Renowned marketing author, Seth Godin, once said -
“[Content marketing] – is all the marketing that’s left. Teaching your customers and giving your customers the resources to believe you is new marketing.”
This is very true especially today when most consumers will simply ignore the mass advertisements that interrupt them every single day.
Targeting the Brand Influencers
To make the full use out of our content marketing strategy, we do not have to target everybody. We just have to target a small group of consumers that are likely to be your brand influencers.
Looking at the Adoption Curve below, you can see that targeting the brand influencers is the most important strategy of all; because they are the group of consumers that will feel good about your brand and will share your brand with their network.
What Your Content Marketing Strategy Should Be?
The point is to target a certain group of consumers and that is all about it. So normally what I suggested is to write content on a certain niche market of consumers that may buy your products and services. Aim to be the thought leader in that niche market. After you have somehow gain some brand credibility and thought leadership in that niche market, move a little bit further to the next niche market.
I use an example of a renovation company. Firstly, it targets consumers living in small apartments by sharing tips on space saving and living in small homes. After the company has gained enough recognition in the small apartment market, it can further target another niche market which is the ‘home owners with pets’ market. The company can then share content about how to design a pet-friendly environment for your home and so on.
Some Brands Already Realized the Importance of Content Marketing
There is a saying,
“Don’t be afraid to change. You may lose something good but you will gain something better. “
Not all companies will start to focus on content marketing even though they understand the importance of content marketing. This is because changing from the heavy mass advertising mindset to niche content marketing mindset requires a lot of effort and time. So, it is not easy for some.
Below are two wonderful case studies.
Screenshot taken from Red Bull website
Red Bull, in their content marketing strategy, targets consumers who are adventurous and love extreme sports such as motorsports, skydiving and surfing. They do not target everybody with their content, they only target a niche group of consumers that will most likely to become their brand influencers.
AMEX Open Forum
Screenshot taken from AMEX Forum website
American Express has an excellent content marketing strategy via the Open Forum website. Same as Red Bull, they also target a niche community of consumers. In their case, the entrepreneurs and the business leaders. Content marketing is all the more important for B2B marketers than for B2C marketers. This is because the consumers for B2B are more analytic and less emotional when it comes to buying B2B products and services for their companies.
The One Reason Why Some Brands Have Failed in Content Marketing
The one reason why some companies have failed in content marketing is because their content is all written about their brand or their products and services. And not about things that are related to their consumers. It is all about “me, me, me, me and Me!” And it is not about, “you, the consumers!”
Accomplished marketing blogger, Jeff Bullas, once said that we cannot write about our brand, we have to write around our brand.
I fully agreed with what he said, this is because it is the consumer world today. And with so many competitive brands around, the consumers will only choose one and he or she will only buy the brand that gives them value. Content marketing helps to give value to the consumer. The consumers need to know what is in for them.
To end, I would like to share a great quote from the late Peter Drucker, he said, “the purpose of the business is to create and keep a customer.”
So long we can think of how we can create and keep a customer with quality content marketing strategies, our business will definitely succeed. So, happy writing!
[This article is inspired by Jacky Tan's closing keynote speech at the CMO Asia Summit 2014 held in Hilton KL]
Content Marketing – The Only Marketing That’s Left