Arguably one of the more subtle yet hugely powerful forms of marketing today, Content Marketing probably has the highest ROI of any method and yet is often misunderstood or at the very least, massively under-rated.
We at The Lane, however, were early adopters and are now evangelical about creating high quality content that will work hard for our clients, promoting their brands, sparking engagement, enhancing profile and fuelling a genuine consumer following.
So what’s the secret to effective Content Marketing?
It all boils down to a few choice of words:
USEFUL, INTRIGUING, PRACTICAL, INFORMATIVE, THOUGHT-PROVOKING, VALUABLE, RELEVANT, PROVOCATIVE.
A high quality piece of content will be at least one of these things or even all of them. More than anything else, it needs to add value. The audience needs to WANT to find out more. More sophisticated than an advertorial, Content Marketing works simply by providing material that is of interest to its audience. When that happens, good things will come: the piece or video might be shared; your website visited; your brand reputation enhanced; your product bought or your service booked. It’s sort of marketing by stealth.
This is where it gets exciting, because the landscape is constantly changing. Time was, a simple blog was the main way to gain traction, and a well written blog is still a fantastic way to get noticed, get shared and get people talking. But now we’re also seeing increasing use of video and podcasts – they’re easier than ever to produce and a great way to spread the word. A web page which contains a foolproof guide, a super-useful check list or a brilliantly executed case study can work wonders to drive traffic to your site because they represent publicly available resources. And we have a soft spot for infographics – eminently satisfying visually; at-a-glance helpful; or just a bit of fun, they are excellent for sharing over different channels keeping your brand and message alive and kicking indefinitely.
You can get a single, well-researched, relevant piece of writing to work really hard for you. One strong blog can be harvested into a myriad of different executions: teasers and links on Twitter; a short and snappy version for Facebook and Instagram; a talking point on LinkedIn. It can become one of a series which can then be turned into an eBook which can be given away as part of a sign-up incentive. Any of these outcomes creates contagion (the good kind) and the kind of kudos, credibility and authority that is worth its weight in conventional advertising costs.
In the end, the result is only as good as the content. Done well, and it can create a level of trust between commerce and consumer that would normally take a lengthy sales and marketing process to achieve. In other words, use high quality Content Marketing strategically and you can gain the trust and interest of a customer you didn’t even know existed.