Content Marketing In 2018: The New Era Of Content Marketing
When most people hear content marketing they think blogging…. blogging, blogging, blogging…
Although there’s nothing wrong with blogging; we’re here to tell you, you’re wrong!
Blogging was fine back in the day before we reached this new technological era, but now people aren’t only stimulated by just reading. The 21st century gave rise to many new forms of stimuli and thus many more ways for you to be able catch a person’s attention.
As the vast majority of entertainment outlets increased – attention spans shortened. So you must be able to catch people’s attention right from the start, hold it through out, and bring it on home in the end.
As we said, blogging is fine, nothing’s wrong with it. It’s carried many brands for years, but not everyone is into reading text after text from the bright lights of their screens. Think back to your school days. You were either the student who learned by reading, taking notes, doing manual work, who learned visually, or by listening to your teacher. You could have also been one of many combinations of the 5. All that is to say, not everyone is the same. Not everyone learns the same and not everyone is entertained in the same manner. For example, 80% of people can remember more of what they watched in a video last month than what they’ve read in a post last week.
The content that you create along with your content marketing strategy should aim to inform the consumer (we’re not going to say “reader”), but just not inform – it should also aim to entertain and speak to who that person is as a “student”. You need to create all forms of content in order to engage 100% of your target audience or else you could be missing out on a big chunk of the pie. Just talking about video for a second, it was found back in 2011 that adults on average spent 5.5 hours daily consuming video content. So just imagine how that has grown now; it is projected that by 2021 video content will account for over 82% of all web traffic.
So we’ve explained how you should be creating your content with an end goal that has the viewer in mind. But, now you may be asking
What Are The Different Forms Of Content?
To answer this question simply – the overarching umbrella forms are: photographs, video, written content, interactive experiences, and audio.
As we said those were the umbrella forms. Within Each there are a myriad of different methods at your disposal. It just takes some creativity / imagination and a thorough planning process. For example some content types derived from the above are: a web series (video), e-book (written), attention grabbing imagery (photographs), social games to be played out over social media as well as your own website (interactive experiences), and a podcast or radio show (audio).
You can’t catch a fish without bait. Let your content be your bait
So How Does Content Help Improve Your Business?
And How Do You Actually Create It?
Well, In every way possible. It aids in SEO (Search Engine Optimization), marketing, advertising, and in just all around brand awareness and promotion.
How? Think about it. How are you posting any billboards, creating any signage, running any promotions, effectively getting your return on investment on any sponsorships, creating any commercials or social media ads without the content? With no content how are you even running these advertisements? Going back to the forms of content we mentioned above, your content is one of the core aspects of any form of promotion you could run. Giving life to all your marketing efforts.
To Start Off Lets Take A Look From Different Media Aspects
1) In the form of media companies:
They created content around a specific genre and proceeded to grow their audience around this content type. Then, after growing a significant amount of consumers they leveraged their audience and “sold” it to outside businesses in the form of media buys. Such as, creating sponsored content in the form of videos, episodes, or any form of content they were hired for or decide on creating. The content would then be centered on the buyer’s company or revolve around a current promotion the buyer is running.
For example, a movie studio is promoting their new horror film “Mountain’s Edge” set to release next month. They reach out to a media company and purchase x amount of sponsored content over a specified period of time to promote this movie. After which, the media company will come together and brainstorm ideas to fulfill the task. One of which could simply be a video where the content creators spend a night in a well known haunted house. In the beginning of the video they can do a “shout-out”; something along the lines of “well… there’s a new horror film coming out June 16th, “Mountain’s Edge” *inserts movie trailer*, and yea…. that’s why we’re here… Now if you don’t see me in any more videos from here on out you know why… and who to blame”.
It’s as simple as that, the horror film just became exposed to the media company’s entire audience through a video. This is one way content helps your company grow and attract a bigger audience. But of course, you have to do your research and understand exactly who each publisher’s audience is – or else it’s just like flushing money down the drain.
1) You have to understand your target audience: who they are, what they like, their interests, what time they usually wake up, get to work, check their phones, what coffee they like etc.
The more you intimately know your target audience the better. This is what we call buyer personas; a detailed overall example of your highest converting consumers and desired target audience. To understand who’s buying your product and why. To find this information conduct surveys, do research, and analyze statistics and data.
Your aim is to make your buyer personas as real as possible. So much so that they each have their own personalities and if they were to sit in on board meetings they could critique your product or service and tell you exactly how to make it appealing to them from their perspective.
2) Don’t be afraid to mix marketing disciplines. What we mean is, with you content creation you should still incorporate marketing strategies.
3) Looking at your buyer personas you need to understand the interests of each. If one of your buyer personas are interested in music you need to make sure your brand is present at all the most known music events that cater to that genre within your target market. For example, if one of your target markets is California then you need to be at Coachella. Whether people from your company are just attending, running an event there, interviewing attendees, or your company is a sponsor of Coachella and is highly represented within the event – you. need. to. be. there! Right where your target audience is.
Because. Why would you give up the chance to be face to face with the exact people in your target audience? The exact people you’re trying to target? Why even give up the chance for them to receive a first hand experience of your company, what you offer, and understand exactly who you are? This allows you to leave a lasting impression on your audience, and as they say “first impression is everything”. Why not show them you’re invested into their culture just as much as they are.
Besides being there and interacting with your target audience face to face, this allows you to have the chance of creating some great content that will attract the rest of your target audience who wasn’t there. Since your target audience is interested in music, you can create a video of the “10 best performances at Coachella”, an overall video of the Coachella experience for this year, and many other forms of content. Then, promote this heavily across all social channels, your website, and youtube. From here you now have a magnet that continually draws in your target audience, allows them to interact with your other content, explore your website, and hit specific pages where they learn about your business or product / service. Going back to #3, if you did the correct research and fully understand your buyer personas then your product or service should coincide with a want or need of your target audience, or solve a problem they have. By them exploring your website and coming across your product or service they’ll instantly be attracted to it and know it’s something they need.
But of course it is not always this easy, not everyone is willing to just throw money at a company they just discovered. This is why you create your content, so they can continually come in contact with your brand, recognize your name, shift from a cold to warm audience, and then finally make a purchase.
You can’t catch a fish without bait. Let your content be your bait.