On Business Intelligence today, we’re focusing on content marketing
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Content marketing involves using content to attract customers. Content here refers to message in a media form such as pictures, text, video, audio, etc. In other words, content is what any message is about. For example, watching a movie can have violent content, funny content, etc.
Everyone consumes content daily. Especially customers. We all love certain types of movies, sports, fashion, celebrity, religion, etc. Once we are able to ‘clearly define’ our audience, we can be able to predict what type of content they consume.
In our article on Understanding customers, we talked about how you can define your target customer by age, income, gender, interest/behavior. Content marketing works for business that have clearly understood and defined their target customers.
For example, let’s look at popular brands that use content marketing. Nike is especially very good at content marketing. Nike sells sportswear. They understand that their customers are predominantly athletes and people who take fitness seriously.
Instead of going all “salesy” and saying “come and buy my shoes,” they’ll share a story of a successful athlete. Those interested in sportswear will always want to hear stories of successful athlete and so they’ll listen and become more endeared to the brand.
Here’s another example. Still on shoes. Perhaps you sell shoes and anytime you approach your friends, the conversation is always buy shoes, buy shoes, buy shoes. I’m sure those friends will start avoiding you at some point.
But perhaps you constantly provide your friend with information on the things he is naturally interested in, (the content he likes) and occasionally information about your latest shoes in stock. You can be sure that whenever he is ready to make a buying decision or recommendation, you’ll be the first name that pops up.
Another point can be found in the Pocarti definition of marketing as building and maintaining relationships with customers. Relationships are best symbiotic (both parties enjoy each other) and not parasitic (only one party gains).
In Nigeria, most brands spend money on music promotions and concerts. This is because we have a high population of youths who naturally love music and popular culture. Project Fame, Maltina Dance Show and Glo Xfactor are good examples.
Understanding customers unlocks the key to the type of content they consume. A lot of brands shared covid19 content as they know most of the customers are looking for such information.
Content marketing isn’t for the big brands alone. It just requires insight into what your target customers are already hooked on. It’s important to note that if you don’t have a clearly defined audience, content marketing can be tricky.
For a business such as fashion designing, we can define their target customer as follows;
Age 30-45, would probably be married with kids so if we can create content on how to take care of kids and other relevant tips, it’s likely to attract the customer to our fashion brand. Another example, would be that this customer type would be working class and may find tips of how to be more productive at work very important.
There are many possibilities in terms of content: the customer may be interested in the latest fashion styles, the best restaurants and even the latest movies or series. Since the gender is most female, they’ll also be interested in the latest gist and what’s trending.
Distributing valuable, relevant and CONSISTENT content is the key word here. We have talked about the valuable and relevant aspect. Creating a schedule is great way to be organized and consistent. Here’s an example:
Once you setup a schedule, you have a blueprint for successful content marketing. It’s important you find out what’s valuable and relevant to your target market.
This may seem somewhat strange but it works. You’ll rarely see Top brands saying “come and buy every time“ but they’ll always share something that will evoke emotions that will draw you closer to their brand. That’s content marketing in play next time you see that.
Gary Vee, says content Marketing should be “give-give-give -ask!” So before you ask for the sale, we prepared to give more to the customer. In a highly competitive market, customers are looking for more value for less money. Understanding customers and using content strategy can make the difference between your business and the rest.
Content marketing can also revolve around relevant stories always. But the topics must be what the customer enjoys. Nike created content around racism and George Floyd. Naturally, they have no business in social work/activism, but since that’s the issue their customers are facing, they follow the customer.