like they are being sold too.

1. Your content should BE ENTERTAINING, RELEVANT AND/OR INFORMATIVE. If it isn’t, do it again until it is!

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Your content should BE ENTERTAINING and/or BE INFORMATIVE and/or BE RELEVANT. If it isn’t, start again!

2. Be consistent in brand voice and relevant with tone. There is a distinct difference between brand voice and brand tone (we’ll go at length into brand voice here). While your voice remains consistent, tone may change according to the context of your messaging. For example, a social media post about a mega half yearly sale would have a more light-hearted tone than one breaking news about a fire in your warehouse that has delayed stock.

3. Be original. It’s okay to re-share content that you love and that will resonate with your audience but don’t miss the opportunity to find a unique insight that lends to your brand story. And of course, be sure to have a good balance of original content, tailored for your audience, spruiking your brand!

THE CONTENT SNIFF TEST

Once you’ve decided on your brand voice, summed it up in three words and defined it in a paragraph, you’re ready to start planning and creating your content.

For every bit of content you create, run it through our sniff test to make sure it’ll resonate with your audience!

1.    Is it in your defined brand voice?

2.    Is the tone relevant to the subject matter?

3.    Is the content relevant and/or informative and/or entertaining?

If you’ve answered yes to all three questions, it’s ready to share. If not, rewrite, reshoot or re-record it until it meets the requirements of the sniff test!

Go forth and create!

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