The new buzz word for 2013 is Content Marketing and whether you are a B2B or a B2C marketer it’s all about driving sales through content. It’s the art of communicating with your target audience without selling or pitching your products, it’s a non-interruptive soft sell that gives your prospects the information, value and engagement that will turn them into loyal customers.
Content Marketing Needs to be Engaging.
There are a few interesting facts out there surrounding content marketing, for example did you know that B2B content marketers use social media more than their B2C counterparts, though the B2C crowd thinks it’s more effective for them.
Word of mouth or recommendations drive something like 50% of purchases and where do they get the information from in the first place…Content Marketing.
6 in 10 Facebook or Twitter users are more likely to recommend a brand that they follow. Blogs and articles create more indexed pages and more links which generally mean more traffic and therefore a bigger slice of the online pizza.
90% of consumers find custom content useful and 78% believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them (TMG custom media)
There is a large array of digital content marketing that marketers can use and much of this depends on time and budget as well as your target audience. Some of the more common uses of content marketing are:
- Social Media
- Blogs and other website articles
- Distributed Content (articles on other websites)
- Mobile Content
- Branded content tools (calculators, etc)
- Case studies
- Infographics & diagrams
- Research reports
- Digital Magazines
- White Papers
- Gamefication (of virtually anything)
When reading the above list its quite easy to think that you have already ticked most boxes and think that you are doing pretty well…. and you probably are.
Then again so are a lot of other marketers.
The aim of the game in content marketing is “engagement” especially as for most marketers the primary reason for content marketing is customer retention and loyalty closely followed by brand awareness, customer acquisition, website traffic, lead generation and so on.
To achieve these goals and stand out from your competitors your content needs to be memorable and engaging. Get your audience involved in an entertaining and immersive experience that engages their senses and creating a value proposition that encourages return visits, sharing and recommendations.
The last element on the list is the most intriguing, it was a popular buzz word in 2011/12 but very few examples of its use are out there and that is Gamification. Many agencies & marketers struggled with it because it’s not something that we are used to inserting in campaigns. Gamification is something that we have been exposed to our whole lives, it’s something that we use in everyday life being part of the game and occasionally using it on others to achieve desired results.
Yet it’s not something that we have practise of planning or executing in a campaign environment.
Gamification is the use of game mechanics and game design in a non-game environment and properly executed it can have a strong impact on any campaign. It can also be used to enhance your other content marketing areas providing a more interesting and engaging experience.
So if you are looking at content marketing do give some thought to how gamification can make it more engaging.