Freedom of Choice in Content Marketing?
We live in an information-soaked economy and consumers have so many options to choose from to fulfill even the most niche of needs. One may think it’s a panacea, but it actually results in a tyranny of choice. It’s been proven that too many options leads to psychological harm to consumers. Brands running Content Marketing programs must take this issue into consideration with developing their growth plans.
Contributing to and consistent with this harm has also been decades of interruption-based commercial messaging. All of this can now be successfully deflected by ad blocking technology, DVRs and the siloing of your online experience in the social media echo chamber.
The echo chamber is getting larger as the Connections economy is growing 3X faster than the Search economy (Facebook v. Google.) Time spent online with social networks surpassed the search networks back in 2011. Consumers just don’t “surf the web” any longer. They’re gathering and lingering in just a few places with their friends and connections.
The On-Ramp to the Internet
Social media networks are now the on-ramp to – if not the full – online experience these days. So how do brands get their prospects/customers attention, pull them off of social media and on to their “owned platform” without continuing to participate in the traditional paid media acquisition game?
Create demand and capture demand with value added content
Organizations must create as well as capture demand where the consumer spends their time. Organizations can no longer invest ONLY in non-trackable brand advertising. They also can no longer sit and wait for an intent driven consumer to select them on the commoditized SERP (search engine results page.) Organizations must proactively get in front of buyers where they linger– social media.
However, it must be with smart content (e.g. video, images, copy) made for the platform and designed to to inspire action. To catch the attention of busy consumers brands must develop educational/entertaining content and not just brand-centric product-centric pitch points.
How to Think Like a Publisher and Kill the Campaign Mentality
Brand can embrace a simple model to help them think like a publisher and drive and engaging content marketing program. This approach helps brands build an emotional connection and better understand their customers more than ever before.
Circular Model to Content Marketing Success
Consistent Content > Drives Engagement > Captures Insights > REPEAT
The first step for brands is to commit to planning and producing compelling content geared towards the audience’s interests. This approach is governed by a Content Marketing Mission Statement and aligned to Personas and their Buyer’s Journey.
Once a brand creates a premium content asset, it can be repurposed, atomized and delivered in compelling content vehicles (e.g. video, infographics…) to drive engagement on social media. And remember, all assets and posts must always have a CTA back to the primary website to capture names and email addresses.
Insights are everywhere, on platforms and on your owned property. First party data helps you not only understand what’s working, but can also be used in a multitude of business models.
Brands that kill campaign thinking and shift into a long-term investment mode build an emotional connection with their audience/customers.
We all have the tools at our disposal, let’s get started now.