Content Is Still King - Is Yours Being Consumed?
Use Content Marketing To Achieve Growth
The phrase “content is king” was penned by tech billionaire Bill Gates in 1996, when he published an essay with that title on Microsoft’s website.
The opening sentence of ‘Content is King’ is, “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting."
Gates’ commentary on the importance of content and how he saw it unfolding was eight years before Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook and nine years before the first video was uploaded to YouTube.
Think about all of the familiar social media platforms that are currently available, like Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, Clubhouse, Telegram; there are also new ones popping up every year. Now, consider the podcasts, blogs, and websites that are used to communicate with audiences across the globe. Some of these digital products are profitable, and others fail. The ones that are successful are usually comprised of content that provides actual value to a targeted audience.
Considering all of this, we can conclude that the best content wins, right?
Well, it’s not so simple.
High-quality content that provides a solution generates curiosity and/or evokes emotion that inspires action is just a starting point. You must thoroughly investigate your own brand’s personality and use your findings to create compelling content that moves your audience to take action.
Use These Questions To Assess Your Content Marketing Strategy
Beyond creating great content, here are a few other considerations:
- Who is your target audience?
- What are their beliefs and motivations?
- What platforms do they currently use?
- How would they prefer to consume content (video, written word, audio, or a combination)?
- What are the segments in your audience? (extroverts and introverts, people who want a lot of data to analyze, and others who just want the key elements to help them buy your product or service).
Content Marketing Is The Future
Gates discussed several realities that were hidden at the time of his writing but have become readily apparent today. For instance, early in the essay, Gates speaks on the fact that the advent of the television spawned dozens of industries and enabled businesses to reach consumers at a level that had yet to be seen.
As content continues to be the best vessel for advertorial, ideological, or artistic messaging, we are sure to see more companies leveraging content to achieve organic growth in their businesses. With that in mind, have you considered what you can do to ensure that your content is being consumed?
To help you start thinking about it, we will discuss the various reasons why content remains as one of the most effective methods of attracting new customers to your brand or business
The Argument for Content Marketing
Content marketing is one of the easiest and most rewarding tools you can use to grow your audience and increase public awareness of your brand. High-quality content provides value in many ways, as it can drive sales, boost engagement, and help you develop a community of customers who come to you for information or entertainment.
Content Is King
— Bill Gates
Brand messaging is the channel through which your customer learns who you are and what you do. The quicker they can discover the core characteristics of your company, the faster you will be able to persuade them to try one of your products. Content marketing allows you to distribute your brand’s messaging consistently to your target demographics.
Suppose the end goal of marketing is to build trust, gain credibility, and strengthen your reputation with the consumer population. Wouldn’t you say that content marketing is the most straightforward way of achieving that goal?
Be Authentic and Unique
By creating your unique authentic voice, vision, and style that represents your brand in its communications, you can engage with your customers at a deeper level. The depth of this connection has several benefits, such as:
- Audience retention will be increased.
- Your social media accounts will receive more attention.
- Your audience will trust your business and its employees.
- You’ll generate more leads.
- Your online visibility will be much greater.
- You can become an authority in your industry.
As a content creator, your goal should be to produce a positive experience for potential customers. That way, people who view your content are more likely to come back to see more. By capturing their attention with an engaging or informative piece of content, you are positioning your brand as a positive force in their life. If they happen to need one of the products you sell, you will be their first choice as they already have a positive history with your brand.
Email Marketing Content Can Be Your Most Read Content
As you build your audience and collect emails from people who want to hear from you on a regular basis, your email content can’t be ignored. If your goal is to share your latest blog article that saves your customers time or provides a new solution, every element of your email from the title and the preview text, to the body that provides the reader with enough information to motivate them to click through and get more, requires conscious effort and time.
If you do it correctly, your email audience will be your most engaged and connected to your brand and they’ll also reward you with the most revenue.
A World With No Content
Some say that marketing has existed in some form since the dawn of civilization, but how would the modern world look if content marketing never existed?
