Let’s get a cliche over with so I can focus on more important things: 2016 Will be the Year of Content Marketing! – There I said it. All cheese aside, content marketing is nothing new. Any Facebook page worth its salt has interesting content that appeals to its community. The only difference is when you do this on a business page it’s considered a marketing practice.
Why is this important?
Social sites are interactive marketing venues with immediate, measurable results. A Facebook page costs nothing, but like all creative, there is no formula for a good post. How can you quantify grabbing attention in a space dominated by updates, notifications, et al? Regardless of measurement, not taking advantage of innovative, cost-effective advertising is counterproductive. With content marketing, everyday is a chance for personalized, creative, AND FREE advertising experiences. This means interactions aren’t just in 30/60 second television spectacles, they happen every time someone logs on – which is about 4 times per day.
How does it work?
Content marketing focuses on the most loyal of customers – the kind that would take time to ‘like’ the Facebook page of a product they purchase. Here is what Geoff Ramsey, chairman and cofounder at consultancy eMarketer, had to say: “Double-down on these people, and find them via social,” Ramsey said. “You want to nurture them. Why? Because they expect it, you’ll make them even more loyal, and they’ll tell others. That is how you grow your core.” Basically we are showing extra attention to the 20% of (core) customers who buy 80% of your products or services.
The Creator’s Project is a joint venture where Intel enlisted Vice Magazine to produce content in the form of creative individual and project spotlights. Vice, known for interesting, viral stories, is using its journalistic prowess to create organic advertisements for Intel. The posts may not relate directly, but they are all housed under Intel’s roof.
In response to spending more ad dollars on social and mobile marketing Matt Preschern, VP-North America demand programs at IBM Corp, said “IBM is also rejecting the traditional marketing funnel, which he said is too linear and doesn’t match today’s customer journey.” That journey is the daily interactions social users are having with brands.
What’s the bottom line? – You need a dedicated person for this job.
Engagement rates are social media’s equivalent to traditional ratings and to get good ratings you have to keep people entertained. Entertainment that can’t be made in your after work time or by dedicating one hour a day. This informal relationship with consumers means you have to change the way you communicate. Every post cannot be a hard sales pitch – there must be genuinely creative content used solely for the purpose of being interesting and relevant. If people enjoy what you have to say they will enjoy you.
For a great example check out Taco Bell’s Twitter and Facebook pages. More than the banal ‘Thanks for your support. Keep buying our stuff’, Taco Bell duels followers in rap battles, responds to insults with sarcastic comebacks, and generates original creative every week. Content aside, they also have incredible response rates because someone is dedicated to scouring social platforms to look for mentions of Taco Bell and it’s food. If you say something about Taco Bell, they will respond to it.
Great content marketing and social media marketing, for that matter, requires a dedicated person. Maybe it’s not a full time job, but it’s close. You need to be doing more than maintaining a social presence – this is a way to expand your business. I expect to see companies following suit in 2016 by investing more time and money into social media in lieu of traditional advertising.
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