Less old-school marketing, more content…please!
As a ‘marketer’ I find it interesting to note how shut off I am to traditional marketing. Television is a thing of the past for me, I’ve been streaming online since way back. When I am online, I’m pretty adept at taking in the information I want without care for banners or buttons. As for magazines and newspapers, on the odd chance I do read them in their printed form, I don’t take much notice of any advertisements. Mailouts and flyers hit the recycling before entering my home.
To be honest, it seems to be similar for many other people I know. My colleagues, my friends. Okay, perhaps not my parents. If you want to reach them then stick to pitching your products or services using traditional channels. But how can you market to people such as myself?
Let me introduce you to one method - Content Marketing.
This is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing, that involves getting people (like me) to engage with your brand on a level beyond surface level advertising messages.
Instead of pitching your products or services, you are providing valuable content that is informative or entertaining enough to captivate your target market. This content could relate to the ideas, beliefs and culture behind your brand (not your product or offering) and is cast forth via websites, blogs, social media, videos, apps, etc for your customers and prospects to seek out at their own leisure. You are effectively pulling these people towards your brand so they ultimately reward you with their business and loyalty.
Many of our favourite brands are now using content marketing, so like other forms of marketing it is important that you stand out from the crowd to get noticed. If you are considering giving it a nudge, the best place to start is finding out what your customers are actually into. Your content should be what your customers want to see – not just what you want customers to see. Some examples to inspire you…
Steinlarger Pure: Born to Defy
This a great example of content marketing - a Kiwi breaking an extreme world record, free-diving to 102m live on TV. At the same time Steinlarger communicates its brand messages and values cross-platform to give its audience interesting information on the sport and the record attempt.
Anthropologie: DIY drink recipes
Not everyone has big budgets to sponsor a world record attempt and produce all the video content around it. Online womans fashion store ‘Anthropologie’ is a good example of effective content marketing via a blog. Their blog frequently features DIY cocktail recipes, and these work because a) they're seasonal and timely, and b) they feature unique ingredients and flavours - which mimicks the style of Anthropologie's fashions. These posts aren't a push for sales; their brand doesn't sell syrups or alcohol. Instead, the posts position Anthropologie as an informative and trendy friend who knows a thing or two about drinks (and fashion)
Air New Zealand: Viral Safety videos
Air New Zealand has invested heavily in content marketing with their viral safety videos. These videos (collectively) have been viewed more than 50 million times online and have featured in coverage by global media outlets such as CNN, BBC, and the New York Times – that’s some pretty awesome global brand presence.
The New Zealand Red Bull website is pretty much a media library of extreme sport activities. Red Bull has done a great job of attaching their brand to the extreme sport subculture. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think its pretty cool (and unsurprisingly sink a lot of red bull).