It can be difficult to stand out from the crowd in today’s tightly packed digital world. Companies are constantly vying for attention and customers. Every brand has a slightly different method of attracting shoppers, but a highly common tactic is implementing a hearty content marketing strategy. By being smart about content marketing, your retailing business can attract customers new and old.
What is Content Marketing?
This marketing style is massively popular, but what defines content marketing? The basic principle of content marketing is that your brand creates and disseminates content that is relevant to customers and is designed to increase sales. That might sound like any type of marketing, but there is something special about content marketing. Content marketing focuses on brand building and the business to customer relationship. Stores can leverage that relationship to drive sales. By connecting to customers on a personal level, they are more likely to spend money.
It cannot be understated how prevalent content marketing is. The Content Marketing Institute explains, “Eighty-six percent of B2C marketers are using content marketing as of this year; 90 percent of the most successful content marketers are “extremely committed” or “very committed” to their strategies; 91 percent measure content marketing ROI; and 63 percent have a documented content marketing strategy.”
Example of Content Marketing
There are a few fantastic examples of content marketing. A classic example would be Kate Spade and the #missadventure short film series. Kate Spade, the brand, has partnered with female celebrities like Anna Kendrick and Marisa Tomei to make short videos. These videos, of course, feature Kate Spade products, but they never out right ask a viewer to buy something. Rather than serve as sales pitches, the videos focus on building, broadening, and boosting the Kate Spade brand.
When you use social media and especially when using hashtags, be sure to track your campaign. Thankfully, there are simple APIs that allow you to track specific aspects. APIs allow you to search for a single word or tag, letting you find content faster.
Content is traditionally defined as emails, blog posts, and other basic methods of communication. In reality, content is anything that can be delivered to your market that will further your brand and cultivate a community. This means there is no limit on what content can be, so don’t be afraid to get creative.
Storytelling Through Content Marketing
Content marketing is not new- it has been around much longer than the Internet. One of the most famous examples of content marketing before the Internet was the G.I. Joe comic series. Hasbro and Marvel wanted the same thing Kenner Toy Company has with their Star Wars figures- a backstory for the figures.
Hasbro and Marvel realized that selling a product with a connected story made people buy it more. Selling a toy on its own with no story is much harder – the product has to stand on its own and be interesting enough to sell without any emotional pull. Adding emotional pull, through a story, makes selling the product easier.
Hasbro and Marvel launched the G.I. Joe comic book and within two months it was catching on. Neil Patel explains that shortly after the comic came out “… about 20 percent of their target audience, boys between the ages of five and twelve, had two or more G.I. Joe toys. And at that point, the comic book only had two stories. Seven years later, the series was one of Marvel’s strongest titles, and two out of three boys in the same age category owned at least one G.I. Joe action figure.”
Social Media and Content Marketing
Social media might be the largest and most powerful marketing space in the digital world. If your company jumps on the social media train, you will not be alone. If you want to be noticed on social media, you have to be creative. A few business accounts have taken to humor in combination with content marketing.
Innocent Drinks is silly and jovial with their social media presence. They joke about the advertising process, make fun of the fact that they are marketing to a consumer and the bias companies have about their own products. This is another type of storytelling, but instead of the story being about the product it is about the company. Innocent Drinks is having a good time with their customers, which improves the customer experience. When customers have a positive experience with a company, they are more likely to buy a product. Having fun with customers can directly result in increased sales.
Content marketing is more than a simple advertising. Content marketing creates a story, a connection, and a relationship between customer and company. This process not only improves sales for the company, but it also makes the customer experience better.
About the writer: Nick Rojas combines 20 years of experience working with and consulting for small to medium business and a passion for journalism to help readers grow. He writes about technology, marketing, and social media for the aspiring entrepreneur. When Nick is not sharing his expertise, he can be found spending time at the beach with his dog Presto.
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