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Content Marketing How to Make It Work

 

 What is Content Marketing?

Content Marketing is the answer to the “noise” in the market place.  Traditionally, advertisers would spend tons of money on over-reaching media platforms, sending out the same message over-and-over again.  And this used to work.  Today, consumers have been bombarded with so many ads that we’ve developed an advanced filter system for all the “noise.”  Advertisers are now forced to be ultra-creative to gain our attention—and some have succeeded.  But how do they gain our trust?  Our generation has also developed a distrust for most companies from decades of false claims and shady business practices.  So cutting through the noise is just the first step.  The next step is building consumer trust and ultimately earning their loyalty.

Here’s how Content Marketing addresses these issues.

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PURPOSEFUL BLOGGING

Rule #1: Don’t treat your blog like a commercial.  Instead, think about the problem that your product/service is solving.  For example, Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s unique selling position is all about convenience after an inconvenient experience regarding car troubles.  If Enterprise was a new company, it would be wise for them to blog about car safety/maintenance along with other life-style related topics such as road-tripping and where to find the cheapest gas in your area.  This “help a customer out before they actually become a customer” approach works.  Not only are you being proactive about saving them stress/money with the car tips and cheap gas locations, you’re also giving them something cool to do with the road-trip suggestions.  So when it’s time to rent a car, they’re going to choose the company that has proven to be a valuable resource.

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AESTHETICS, AESTHETICS, AESTHETICS

People love art.  When done well, an emotional connection is created between the artist and the consumer.  These emotional ties can in turn, determine purchase decisions.  I’m not suggesting you go to art school before you start your brand, but your goal should be to curate your visual content in a way that emphasizes your core values while maintaining an aesthetic appeal.  Apple, Inc., Beats Audio and Red Bull are three companies that do aesthetics very well.  If you’re a start up, you should identify your core values and work with a creative who can translate these values into photographs and promotional video.  This content is easily consumable and will help your brand connect to its target audience.

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TAKE IT OFF-LINE

Again, the purpose of Content Marketing is to gain attention, trust and loyalty.  A great way to do so is to align your brand with an enjoyable experience.  By taking your content “off-line” and creatively infusing your brand with a fun and meaningful event, you’ll be able to create strong ties between your brand and your customer.  For example, Heineken teamed up with a Philadelphia ad-agency to create what is now called the Heineken Green Room, which is a series of free parties and concerts that only serve complimentary bottles of Heineken at the bar.  To attend the party, all you have to do is go to Heineken’s website and register with your email address.  The goal was to target the young urban consumer, whom the brand had already modest ties with and dig the well deeper.  I can personally attest to the awesomeness of these events but since I am not a Heineken insider, I can only assume they’ve had an increase in sales based on the fact that they still produce these events.  This brings me to my final point.

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MEASURE RESULTS

How do you measure attention, trust and loyalty?  You can start with website traffic which tells you exactly how many people have responded to your content and are now seeking more information.  You can also see where your traffic is coming from so you can determine which sources are the most effective.  You can also look at your social media growth as a gauge for success.  People have the power to curate the sources of their incoming content so a growing follower list is a good indicator that people want to hear more.  All these measurements are exact and offer a clear indication on whether or not your content is gaining attention and building trust.  However the ultimate measure of loyalty is sales. It’s as simple as that.  And a good Content Marketing strategy will make the sales process much easier.

 

–This article originally appeared on Entrepreneurial Blog ConcreteCakes.com  by Garron Gibbs.

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