By Keith Trivitt | Director, Marketing and Communications
Think your brand’s content marketing is just a branding strategy? Think again.
According to a new report by global brand consultancies Wolff Olins and Flamingo, your brand’s content can have a far-reaching impact on consumer’s behavior, including influencing purchasing intent. As reported in MediaPost, more than 77% of consumers create their own form of content. Whether it’s a tweet, Tumblr post or uploading a photo to Instagram, people are exploring new and exciting forms of content development every day.
In truth, the content marketing revolution that has swept up many brands was started by regular Joe’s and Jane’s. Consumers’ fervent content creation efforts prompted many brands to change their marketing habits. In turn, this created a more connected brand-to-consumer relationships.
As MediaPost’s Laurie Sullivan aptly put it, “Consumers continue to reshape relationships with companies creating new behavior patterns that will require marketers to rethink concepts and how digital influences search and everyday life.”
The new role of the brand is now to create relationships with consumers that are based on trust.
Create Meaningful, Relevant Content
One of the best ways to establish trust with your customers is by creating content that is both meaningful and relevant to their lives. Your content needs to help people, whether it is giving them advice on something relevant to your industry or niche or sharing insights into how they can use your product or service more effectively to improve their lives or business.
If your content is benefiting only your business it isn’t going to go very far and it’s not going to have much value for your brand. Content that is created to benefit your customers will have the most lasting impact on your business. Consumers will be more likely to share it, like it, tweet it or just remember what you had to say and use that information to guide their purchasing intent.
Forget About the Hard Sell
When creating your content, don’t think about how you can use it to sell more widgets or service upgrades. Yes, the ultimate goal may be to increase your company’s bottom line through increased sales activity. But placing sales first over the benefit to the consumer is a recipe for content marketing failure. Think about your own content consumption habits. Do you really enjoy the hard sell when reading a report, infographic or blog post from a company? Not likely.
Instead, think less about using your content as a vehicle to sell your company’s products or services and more about advancing your customer’s objectives. Allow consumers to believe in your products or services, rather than focusing them to make a choice or sidestep to another.
Content marketing can be one of your company’s most successful online marketing strategies. But it needs to be undertaken with great care and consideration as to the actual benefits to your customers and prospects. Create content that improves the lives or businesses of your customers and prospects and increased sales opportunities will follow.