Content marketing has become essential for big brick-and-mortar brands and single location businesses to differentiate in a crowded online world. The biggest brands like Amex’s Open Forum, Mint.com and Coca Cola have made it the cornerstone of their marketing strategy. In the last year, “Content Marketing” has grown 4-5x on Google trends.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is about telling your brand’s story, about what you care about and how you add value, sometimes additional value than just your core product. It’s about cutting through the clutter by giving your customers and prospects things they WANT to read. It’s permission marketing vs. interruption marketing.
Content marketing is recognition that ads are becoming less and less effective without the content behind them (see Subway’s Jarad, the coffee shop telekenisis of Carrie, All Eyes on the S4 to promote eye tracking, etc.). But it doesn’t have to be so dramatic as these examples. Look at small business tips at American Express’ Open Forum, financial advice at Mint.com, or the local business sharing what makes their food great, highlighting their people or expertise or just sharing a sale.
Why Content Marketing Reaches Consumers
And all of that content is prioritized because it’s content that users actually want to engage with. That’s why it will rank on Google, show up in Facebook, spread on Twitter or be read on your blog. It’s how you build a real connection with your customer. In marketing, that may be deemed brand marketing. But really, it’s just common sense.
The best part of the infographic below to me was on why most businesses are unhappy with their agencies:
“businesses who now see anemic, unoriginal content in boilerplate design templates for what it is, ineffective and in some cases, harmful.”
Are your ready to adopt content marketing to differentiate your business? Are you ready to do more than advertising and start (content) marketing?