By: Jake Clements, VP of Marketing & Advertising
The world has changed. Buyers have new ways to find what they are looking for. The entire world’s marketplace is now in the palms of their hands. The trick is to get the right information, to the right consumers, before they know they need it.
Marketing today is a complicated mix of messages. People receive a plethora of messages –from a baby announcement on Facebook or a trending topic on Twitter, to emails from their bosses for complicated projects. It becomes confusing and sometimes overwhelming to communicate with audiences when bombarded with messages all day from email, social media, television and smartphones.
Enter content marketing
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. Basically, just a fancy way to say storytelling!
Storytelling has been around since we first started communicating, and while the mediums may have changed, telling stories is still a powerful way to communicate.
Content and your brand
Your first consideration prior to beginning any content marketing strategy is to honestly assess the strength of your brand with your audiences. They pay attention to trusted, authentic brands – fluffy methods without a solid base are frankly a waste of time. That trust is your currency with your audiences, and if it doesn’t exist, you will have to take a step back and consider how content marketing fits in with other brand-building efforts. Trust is built through repeated and consistent stories, but content marketing is not your sole avenue to building a foundation of trust that supports your brand. There are no shortcuts; it’s necessary to show up every day and work on that foundation.
With ubiquitous internet connectivity and billions of people empowered to create and publish online, digital marketing competition is greater than ever. Companies are increasingly challenged to create quality content that stands out to attract and engage new customers.Solution? Participation marketing with industry influencers.
Over the past year, the expression “influencer marketing” has exploded in popularity and many marketing communications professionals are continuing to see influencers in the light of “celebrity endorsements.” According to an Offerpop poll, 76% of marketers plan to increase their usage of user-generated content as a marketing tactic this year alone.
But there’s more to influencer marketing than advocacy, and all influencers are not created equal. With participation marketing, companies can take a view of working with influencers of different types to produce a variety of benefits – all through content.
Putting it all together
The investment in co-creation of content between brands and influencers enables quality content at scale. With brands and influencers working together, co-created content can reinforce mutual authority for all involved. In such a cooperative scenario, influencers can gain exposure, brands can reach new audiences and customers are “info-tained” and inspired to engage. Everybody wins.
Jake Clements is the Vice President of Marketing and Advertising for Crosswind Media & Public Relations, a Austin-based public relations and marketing firm ranking in the top 100 public relations firm nationally. He works to promote clients’ interests through integrated marketing strategies, helping to craft powerful and effective marketing campaigns for clients in a variety of industry sectors including technology, healthcare and education.