In an industry which is constantly changing and evolving, we know how important it to recognise and stay up to date with the latest PR, marketing and media trends. This month we are talking about one of the currently trending buzzwords – content marketing.
In a nutshell, content marketing is when you create and publish something to stimulate interest in a brand or product. Content can be many different things, including:
- Social media posts
- Press releases
- Case studies
- Live videos
- E-mail newsletters
Although content marketing has been around for some time, with so many organisations now taking the integrated approach to their marketing and communications, it is important to recognise that content marketing is constantly evolving.
Why is it important?
In a world filled with mobile phones, tablets, laptops, internet fridges and so on, it is no surprise content marketing is one of the most talked about trends of recent years. Why it has become so important can be summarised through the following simple points:
- There are approximately 4 billion internet users.
- Believe it or not, there are more devices in the world than people.
- There are over 3 billion active social media users.
- Visual social media networks, such as Instagram, are constantly growing.
With so many people active online, content marketing is a fantastic way to strategically target audiences and bring in new traffic to your business.
Whilst this technique can work wonders for a business, it can only work effectively if it is carried out correctly. Considering the vast quantity of content being produced daily, it is therefore essential to curate content that is high quality, transparent and valuable to your target market. Presenting content that is not strategic or is irrelevant to your brand comes across as being lazy and counterproductive, which is extremely damaging.
User generated content
User generated content (UGC) is exactly that, content that has been created by the user of the product or service. It’s a great way to get people naturally talking about your brand and create a bit of a buzz.
Taking a flick through the marketing archives, a campaign that has demonstrates how valuable UGC can be for a brand is Coca-Cola’s global ‘Share-a-Coke’ campaign. Remember that one? The mad hunt to find your own name on a coke bottle?
In 2013/14 Coca-Cola replaced their logo with the most popular names in each country and the phrase ‘Share a Coke with…’, encouraging people to buy a Coke and share with their friends/family.
The personalised bottles created a sharing frenzy, which resulted in 998 million impressions on Twitter, 235,000 tweets from people using the #ShareaCoke hashtag and over 150 million personalised bottles being sold – we couldn’t help but get in on the action…featuring our classic view, of course!
This simple but clever idea ticked all of the boxes on what makes a successful content marketing campaign. It was personal to the customer, it was original, yet relevant to the brand and it built upon the global visibility of Coca-Cola.
So what do you need to do?
Put simply, the days of hard selling are over. Content marketing has transformed the way businesses communicate with their audiences and social media means that you need to be where your audience is. Brands need to create personal relationships with people if they intend to keep them as customers. How this is achieved varies from business to business and their target audiences, however if you are presenting engaging messages and concepts which are high quality, subtle, consistent and of interest to that audience, it will definitely add value to your brand.