There are many terminologies thrown around in terms of establishing yourself in the online marketplace. Between the terms of SEO, PPC, social media management, and content marketing, it can be a little daunting to launch yourself onto the internet. But one of the most important aspects of these is content marketing, and it’s not as new or groundbreaking as you might think.
Why is Content Marketing Important?
Content marketing is incredibly important to your customers, future clients, and more importantly fans. The whole idea around content marketing is that you promote and create something that is pertinent to your business.
When people arrive at your website or your place of business, they don’t want to just listen to what you have to provide. While most people are happy with building service and location pages to help their superficial SEO, it doesn’t help with establishing trust and entertainment for your customers.
SEO and content marketing work in tandem that way. While SEO is a great way to reach an audience, once you’ve attained them you need to have something to say. If you have a website that is riddled with ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Call here’ buttons, what is driving them to the sale?
When people are on your site or in your business, they are already there to buy something. It’s what you do with the site or business that makes you stand apart from your competition. What’s to stop the customer from going down the street to a different shop with competitive prices?
Content marketing gives your business a voice and a personality in a world filled with numbers and bottom lines.
What is Content Marketing, Though?
Content Marketing is any sort of supplementary content that the customer can enjoy. You want to turn the customer into an audience member. Content is for them to enjoy, consume, understand. Whether this is a blog post, an FAQ section, an informational or entertaining video, a podcast that’s informative, or a funny newsletter. Anything that can make your customer enjoy your presence as more than a provider of a product.
For example, Dollar Shave Club is a brand that sells itself on being fun and interesting. From their first advertisement, they set themselves apart through their tone and attitude. Then they followed that up with the Bathroom Minutes. There’s a newsletter they send with every package for your reading pleasure in the bathroom. Not only is this entertaining, but it’s also appropriate. It fits within their M.O.
It blends with their products in a synergetic way.
The writing and content reflects their views and attitudes towards the world and industry
The Difference Between Ads and Content
Now, if you paid attention to the last section, you’ll realize that I brought up two distinctly different things. The ad that Dollar Shave Club presents and the content. The ad is selling the product, but the content adds personality. The ad clearly had a big budget and produced a lot of buzz for them, but the bathroom minutes kept a lot of people on track with them.
But what if we compare two similar styles from two different companies and see how they do together?
Keep Walking V.S. First Shot
For this example, we are going to look at two different examples from two similar companies. Johnnie Walker Scotch and Jameson Whiskey. We are going to compare ‘The man who walked around the world’ from 2009, and ‘The Ventriloquist’ from 2012.
The man who walked around the world is a great piece of filmmaking in its own right. The backdrop, the use of props, and the masterful utilization of Robert Carlysle make this stand out as a truly innovative advertisement. But it’s still an advertisement. While it is groundbreaking in its presentation, the entire clip is still about Johnnie Walker as a brand. While it is not advertising one particular product, it is advertising for the brand as a whole.
Next, let’s look at The Ventriloquist by Jameson. It is also a great piece of filmmaking. The setting, the use of props, and the masterful utilization of Kevin Spacey make this stand out as a truly great short film. And it’s just a short film. There’s no mention of Jameson at all. The story didn’t even resemble the same values of Jameson itself but was still created, and it was still interesting.
This started a whole line of short films called the ‘One Shot’ series featuring actors such as Willem Dafoe and Adrien Brody. The series has on average a little over a million views on each film. Now, Johnnie Walker also kept going their way with more content based approaches, but nothing was ever near the length of ‘The man who walked around the world’ and they always featured the brand at the end even when the content had nothing to do with it.
So, what do we learn from all this?
Content gives you the chance to separate yourself from your brand. It gives you and your business the opportunity to care about something other than turning profits, even though you can still turn profits with content. Content is great because, in a world of similarity and corporate terminology, content gives you the chance to talk as a person. Content gives you the opportunity to express things that other companies won’t, and that lets you stand out as a person instead of merely as a company. In this day and age, people are looking for something to relate to, not something trying to sell to them.