Marketing gurus like to confound consumers with jargon and acronyms because, like lawyers, it makes them sound niche and indispensable. And that equates to money in the bank.
We exist to dispel this myth that marketing is difficult. It isn’t. But it does require two things: creativity and content.
Lots of content.
Unfortunately, creating content is time consuming for an organisation, especially those running on already lean margins, so it’s often sidelined. This, we believe, can be addressed by taking a different approach that leverages the power of content marketing.
Before diving into what that is, it’s handy to know how it differs from regular marketing efforts.
Traditional marketing: repeat
Quite simply, traditional marketing is the process of making your audience aware of your brand and values through repetition. It is used the world over by paid advertising slots on social media, newspapers, blogs, television, sponsorship, in fact pretty much everywhere.
It worked for a while, but with the advent of distributed networks and the explosion in media channels, combined with consumers tiring of seeing the same ads over and over, not to mention the growing number of people opting out of interest-based ads for privacy reasons, its effects are lessening.
Smart people realise this and switch to content marketing instead for greater rewards.
Content marketing: enrich
Although tangentially related, and serving the same end goal as the traditional variant, content marketing approaches things in a fundamentally different manner. The focus is on distributing relevant, consistent and valuable content for your audience to consume. This content may not – and usually does not – mention your brand specifically.
At face value, this may seem counter-intuitive. And if approached incorrectly, indeed it can fail. Posting regular cat videos on your Facebook page, while endearing, is probably not going to sell many suits.
Content marketing is all about strategically adding value to enrich customers so they see you as the expert in your field. For this, you need those two key ingredients: creativity and content.
Bombardment tires consumers
A traditional marketing approach to selling suits might be to show a rugged model with shiny hair in sharp threads under a strong light and ensure the product and/or company logo is displayed as part of the campaign. That’s pretty much the same as every other brand of suit on the market.
Where’s the value proposition? What does a potential customer get out of it? Nothing.
Consumers will just see your brand in isolation. They may be attracted to the model. They might like your slogan. They may identify with the need to have a new suit for an occasion. But they may also be easily swayed by a rival.
Advertising executives can get creative in this realm, and try to win back custom with sexier models and shinier suits, but ultimately, consumer affinity is not cultivated using this approach. Bombardment becomes tiring.
Luckily, there’s another approach to not only attract, but also retain customers.
Creativity drives sales
A content marketing approach to selling suits might be to create a publication that contains topics of interest to consumers. Whether this is available in print or online, and its frequency of publication, is dependent on your target audience.
Perhaps it contains articles on suit conditioning for greater life from your purchase. Why you should avoid wearing your jacket in the car. The dangers of excessive ironing without a covering cloth. Care tips. Dry cleaning benefits. Types of suit best employed for different occasions. The list is almost endless.
Three key elements of this strategy are:
- To transfer knowledge to your existing or potential customers so they see your company as trustworthy and valuable.
- Keeping your brand out of the publication. At most, it should appear once, on the cover if it’s a print publication. If published on your website or social media channel, it will already be in your header so there’s no need to repeat it, and you shouldn’t.
- To publish regularly. The definition of ‘regular’ depends on the nature of your business and the channels you’re targeting.
Become the expert
Consistently enriching customers and demonstrating you are the expert in your field creates a trust bond between your brand values and consumers. If people look forward to spending time with your content because it helps them, they spend time in your world and feel enriched afterwards. Enough that they may share it with people in their network or, when the time comes to need a new suit, use the knowledge learned to buy from you, because your brand represents trust.
Equating high quality content with your brand means consumers become ambassadors for your business on your behalf, without you having to drive your logo or strapline down their throats in advert after advert.
This, in turn, creates loyalty. And all it requires is good content.
But giving away secrets is bad!
This outmoded, hoarder mentality is sadly still prevalent. Be it because of job security concerns or simply belief in retaining competitive advantage, creating content that reveals your inner processes or approaches to business seems like revealing secrets that can be stolen.
True, in a way. There are things you shouldn’t reveal. The recipe for Coca Cola. Or blueprints for your next world-dominating product. But there are an almost infinite number of things you can reveal about your business that will benefit customers and elevate your brand above everyone else in terms of how you are perceived, simply by writing about them.
Think of it this way: most people who stumble across your business will do so through a search engine. Search engines adore fresh, relevant content, but can’t read things that aren’t published. So how can you expect people to find you in a keyword-laden quagmire if you don’t publish what makes you different?
You can’t. So publish it. Don’t just tell people you’re the experts in your field, show them.
Content is time consuming
By now, your head should be buzzing with ways to engage with your audience. You know your customers because you’re the experts. All you need is to turn that into something sustainable.
If you can do that on your own, fantastic. Think up some ideas, create a content calendar, and publish. Regularly.
If, however, you need a hand in this regard, you now know where to find information and assistance with content to drive profitable customer action towards your business. Feel free to browse the site for more information, or if you want help with anything, please get in touch.