There has been a seismic shift in media consumption habits; only a few years ago, news was the bastion of newspapers and broadcast media, while specialist magazines provided enthusiasts with their weekly/monthly fix of specific content, inspiring them to go further into their chosen passion.
For years, brands have tried to capture their consumers attention by carefully placing adverts on TV, in magazines and on websites in order to interrupt them with their message(s).
These brand messages have an ever-increasing need to be relevant, as more and more consumers have control over what they choose to see: for example, people now have the option to fast forward TV adverts, unsubscribe from emails, or block adverts altogether.
“Content is the substance or matter of brand engagement and brand conversation. Anything that can allow a consumer to engage with your brand or converse about your brand becomes content so content should be wrapped around everything.”
– Jonathan Mildenhall – SVP Integrated Marketing Content and Design Excellence
Content is king – an expression that is recited over and over again by marketeers. You only have to Google the phrase and approximately 1,150,000,000 search results appear to understand its importance. But, not any old content will do, it’s the quality of the content that is king:
“Your customers don’t care about you, your products, your services…they care about themselves, their wants and their needs. Content marketing is about creating interesting information your customers are passionate about so they actually pay attention to you.”
– Joe Pulizzi, founder, Content Marketing Institute.
Through trusted information and knowledge brands can engage with an audience on their terms, exciting them about their passion and placing their brand at the heart of a targeted community. Brands can use this opportunity to reach and grow an audience of followers, developing many into advocates and ambassadors that will in turn grow the audience further. This will also:
Provide an excellent customer experience by increasing the quality of information available
Improve the level of customer engagement
Raise awareness of the brand beyond the core fans
Illustrate hidden stories from behind the curtain of the brand
Introduce content that elevates the level of service around the brand assisting the consumer on their decision making journey
Above all, brands need to prioritise the quality of content. It should always be:
Written in the appropriate tone
Match the needs of your consumer
The next step is to make sure that you have the right content distribution strategy. Brands have the power to engage with consumers directly rather than relying on 3rd parties…. but that’s a whole other story!