Today, thanks to the truckload of information poured onto the internet every second, humans now have an attention span shorter than that of a goldfish. What that means is, you have just 8 seconds maximum to answer the question of why your target audience should give up scrolling down Instagram for the next beautiful pictures and funny reels, and instead, read through your 200 words slide, and even click the link to your website to make a purchase.
This growing battle for customer attention has separated the market into two different segments; the internet street hawkers who run after customers to sell to them, adding their voice to the cacophony, and the true resource and information expert, who have gained customers loyalty and trust. What separates these two groups is the kind of techniques and strategies they employ to market their content to the target audience.
What is Content Marketing and why does it matter?
Until you understand what content marketing really is, you’ll keep killing bulls to save chickens, wasting a lot of money promoting garbage ads with low click-through rates and copies with very little conversions.
In their definition, the Content Marketing Institute summarized content marketing to be, the marketing and business process for creating and distributing valuable and compelling content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience—to drive profitable customer action.
Everybody creates content, but not everyone engages in content marketing. A good content marketing must be valuable and compelling, targeted at a properly researched and understood the audience, and drive profitable customer action. This would help build a lasting relationship with customers, position your brand as a market leader, and eventually help your brand become the first thing a customer thinks of, when they encounter a problem, your product or service is designed to solve.
How do you create a powerful content marketing strategy
Understand why you’re creating content
Is it to fill a gap in your content calendar? Or because you want to increase your social media following and draw more readers to your website, to gain more leads.
None of these is the right reason to create content. Every content must connect to your brand’s mission statement. If your mission statement is to create delicious meal solutions, then it’s not your business to tell your customers what kind of dress to wear to a night party.
Your content team must at all times understand your company’s mission statement; why your company came into existence, who your core audience is, and what outcome and difference you want people to see in their lives or business, every time they transact and interact with you. If content doesn’t measure up to your mission statement, then don’t hesitate to toss it in the trash can, no matter how engaging and interesting it is.
Keep in mind that your customers don’t care about you or your product:
You just came up with a prototype that would change what the world thinks about Innovations and technology. Awesome!, but if you can’t tell your customers how it would change the world for them, your Innovations won’t make it past the Guinness book of records or New York Times front page.
Many brands make the mistake of creating content that focuses on themselves and their products, highlighting their company’s history, product features, and directory board of intellects, but who cares if Steve Jobs founded Apple, or if Coca-Cola had its first factory in the ‘80s or ‘90s. It’s not how smart you sound that sells your product, it’s how much you can convince your target audience that your product or service is just exactly what they’re looking for as a solution to their problem.
Tell stories from a place of authority
“Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make but the stories you tell.” —Seth Godin
Telling stories is like taking your customers on a ride to a magical world, where all their dreams come true, but they have to believe that you are the right person to lead them on that journey.
Have you ever asked yourself why as kids we believe the sweet tales by moonlight told by a granny or our parents, even when we were old enough to know what’s true and what’s not? It’s simple, we trusted that Granny or Dad was telling the truth, we saw them as an authority and that made us want to believe them more.
Entertain your customers with interesting stories that are in alignment with your brand message. Stories remain the best content marketing strategy ever discovered, and that’s because humans are wired to react to stories. Stories draw our attention and challenge our thoughts and beliefs. With stories, we connect, learn and explore, and finally, when told from a place of authority, stories help us sell.