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There is no arguing this point: more information than we could possibly ever consume, remember or need is available to us; and usually, it’s within just a few clicks. There are more product choices available to us as well. And those choices continue to become more complex and technologically advanced.
As a business, if you are selling a singular, simple product — like food or clothing — your job is relatively simple. You are selling a product that your consumer base understands and you can highlight a few key messages for that product. Commercials, well-placed ads, in-store marketing and other traditional channels, done well, can elevate consumer awareness and product sales, and those efforts can be tracked.
But if you are selling complex technology or families of products, a thirty second commercial doesn’t get across the entire message you need to send. The content often gets lost in the flash and circumstance of traditional advertising, or the message is too long and complex to relay in such a short period of time.
For products like these, content marketing is a way to overcome that challenge. It is a way to grab your audience and tell your story. And while content can cover all manner of sins, the key thing to remember with content is that it is all the key words, messages and ideas that differentiate your product and make it noteworthy. It’s the “why believe,” the “what is it” and the “how it works” of your product.
But “any old content” alone won’t help you reach your goals; it must be strategically created and placed to ensure it is relevant, engaging, and consumable.
A comprehensive strategy will help you achieve relevance by keeping you on-topic and speaking to the issues of now. What is your target audience experiencing? How are you solving a need for them with your product? Your content marketing strategy must find a way to answer that question.
Next, it must be engaging. It should be visually interesting & stimulating. This could mean it’s interactive and fun. Or thought provoking. Maybe it’s controversial. Whatever it is, it should grab your audience’s attention and MAKE THEM THINK about your product.
But of course the most important part of content marketing is the consumable part. Who cares if you create the vehicle if it’s never driven? The key to successful content marketing is to get your content out there and make sure you have a specific call to action to generate the reaction you want. Do you want them to go to your website? To call you? To register their name? Great! Make that clear and then get it in front of your targets at the right time and place. The right time and the right place are the two different sides of the same consume-ability coin.
One of the things we find over and over again in the content marketing world is the idea that if they build it, the consumers will come. But the truth is, there is so much information available to them on every topic, they may not find your content until after they’ve already made a decision to go another way. So it behooves to you to have an active strategy to deploy that content to your targets, and often. It is even more essential that this strategy addresses the correct time and place. You want the target audience to receive and consume your message when it is most relevant to them and when they are most likely to respond to your content.
If you have to take away three things from this, remember:
Your “why believe,” “how it works” and “what it is” statement about your product must be delivered in a relevant, engaging format that is easily consumable by your target audience. Those, in a nutshell, are the keys to killer content.