In the Share Economy, if your company is not doing anything shareable, how do you expect to create a brand?
Remember, days of interruption marketing are numbered. People neither trust nor want to see. How many of you watch TV advertisement or YouTube advertisement or believe in celebrity endorsements?
There are companies who are the pioneer in understanding this trend and have started to invest in what matters to the customers and target audience i.e. interesting and shareable content which engages.
We will discuss today about one of the generic brands Colgate.
Interesting Fact – Over 1.6 billion Colgate toothbrushes are sold annually worldwide; if you lined them up end to end, they would circle the globe 16 times.
The leader in the space, & yet they are focussed on engaging with the customers with the right content marketing approach.
Toothpaste/brush company and content marketing? Yes. If you see your company as a problem solver rather than a product or service seller, you can think like a problem solver. You step into the shoes of the target audience, not just to sell, but to understand their problem.
“In the Experience Economy, businesses must figure out how to make work, whether performed on stage or off, more engaging .” B. Joseph Pine II and James Gilmore in their book The Experience Economy.
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Think how merely sales focus or sales focussed content will create engagement? It will not.
In her book Get Bold, Sandy Carter writes,”
What is engagement ? Very simply it is the way that a company or country hold the attention of its ecosystem, client or potential client.”
The question that comes to the mind of many entrepreneurs and CEO/CMO is what are the benefits of customer engagement? Simply ROI of engagement initiatives?
- Higher Loyalty
- Greater Advocacy
- More Spending
- Stronger Satisfaction
One of the early IBM surveys of CEOs worldwide, they found that a top trend was about reinventing relationships with their customers. The study showed that 95% of standout organizations, those that outperformed on their financial results, will focus more on “getting closer to the customer” This makes customer engagement the number one priority to succeed in the new economic environment.
More on ROI:
“Companies with higher sense of purpose outperform by 400%.’’ Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos.
Colgate is a generic brand and the leader in its space. Yet they have focussed in better customer engagement. Imagine a toothpaste manufacturer wants to engage with target audience closely. Rather than focussing only on sales, they chose to engage with customers.
When I first talk with any potential clients, the first thing they say is; we are also already doing content marketing. Then they elaborate on their sales and marketing content and collaterals. All about the talk about the self and product promotion. Their website to their blog, if any, all talks about their product. It’s a mere sales pitch.
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Content marketing is not about the sales pitch, marketing collateral, and product promotion.
I have mentioned in my posts time and again the following quote:
”Don’t think about people as targets of the sale. The question isn’t who can you land, it’s who can you help? ” Michael Stelzner writes in his book Launch .
The moment the company is in help mode, the target audience will start listening to them.
Colgate has Oral Care Centre. They are not talking about toothpaste, but their focus is Oral care.
If you think brushing and flossing are all there is to oral hygiene, Colgate’s content hub suggests otherwise.
From information on anesthesia and fillings to advice about changes during pregnancy – the Oral Care Center is packed full of information about all things teeth, conveniently pointing users towards the brand’s range of products.
Prompting users with three core topics – oral care conditions, cosmetic dentistry and preventative advice – the site is easy to navigate as well as informative.
By raising awareness of the pitfalls of poor oral care, the site effectively drives consumers towards products they might not have considered buying before.(1)
They have content posts like; Bad Taste In Mouth: Causes And Treatment, Can You Heal Cavity At Home?. The site has everything about the Oral care. Not their Oral care products only, but about the oral care, what their target audience wants to know, even if they may not buy ever from Colgate.
According to Outbrain, Colgate has more than 1500 original content on their site. 1.5 million Clicks later, of which 85% were new visitors to the site, Colgate transcended its campaign goals to drive brand awareness and engagement, reinforcing its commitment to a well-balanced content marketing strategy.
The moment you are in a help mode, people connect and will want to listen to you. People listening to what you have to say and you have a successful engagement.
Think how many nonbuyers target audience will visit your site and find any value? No one will find the value from your sales pitches and promotional content on the website, blog or social media share.
People are interested to solve their problems or enhance their happiness. They are not interested to buy a product or avail services. Sufficient education is necessary before the buying process begins.
Buyers’ journey stages are awareness, consideration, and decision.
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The company will capture the attention of the target audience early in the buying process, only if they are creating content about educating i.e. awareness, about the problem target audience, want to solve or about the experience they wish to avail to enhance their happiness.
Most companies are creating content for decision stage i.e. who we are and we are the best. Companies who capture engagement of the target audience at the awareness stage with engaging content will win the battle.
“Content marketing is like a first date. If you only talk about yourself, there won’t be the second one.” David Beebe
Your content will be engaging, shareable, likable, and useful to the target audience only if it is created to help the target audience and not for sales only.
If Colgate can do it successfully, every company can do it.
- Every company is in P2P (people to people) business not in B2B or B2C business.
- People need to be engaged earlier in the buying journey
- Talk less about the product and more about the solutions and the problems the target audiences’ want to solve.