Before the world wide web, marketing a brand meant advertising on the TV, radio, the popular press and magazines… and then came the internet.
Although this global tool is a marketing marvel, people have developed an ability to “tune out” webpage advertisements. Companies have had to rethink their marketing strategies, because today people want more than glossy pictures and a product description.
People want to engage with a brand. They want to become involved with it; they want their opinions heard and acted upon. Whatever the product or service, gone are the days when customers bought your product because it was recommended by the sales person, or they liked the fluffy cat on the TV advertisement.
People know how to use the internet to research and compare brands, seek opinions and make choices. Attracting customers and raising brand awareness now needs to be done by communicating through the various digital channels and supplying them with interesting, readable and relevant content that will keep your existing customers and draw in new ones. Content marketing meets today’s audience by making the primary focus educating the consumer through many informative channels versus pitching the product or service.
Forget the sales pitch, or the product descriptions. People want to read content that makes them think, informs and challenges them – and that’s the secret of successful content, knowing that when your email or newsletter reaches your subscribers’ inbox they will read it, digest it and comment on it, thereby spreading the word about your company and your brand.
Apart from the traditional email marketing techniques, companies need to use other methods of communicating with their customers. Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest can help to spread to the word, but making videos and producing television slots are also a great ways to get people interested. Experian Marketing Services recently produced a white paper on just this topic – confirming the importance of multi- channel marketing.
Before implementing a content marketing strategy, you need to analyze your target audience, produce a plan and create content goals. The Content Marketing Institute’s writer and founder, Joe Pulizzi, suggests implementing a pilot program to make the transition into content marketing an easier task. His article also includes steps to get started, which include the basic who, what, where and why questions and what to think about when creating your content. You can read the article by clicking here.
There are also a large number of content marketing agencies ready and willing to help should you need more direction. The Content Marketing Institute has compiled a short list, which you can see here, or search for content marketing agencies online.
Translation and localization are also an important part of your marketing strategy. You may think if you are not directly selling to another country your company would not need to consider this aspect. However with the internet all companies have a virtual global presence even if they have not decided to sell directly to another country. It is better to plan in advance how your current tools and presence would have to be modified to reach an international audience which includes multiple language support.
If you have a specific target in mind, your content will need to be relevant to that local market and not a one- size fits all campaign. Ian Humphries’ article on The Content Marketing Institute’s website outlines the preparation and the process needed to create multilingual content.
Content marketing will enhance brand awareness, increase sales, keep you connected with your loyal customers and create new ones. Even if these benefits are not enough to persuade you, take a look at Amanda’s Nelson’s 50 awesome marketing stats with statistics to prove the point.
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