I believe that products would be bland, devoid of both creativity and originality.
You see, without content, it is nearly impossible to convey information about your brand or its products quickly. Even the creatively designed labels attached to a grocery store product have brand messaging that falls into the category of content. When you look at content marketing as a whole, you can see how it plays an essential role in our society, especially within the realm of business and industry.
Content Creates Culture
Content that promotes a specific message or idea can be powerful. A compelling piece of content can even drive meaningful change that has a tangible impact on culture.
Today, the marketplace is highly competitive. To cut through and reach new customers, you must go above and beyond to create content that resonates with people who are likely to buy your products. If you do a good job, you just might drive your customers to do more than buy your products.
There’s a chance they could become infected with your culture; the symptoms of this infection include a high potential of them sharing their positive experience with others, helping you expand your reach without you having to do a thing. Replicate this process long enough, and you’ll notice that you don’t even have to share your content; your community will share it for you.
For this reason, culture should be seen as a precious and incredibly valuable asset that can make the customer experience more meaningful. When you master culture marketing and implement what you’ve learned in your content marketing strategy, your potential for growth goes through the roof. You won’t have to worry about one piece of content going viral; you can instead focus on your entire culture going viral.
Ads Don’t Have to Be Annoying
The above meme is funny, and it also highlights a moment that is often all too frustrating for viewers. Many consumers have become disillusioned with a constant stream of advertisements that they are exposed to when they watch online content, and your content is no exception. In order to achieve the best results with content marketing, your content must appeal to your target audience.
You shouldn’t attempt to sell people your products without first providing direct value. In the same way that people will be frustrated by two consecutive ads that force you to watch at least five seconds before you can skip them, they will also be dissuaded by content that only exists to extract money from their bank accounts.
Be subtle in your content marketing approach, and you’ll notice that some customers will actually look forward to your advertisements. By not being too aggressive in your approach, you can prove that you are a trustworthy source for high-quality products without making customers feel uncomfortable.
Build Trusting Relationships With Your Customers
When you create value for your customers and don’t demand anything in return, your customers are more likely to trust you when you offer them advice or make recommendations. If one of your products happens to be an appropriate solution to one of their problems, you are in the best possible position to make a sale.
Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue
— Andrew Davis
Get As Close To Your Audience as Possible
The closer you are to your audience, the more they’ll be exposed to your products or services. There’s a reason why watch time is the most valuable metric on video sharing platforms like YouTube and Facebook; people listen to the people that they are close to. Although it may not at first feel like it, your audience is getting closer to you by reading and watching your content. By consuming the content that you’re putting out, they are getting to know more about the personality of your brand. As they gain more experience interacting with your company, they are sure to grow more comfortable. Eventually, their engagement may just convert into a sale.
Use Content Marketing To Gain A Competitive Edge
To shine in any industry, you’ll need a value differentiator that sets you apart from the competition. Content marketing is perfect for achieving this goal, as, through good content, you can educate your customers and show them the actual value of your brand. This connection serves a greater purpose, too, because it can encourage consumers to talk about your company even when you aren’t right in front of them. This is important because the more consumers you can reach, the greater your competitive advantage will be.
When you approach content marketing from an ROI perspective, you’ll quickly learn that appearances can sometimes be misleading. For instance, it may not seem apparent, but a small audience that engages with your content is almost always more valuable than a substantially larger audience that doesn’t interact with you. Without content marketing integrated into your business strategy, you lose out on a massive opportunity to make consumers reliant on you. Seeing how your end goal is to get them hooked on your products or services, this is a missed opportunity that no business can afford.
Content Marketing is all the Marketing that's left
— Seth Godin
You might read this quote and think, “But what about all the other forms of marketing I’ve spent all this time mastering? Are they all redundant now?”
Well, to put it frankly, yes, they are.
But don’t be confused. It’s not as if none of the other marketing approaches will no longer work—they just won’t be as effective without introducing some element of content marketing.
