It’s getting increasingly difficult to target audiences with advertisements. DVR skips the commercials or viewers forgo TV altogether for ad-less Netflix, magazine ads get flipped fast, and we’re so desensitized to banner ads that we barely notice them anymore.
Enter content marketing. Content Marketing is the fascinating art of putting out engaging media that is relevant, consistent, and catered for a particular clientele–ultimately aiming to increase company profitability. The biggest companies in the game are all using content marketing strategies to get customers’ attention without selling them anything. And although this concept isn’t new by any means, it’s only recently that we’ve seen it like this.
2014’s Coolest Content Marketing
Forms of Content Marketing:
- SEO– Good, quality content gets rewarded by search engines.
- Social Media Marketing– Think about your audience before you post on social.
- PR Strategies– Only discuss the things your readers will care about.
- PPC– Your digital ads won’t be successful without quality content behind it.
The most important thing to remember when you begin brainstorming content marketing strategies is that you ever want to just run it for “everyone.” The broader and less personalized you tailor your media for, the less of an impact it will have. Think about the consumer like this: they don’t care about your company or product. Really, they don’t care about what you have to say. The one thing every customer is into? Themselves. They only care about their wants and their needs. Good content marketers are able to capitalize on the self-involved consumer and feed into it. Find what your target demographic is in to and fuel your content with those elements. 2014 was an especially great year for the ever-changing world of digital marketing. We saw companies, celebrities, and musicians all launch such clever advertising campaigns that none of us even realized we were being sold anything.
Examples of brilliant content marketing initiatives in 2014:
Anthropologie‘s “DIY Drink Recipes” on their Blog: For anyone who hasn’t heard of Anthropologie, they are a pricey retailer of women’s clothing, accessories, and home decor. They don’t sell alcohol so why would they feature a series of drink recipes on their blog? …Because, they’re smart. They knew that featuring seasonal cocktails would be an interesting topic for their demographic and for timely occasions. They would tailor the time of year to certain products they were trying to promote. It’s an ingenious way to gain readership without pushing anyone into buying anything. Anthropologie cultivated its web-personality to mimic that “hip friend that knows how to have a good time—and all about cool clothes.”
Lana Del Rey’s Tumblr Page: Believe it or not, a celebrity’s blog can do AMAZING content marketing without ever seeming like they’re selling you anything. Often times, the material gets spread so often and so quickly….we don’t even realize where it came from. In April 2014, Lana Del Rey’s Tumblr page added a series of GIFS featuring scenes from her new video “West Coast.” It took her production staff no extra work to throw it online and it got shared over 20k times. In this instance, they were able to platform on a social media page that especially would respond to that sort of thing.
Not only can Beats by Dre make some ballin’ headphones, but they can produce some killer content. In 2014 their Instagram packed a punch. They filled it to the brim with shots of celebs, short videos, and commentary on the most popular current events. Plus, their image on their ‘gram coincided with the celeb-packed TV commercials they ran offering brand recognition out the wazoo. That’s probably why the Beats By Dre Instagram account has 1.7million followers currently…
Arcade Fire’s Fan-Sourced Gallery
Indie band, Arcade Fire, used their fan-generated content for their marketing. Yep, they didn’t even have to bother producing any content for their campaigning during their Reflektor tour last year. All they did was simply ask their fans to submit their photo’s from the shows in hopes of having the band publish it on their website and Facebook page. It was a win for both the band and the fans.
The point is, the future of advertising is making or posting high-quality stuff that resonates with audiences without them ever finding out your motives. It’s a fine art—but all the coolest people are doing it.