“Content is a terrible word.”
This quote recently came out of the mouth of Chris Graves, the Global Chairman at Ogilvy Public Relations. You’d think someone so invested in the public relations, advertising and marketing world would be a bit more on board with the idea. Well, it turns out he is; so much so that he believes the word does not do it justice. Graves realizes it’s time to give credit where it’s due.
Meet the Underdog
The word content is synonymous with “stuff” in most people’s minds. It’s generic, ordinary, and gives no sense of worth. However, the Content Marketing Institute defines it as, “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.” Now that’s more like it, a definition Graves might even be proud of.
In recent years we have seen sources like the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed skyrocket. Why? Because they are able to pull relevant information and answer the question, “Why is this important to the reader?” They are able to build a bridge between current events and what’s going on in the life of the average Joe on a Wednesday afternoon. Although these two examples are information-based, the same valuable tool can, and should, be applied to product and service based industries as well. Extra emphasis on the “should,” and here’s why:
When businesses are able to produce quality content for their targeted audience, they are fostering a relationship that links directly to conversion. In fact Kapost, a leading provider of Content Marketing software, shared statistics reporting a conversion rate 6x greater for content marketing adopters compared to non-adopters. Done right, it’s unstoppable, and its power reaches beyond just conversions.
Consider the Joes of the World
For example, we’ll bring Joe back into the picture. Let’s say he lives in Denver, Colorado, and tonight he’s got a date with the girl of his dreams. Conversation carries, and she casually mentions how horrible the mosquitoes have been in her backyard this summer.
Meanwhile, a Denver pest control company had taken note that mosquitoes have been a significant problem throughout the area. Assuming that people are currently dealing with the issue, they put together a blog earlier in the week focusing on home remedies to prevent mosquitoes. Not only did they produce quality writing that’s applicable, but they also made it accessible to their audience. Facebook and Google ads concentrated in the Denver area allowed their blog to cross paths with Internet-goers currently dealing with the mosquito situation at hand.
In fact, the Denver pest control’s blog was so successfully marketed that our friend Joe had actually read it the day before his date. He whips out his phone to pull up the responsively designed article that presents well and is easily read even on a cell phone screen. Joe got a second date for paying attention and sharing the company’s valuable and relevant information, and the company’s content just became “shareable.” Sounds like a win-win to me.
Show Your Audience Why You Matter
Quality content builds infinite relationships and it starts with strategic targeting. People were probably noticing that the mosquitoes had gotten pretty thick, so by validating those thoughts, the pest control company was able to build a trusting relationship. That’s where the quality part comes in – creating content that matters. It’s about putting on the shoes of your audience. Why should they care about your blog? Well, why don’t you show them?
When businesses incorporate this element of interaction with their clients, they’re doing more than sharing information and knowledge – they’re investing in individual lives and stories. Getting involved with your audience pays off, both literally and figuratively.
It’s time to recognize that content marketing is no longer the underdog; it’s one of your most valuable players.
Update: Joe is doing very well; he and his lady friend are now happily registered at Bed Bath and Beyond.