“One of the biggest challenges in content marketing is to put the needs of our customers ahead of our own and to tell stories that connect with people,” writes Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute and author of the bestseller, Epic Content Marketing.
Content Marketing is attracting your target market to engage with your brand and become loyal customers through the use of videos, articles, podcasts. There are lots of examples of media we can use but more important to mention is, and get this, content marketing is less about your product and much more about connecting with customers through their values.
Unlike traditional advertising campaigns, where the purpose is to promote your product as much as possible and persuade people to buy, Content Marketing increases brand awareness. It’s more about how we tell our brand story and how we show consumers we care.
I love ASOS, so I am going to use them as an example. I learnt about ASOS, the British online fashion store, about 8 years ago through word of mouth. I was going out for a posh dinner dance at the Dorchester and I needed a fancy jacket to go with my ball gown. I had, but a couple of days to buy this jacket but too busy to go to the shops.
So a colleague says, try ASOS.com. And I did. I fell in love instantly. What I loved most were the celebrity images besides their product images showing me how fashionable I could look. There would be an image of say, Victoria Beckham looking gorgeous and what she wore at some fabulously stylish event. Besides the red carpet picture of Victoria Beckham, would be the ASOS version of what she wore. They didn’t need to tell me to buy anything. I wanted to be as stylish as Victoria Beckham and they helped me achieve that. ASOS helped me be more fashionable.
Back then, I was intrigued with stories about their company employees. They used cool images with quotes. They got us, their customers, involved in their online marketing. Persuaded us to post pictures on Facebook of our ASOS outfits. They still do. They told us stories that led us to believe they were fashionably current and they were leaders in the industry. They won awards, held parties, did fashion shows and we read all about it and celebrated with them. We wanted them to succeed.
ASOS not only showed us how we can effectively use content marketing to tell our brand stories but they also show us how it’s all about what the product does to help a customer and not what the product is with a call to action to buy. Ultimately, the customer wants to feel special.
When creating content, you must think, “What is important to the customer and how can we help them achieve that?” Customers engage with content that helps them be better at something. They buy into brands that inspire them.
It’s no wonder consumers are 30% more likely to follow your brand when you produce content that helps them out. And, when content focuses on them, 61% of consumers are more likely to buy from you as well. (source: inboundwriter.com)
In the digital age, consumers are bombarded with choice. They don’t buy products, they buy stories. Don’t waste time creating product focused content. Start by compiling your brand values. Use these values to help you create content that connects to customers who share these values.