Your brand is nothing without marketing and marketing is nothing without quality content.
When most people think of Content, they think in terms of what to post on social media and websites and that’s accurate, howbeit incomplete. Kevin Cain, a communication strategist, described Content as “a compilation of information, ideas, and messages that are translated into some kind of written, visual, or audible format for others to consume.”
While the above describes the general idea of content and the formats in which it comes, I dare say there’s more depth to the issue, from my experience.
The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) founder. Joe Pulizzi, aptly defines it as “compelling information that informs, engages, or amuses”.
If I were to describe content based on my experience, it’s every little bit of information or every substance created or put together to communicate and sell a brand to it’s audiences, such substance comes in text, video, audio, images, even in activities.
If your brand is the kind that is active on social media and other digital marketing platforms, or you’ve got the budget to run some slots in broadcast media, chances are, you have been saying the same thing to your audience for a while. You need to create compelling and really original substance/material that will “suck” in those who are reading, watching or listening.
Beyond the platforms and basic formats of content, we, marketers, need to delve into the quality and character of our content.
Statistics have proven that the average person is exposed to between 5,000 to 10,000 ADs per day and in order to cope, we have learned to either tune off ADs or wear a filter where they are concerned. After a while, they will ask: “what have you done for me lately?” They will need to be pulled in emotionally or mentally, depending on the brand. Some questions we marketers therefore need to ask ourselves and answer in our content include but are not limited to:
- Who are my clients or customers and what do they value?
- What can I offer them from my kitty?
- What am I doing to engage, gain and retain their attention?
- How can I help them really understand what I do and how I can transform them?
- What testimonials and success stories do I have?
- How do I make myself irresistible?
If I were asked to sum the above up, we are talking content marketing. The concept is defined by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) as a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. This presupposes that marketing content needs to be valuable, for education, engagement and/or entertainment. Why do you think the most trustworthy pregnancy and baby care resource site Baby Centre was acquired by Johnson & Johnson? Why do you think Airtel and Maggi Brands or GTBank and UBA have invested heavily in mini series? There needs to be ways to get into the hearts and minds of customers and traditional content will no longer suffice.
Whether in form of an elevator pitch, a thought piece or a collection of super engaging content for social media, Content is a critical tool for the growth of your bottom line. There has to be a reference material, a contact point, something to cause you to come alive in the mind of your prospective customers. The more quality and variety of relevant content you build, the more your chances of reaching and converting customers.
Gone are the days when you run ADs and are done with it, go the extra mile. Were you creating ADs before, create mini skits, have you been creating skits? Create events to engage with customers or clients. Remember, your content is substance.
The moral of my story, build more content, quality content that not only sells you but adds value to your audience either by way of entertainment, education or information. As you create, test, tweak and improve and you will see results.