Content Marketing: The Power of a Story
Globalization has tremendously affected the marketing industry. The appearance of the Internet has changed marketing forever; it is now easier, faster, and larger than ever. Content marketing is a strategy that is usually associated with the Internet and digital marketing, however, this is not accurate. Content marketing was there before the Internet, and was making huge numbers already.
Where Did Content Marketing Come From?
Content marketing exists because people simply got tired of advertising. Wherever you go, you would find someone asking you to buy something. On the radio, on the telephone, at the supermarket, on TV, and on social media channels, there is always something to be bought. So when people got tired of that, what happened? They avoided all sorts of advertisement. That is when the market needed content marketing.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a long term strategy whose function is to create relevant and valuable material that speaks to the audience, and ultimately makes them your customers. According to Oxford’s definition, “content word” means a word whose main function is to express meaning. This is very much related to the meaning of content marketing. So, what is the difference between content marketing and advertising? In the loud and noisy world of today, people appreciate it if you are kind enough to give them a break and let them know that you care about them too, as much as you care about your product. Obviously, people grew bored of the idea of “being sold something” to the extent that they would do anything to avoid whoever is trying to do that. That is when content marketing saves the day.
The Power of a Story
Humans have been fond of stories since the beginning of time. From children to seniors, everyone loves hearing a story; it is in our nature. We love to communicate; that is the reason why we created language, books, movies, radios, and telephones. If you disagree, take a look at popular social media channels like Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram; they are all about “stories.” There are many psychological reasons why people love stories. One of them is that they can relate to the story. Even if the theme of the story is science fiction, people would still find something to relate to upon hearing a story. Another reason is that they find some value in a story. A classic example would be children’s stories and how they always include something useful that they can learn and apply to their life. Relevant and valuable, does that ring a bell? These two keywords are what distinguish content marketing from advertising. People will avoid you if you “sell” them your product, but give that product a good story and they will buy it.
Examples and Different Forms of Content Marketing
Content marketing comes in all shapes and sizes. It could be visual like info-graphics, videos, games, books, or images. It could be audible like podcasts. Almost all content marketing forms involve some writing. You can easily find many different types of content marketing; therefore, this article will introduce some tips from a different perspective.
How to Write Useful Content?
Useful is valuable. Useful means that your audience will look forward to receiving your content; they will not run away from you. If you are a car retailer, and you provide your viewers with How-to articles, which give tips about how to make their car parts last longer, or how to consume less gas, they will be eager to visit your website. They will feel that your business cares about their problems, as much as it cares about making sales. They may even search your website for more articles to help them, which will eventually lead them to you when they consider buying a car.
How to Write Relevant Content?
Back to the magic of stories, a huge part of that magic stems from the fact that readers can relate to the story on a personal level. Give your product a story, but make sure that story is one that your viewers can relate to. Make them say this while watching your video or reading your article: “This is me.” People tend to react with a one-person-story more than they relate to big numbers. For example, if you are raising donations, People may not respond if you say that 300,000 children are diagnosed with cancer every year. However, if you tell the story of one child with a specific name, and include details about him or her, people will definitely sympathize and react with the story. The second case is more personal, therefore, more effective. People respond because you have created a relationship between them and the patient. This applies to everything. Your goal should be to create a relationship between your audience and your product, and let your product sell itself.
Top 3 Things to Avoid in Content Marketing
Be versatile. Do not stick to one form of content marketing even if it is successful. You are trying to create as many lead customers as possible and expand the range of your viewers to the maximum, so you should make use of all styles and forms. If you are only addressing your current viewers, you are not going the right way. Include noteworthy ideas, and make sure they stand out.
Sharing Content at the Wrong Time.
Sharing your content once is not enough. You need to share the same post more often, since you need to make sure that it reached as much audience as possible. Make sure that the time interval between sharing your posts is reasonable. Do not slam your viewers all at once, and then disappear for a few days. Moreover, choose when to share your content wisely; pick the time when most of your viewers are active.
Putting Quantity before Quality
Although it is positive to always be in touch with your audience, be careful not to put quantity before quality. Again, content marketing is valuable marketing. Creating content with no additional information just for the sake of posting frequently looks like boring advertising. Content marketing is about having a story to tell, and a good story teller knows that every word counts. A good content marketer should know so too.
Content marketing has proved itself to be the most successful form of marketing. Studies suggest that 73 percent of companies employ content marketing strategies. How we see it: content marketing is the evolution of advertising. Instead of pushing people into buying products, the marketing industry has headed towards a different approach. Let your audience realize that they need your business on their own, by giving them valuable and relevant content. It is all about making your audience feel appreciated instead of making them feel like ATM machines.