Recently Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance used the popular video of the Dancing Uncle as their content to create awareness about the brand. They related happiness of the uncle with the happiness of their policyholders on the declaration of bonus on their policy. Interesting content, popular content, used effectively.
Catch the attention. Get the engagement. Introduce the company, brands, and products. Most companies start with their products and services. They complain content marketing is not effective. `
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Content is important. Superb content is critical. Interesting content wins the race.
Only creating branded content is a short-sighted view of the content marketing.
Many digital marketing executives I meet want branded and product-centric content. What they mean by content marketing is answering FAQs by different blog posts, creating product-centric content, and similar self-talks.
Self-talk is necessary when you have a lead ready to convert. Not at all the stages of the buyers’ journey.
Expand Content Horizon:
Content Marketing is not about your agenda, it is about the agenda of the target audience.
A life insurance companies are in the business of risk management. They need to talk about what people will do when their financial risk is managed. Living a dream life, adventures etc. They need not talk only about retirement planning and insurance policies.
Real estate companies are into home building. They should talk about all aspects of good quality living, children, sports, education, and everything about living and family happiness. Not only about their projects, their awards, and ISO certifications all the time. Every real estate developers are creating blog posts about how to select a good developer and what NRIs need to know about buying home in India? Is this the way to create a differentiation?
It is not only your product and services that should create differentiation, but your content also should create a differentiated customer experience.
All banks, all insurance companies, all real estate developers, everyone is creating some or the other content but, a big but is the answering the following question.
“Is the content you are creating and distributing for your customers any different than anything else out there?” Joe Pulizzi
Everyone is using the content marketing as either advertising or as a means to create generic content which also comes cheap.
This is the result of the scanty budget, no adequate thinking, no top-level buy-in, no strategy, no understating of the opportunity.
Expand your content basket. Don’t trade too thin. Extreme targeting is not good. Think about the problem your products/services are solving. What would be the impact of using your product/services on users’ life?
Not white teeth, but with the white teeth attracting a beautiful girl is the customers’ agenda.
A spectacle for good vision is okay, but spectacle also for good looks.
Two wheeler vehicles are for commuting is okay, but accomplishing the work by commuting is what matters to the customers.
Travelling by train will take me from destination A to destination B. The railway should be talking about the features of destination A and destination B. Talk about the journey, talk about the dos and don’ts during the journey and at the destinations. Talking about railway punctuality, cleanliness, safety, and the food is an advertising, not the content marketing.
The engaging content should talk about the life while/after using company product/services. Product and services should be in the background.
Hubspot reports about the Content Marketing approach by the brand Extra.
We’ve seen just about every twist on gum marketing possible: sexy encounters, romantic trysts, and more. Extra is pushing past that narrative. The brand realizes that gum is an everyday part of life, a seemingly mundane product, but its omnipresence means it’s there for many of life’s little moments.
Hence, the #givextragetextra campaign is all about celebrating those moments — the awesome fishing trip, the road trip with friends, the engagement — by turning them into art.
The interactive site and social campaign encourage you to submit photos of those everyday moments to be turned into sketches, some of which appear on the inside flap of Extra packaging.
At the site, you can see the images, watch a video of the artist’s sketches, peruse the gallery, and search to see if your submission has been turned into art.
How it shows empathy:
In many ways, gum is a product meant to enhance intimacy, making your breath fresh for more closeness. In our techno-connected world, those everyday moments of intimacy are often overlooked.
This campaign helps customers become more aware and celebratory of those moments. By encouraging them to capture and share those memories — and honoring them through the gum-wrapper art — Extra is helping customers live a more full and present life.
The content from Extra is not about the product, but what can happen to the users’ life after using the product.
Brands should approach the content marketing by keeping the dreams, aspirations, needs and wants of the target audience at the core.
Their own agenda can follow the customer first approach. The branded content can follow once the relationship is established.
Remember: Content Marketing is not advertising. Many companies are using Content Marketing as advertising. The winner companies are using it as a means to engage with the target audience by creating interesting content. Interesting to the target audience.
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What is interesting content?
Alyssa Maker in her piece What Exactly is Engaging Content? Writes; “ Engaging content is content that provides value to the lives of your potential clients, clients and community members. It doesn’t need to be 1,000 words long, it just needs to be beneficial to the reader.
A lot of so-called “marketing gurus” talk about relevancy, making the mistake of confusing it with engagement – it’s really about how much value you’re adding to someone’s personal and professional life.”
Why brands are sponsoring sports events and television serials? Because people are interested in these programmes and events. They are engaged and therefore these brands want to get the attention of their target audience.
We are soon going to see No Advertising world. Because we don’t want to see advertisements. We switch TV channel during commercial breaks.
People have less time for interruption-driven media. At the same time, they are putting more trust in intelligent agents to guide their decisions. This report outlines how top CMOs will unravel the final threads of advertising as we know it, taking as much as $2.9 billion away from display advertising in the next year. (Source: Forrester report: The End Of Advertising As We Know It)
Content Marketing is not a substitute for the advertisements. Rather than sponsoring engaging events and programmes, brands themselves need to create engaging and interesting content.
In the Digital World, if the brands want their target audience to visit their website and blogs, they should be focussed on creating the content their target audience is interested in and searching for.
The Content Marketing approach is known as Inbound Marketing. Brands need to be there inside the engaging content, not outside of it like an advertiser. Brands have to become interesting and cannot remain an interruption.
In their book Experiences, the 7th era of Marketing, the authors Robert Rose and Carla Johnson, narrate a case study of an engineering giant Emerson:
“We have allowed him to be personal. Charlie’s an expert on business, but he’s also a runner and an expert on that too. He shares letters to his son in Afghanistan. Life lessons from a different decade. It’s interesting and poignant. Not just business topics.”
Differentiated experience based Content Marketing is the way forward.
Ignite your thinking. Assume we are in the no advertising world.
Be interesting, be engaging, and do whatever it takes. Just self-promotion/ self-talk is boring and anti engaging/interesting.
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