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What is Content Marketing? How To Create Brand Value
In 2020, to win sales you first have to win souls: and content marketing is how you reach hearts and minds. And value is the key.
Let’s back up: because it’s the current and future paradigm, you see the phrase Content Marketing thrown around so often that it may have lost all meaning (if you even knew what it was in the first place). What the ever-loving-YouTuber-influencer is content, anyway?
Content is information meets experience, expressed in a medium. Okay, English, doc: it’s the stuff. All the stuff you see across the digital and physical world. Photos, videos, articles, speeches, gifs, ads, skywriting, that weird anonymous letter telling you to change your identity and flee the country: it’s all content. The kicker is how it’s used, and how valuable and meaningful it is to a consumer.
Content marketing, then (to paraphrase the Content Marketing Institute) is the creation of online material that piques and stimulates consumer interest. It’s a marketing strategy based on synthesizing and spreading valuable, relevant, relatable, and compelling content to your audience, and entice them towards brand loyalty with education, feeling, humor, or all of the above. Rather than just screaming a message without a target, a good content marketing strategy will be useful and laser-focused. The best content strategy will make a consumer think it was their idea to buy, making it a strong profitability agent.
The trick is to supplement and side-step your main message, and slide your meaning and message in there through new and engaging forms from traditional old ads.
Wendy’s sassy roasts on Twitter? Content marketing.
The Skittles Broadway Musical they produced instead of a Super Bowl commercial? Content marketing.
KFC creating a whole Dungeons & Dragons-eque board game to promote fried chicken? AND a dating simulator where you flirt with a manga-style Colonel Sanders? …okay, weird. But still Con.Tent. Marketing.
We all lead digital lives. (how are you reading this if you don’t?) MACLYN excels as a content marketing agency. Our creative crew came up in the internet age, and they’re primed to lead you to the pixelated promised land. Now that we’ve answered WHAT is Content Marketing, here’s some WHY and HOW.
Digital marketing is made up of many different types of content.
The best agencies specialize in content creation. Immortal shots that are also of the moment even as they are timeless. Every click of the camera should count. Whoever said “a picture says a thousand words” didn’t have a big enough imagination. A good photo says what words never could. Our content creators specialize in this kind of photography – those immortal images that are both of the moment, and timeless. New and unexpected, yet immediately familiar.
Most commerce is emotional. When they’re most likely to click the cursor to buy, is when shot through the heart by your shot. You, feeling something? That will always sell. Combined with content strategy to know where, when, and why to post it, you will boost your business goals with your target audience clamoring for more.
SEO writing is a must-have, but it should also count for more than your Google rank. Blog posts can boost your profile of credibility (and your ranking in search engines. We’re doing both right now 😉 ) Case studies, too, can be this informational investment.
Everyone on LinkedIn talks about thought leadership, but a real leader fosters understanding. Teach a man to fish, eh? But first, give him the fish in the form of informational white papers, instructional courses or casual blogs flaunting your unique expertise. Research supports that strong educational content can make customers 131% more likely to buy from you. Teaching creates trust, trust creates transaction. Learn something new every day, huh?
Video killed the radio star, right? Engaging video can break up the monotony of a feed. The entirety of YouTube is proof positive that video can be a goldmine, but many people are reluctant because of perceived costs. With falling and rising quality of amateur equipment, it’s easier than ever to create high-grade video content. A simple phone can be terrifically effective in the hands of the right marketer. Your chances with video are always strong. Go ahead, shoot.
Radio killed the video star right back. Due to the digital audio boom, podcasts can be an incredibly lucrative marketing avenue. iTunes, Pandora, Spotify and more make the airwaves an intimate opportunity to join customers on their commutes. Furthermore, a popular podcast can be informational, but also incentivize tie-in sales like books, courses and live event speaking engagements.
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Each piece of content should count. Branded content can be a great engine for lead generation. That’s why creating a content calendar of great content also takes the burden off of you for awhile, scheduling each slice of content to target each desired buyer persona. You can get incredibly broad psychographics, to the most niche consumer: remember that Skittles commercial that was only shown to one person? (we hate to keep bringing up Skittles, but that’s what we’ve been gobbling during the whole lockdown. Tasting the rainbow just to taste anything. We’re so lonely. We’re writing SEO blogs just trying to connect. This isn’t just an informative content meta-ad for MACLYN, it’s a cry for help please someo—-)
So make stuff that inspires: but it has to be stuff that works. Our creatives and planners work hand in hand to forge the strongest content creation strategy and generate an ideal content creation plan – because the best content in the world means nothing if no one sees it (or nobody wants to).
Everyone reads an increasing amount of clickbait titles like “how to synergize your content for disruptive diversified innovation ROI,” so as people become resistant, more companies are utilizing Content Products: an interactive experience to explain concepts or engage with the main business in a tangible way.
With the multitude of types of content, the key is to not barrage with unwanted content: the strategy of inbound marketing is built to create bespoke content, solving problems they already want solved and forging connections while doing it.
All in all, great content marketing is really about meaning and value. You won’t just be content with your content: you’ll be king.
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