Content is the past, present – and future – of marketing

Content marketing is not a new concept. The term has been around for a long time and brands and businesses have been creating content long before it became a hot topic for online marketing.

Customers have grown tired of hard sell tactics which is why content is at the forefront of marketing strategies – it is a way of engaging with your audience around their needs without being too intrusive or demanding. After Google’s “Phantom 2” update there will be no more churning out masses of average content crammed with keywords because Google will penalise you for it. The focus is now firmly on the quality of what you are producing. It’s time to stop thinking about generating lots of content and to start thinking about how to add value and meaningfully help solve our audiences’ problems.

There are lots of early examples of businesses using content marketing but one of the best is the Michelin Guides. In 1900 Michelin were struggling to sell tyres, largely due to the fact that not many people were driving back then. They thought about what would give their target audience a reason to get out on the roads and created the “Michelin Guides”. The guides aimed to inform car owners of how to maintain their vehicles but also encourage travelling in cars by listing the best hotels and restaurants to visit around the country. By providing their audience with valuable and useful content, Michelin were able to spark an interest in driving amongst their readers which resulted in more cars on the road, and therefore more need for people to buy their tyres.

Creating engaging content that is benefit led and of interest to consumers is the challenge for marketers (and for the future of content marketing) but it’s easier than you might think. The quality of the writing is one of the most important factors but it is also essential that you use subtle techniques that will increase audience engagement.

Here are 5 simple tips to get you started on creating more engaging content:

1. Video content - It is a fact that people are more drawn to Video than any other content – your audience is 64% more likely to stick around to find out more information about your product and are more confident in your services after watching a related video. So think about ways you can integrate video into your content marketing.

2. Be more visual – If you are not using images in your content marketing you are missing a trick! Like video, audiences respond more to visuals. Make sure to use images that complement and enhance your content.

3. Understand your audience - Audiences are now searching for purpose rather than a specific product or brand and they are asking a lot more detailed questions using search engines before they commit to purchases and it is important to appeal to these knowledge gaps. Content should be clear, useful and provide answers for your audience.

4.  Integration – You should be aiming to reach your audience across multiple user acquisition channels to make the most out of your content – tailoring content appropriately for each channel. A good place to start is with your email marketing list and social media.

5. Stop selling! The more you try to pitch to your audience with aggressive, self-serving marketing tactics, the more they will be uninterested and uninspired. Stop making it all about you and instead try to engage in conversation with your audience by focusing more on amusing or educating them.

Challenge us…

We often hear “You won’t be able to make resin flooring, industrial components, safety glass – insert your product / service here – interesting” or “We just can’t think of any news, nothing really significant has happened”.

If you think there’s nothing to say, you most likely won’t be engaging customers – challenge us to think creatively about your content dilemma and we guarantee we will surprise you with interesting content marketing and ideas to help you stand out from your competitors.

At Whale we are producing creative, engaging content for our clients’ businesses. Find out how we can help you engage your prospects and customers more and grow your business. Get in touch with us today; ask for Kirsty or Hannah @WhalePod.