For example, look at the world’s highest-grossing media franchise, Pokémon. This franchise has earned an impressive $95 billion since their first game was released in 1995. They are a reputable example of how content marketing can be used to accelerate growth for a consumer brand rapidly.
Although Pokémon is originally a video game series, the franchise has been used as the basis for a variety of different products, including toys, shows, and other forms of media. This was possible because the companies responsible for Pokémon’s marketing determined that a television series was the perfect vehicle for attracting interest in the Pokémon brand. As viewers became connected with the stories and messaging featured in the show, they also became invested in the franchise as a whole.
This created a channel through which The Pokémon Company could market their various products to consumers who already have a relationship with their brand. These channels don’t close down over time either; in fact, their reach often expands. This can be seen today through Pokémon, as the people who enjoyed The Pokémon Company’s products when they were young are now sharing this decades-old franchise with the next generation of children.
The Best Marketing doesn't feel like marketing
— Tom Fishburne
Through the example of Pokémon, you can see how powerful content marketing can be when applied at a grand scale. It has the potential to leave a lasting reminder of your brand’s identity within the mind of your audience, meaning your company is more likely to come to mind when they need products or services relevant to what you offer.
Optimize Your Current Content Marketing Strategy
Once you recognize the benefits a content marketing strategy offers your company, the next step is to create a plan of action. To formulate the most effective method, you will need to evaluate your current marketing approach. You will also need to investigate the habits of your target audience and come up with the ideal method of reaching them.
The first thing you should do when crafting your content marketing strategy is to identify your target audience. By doing this, you can gain insight into what types of people are most likely to buy your products or engage with your content. One thing you should try to learn about your target audience is what their beliefs and motivations are. Understanding this about your potential customers is essential when creating content. Through this knowledge, you can structure your brand messaging to align precisely with what your target audience is looking for.
Imagine you are selling a back scratcher. This one has a long handle, making it ideal for taller people or even people with short arms.
It has a unique aspect that sets it apart from other products. Still, there are so many competing products in the market that it would seem impossible to get noticed without significant advertising.
Rather than trying to compete with the thousands of other back-scratching products being advertised all over the internet, you could use content marketing to hone in on a specific audience that is more likely to see value in your products. One way to achieve this would be working with an online influencer to produce content that shows your back scratcher being used.
Ideally, this influencer would be big and tall, as they can provide proof that your product solves a unique problem that other products don’t. In turn, people who see the content may be impressed, motivating them to seek more information about the product they just saw showcased.
Through this example, you can see how some of the most profitable marketing approaches involve leveraging content marketing to reach a specific audience and provide them with value.
So what about your content marketing strategy?
Are you doing everything you can to make the unique value differentiators of your brand known to the world?
What you do after you create your contentis what truly counts.
— Gary Vaynerchuck
The Semrush blog released a report that describes the exact role of content marketing strategies in over 1,500 marketing agencies, B2B and B2C companies, and other organizations.
According to the study:
- 84% of companies surveyed had a content marketing strategy
- 11% believe their content marketing strategy is excellent
- 76% have small content marketing teams with less than 3 employees
- 61% track and measure their content marketing ROI
- 89% rely on organic search as their primary site traffic source
As you can see, the majority of companies already know that they need to implement some form of content marketing strategy. However, many still don’t extract as much value from this marketing approach as possible. For many of these companies, it isn’t a matter of them not wanting to employ a holistic brand marketing strategy that incorporates content marketing. Frequently, the real issue is that they don’t have the resources to do so independently.
If you are currently looking for new ways to expand your consumer audience, don’t be afraid to get the help you need. At BeNatural Media, our goal is to help you drive traffic and increase sales by building a solid brand that leverages content as often as possible. We offer holistic brand marketing services that will help you position your company as an impactful voice in your industry.
To learn more about how we can help get more eyes on your content, use the contact form below to schedule a free consultation. ∎
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