Today’s consumer has changed and businesses must change the way they market to them. Welcome to content marketing. Content marketing is using informative or entertaining content to engage customers and prospects with information that they’ll want to use for it’s own sake. It is a different approach because it does not push or interrupt consumers with direct sales or promotional messages.
What does this mean for us? Customers frequently start the buying process online with a search and request for information. Businesses that can anticipate the questions and share their expertise will have the best chance of being found online, which can predispose the customer to a sale. In addition, since peer opinion is a big trigger, brands need to create content that is worth sharing.
“Content that is too product or brand focused does not travel well digitally, whereas content that stands on its own merits as entertainment, storytelling, or education will be shared and passed along.”*
The use of video as a content marketing tactic has increased dramatically in 2013. Articles containing relevant images gain an average of 94% more total views than articles without images. Both tweets and Facebook posts with images have significantly higher user engagement rates as those without.
The 5 S’s of Marketable Content
To be effective, you must ensure your content meets the following requirements:
1) Searchable – Search engines prioritize sites that deliver timely content of high quality.
2) Shareable – This will help gain peer approval and boost search rankings.
3) Supportive – Understand your user’s needs, anticipate questions and share your expertise generously.
4) Specialist – Your content must come from within your area of expertise.
5) Sustainable – Create a plan and a process to generate consistent content.
Here are a few final suggestions to meet the content creation challenge. Focus on quality over quantity. Avoid creating content just for content’s sake. Too much poor quality, rehashed, me-too content may have an adverse effect. If it is not realistic for you to create content on your own, find credible information platforms and become a curator. Users still need trusted sources to help sort out information.
For additional industry statistics and tips on goal setting and audience segmentation, check out the full article at: http://curve.gettyimages.com/?isource=foot_tools_Curve
*Rebecca Lieb, Content: The New Marketing Equation