“Content” is the new buzzword (again), but what does it mean this time and is it a brand new take on marketing that industry and customers should be aware of?
By personal definition content marketing is:
Extending the reach of marketing by designing value adding experience and service, supporting and enforcing the use of a product and control of a brand.
By this I mean that content marketing has three main goals:
1. Moving beyond “products” to experience
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Example Nike+: Our brand not only gives you a running shoe, but it gives you access to interactive training facilities online and sets you in contact with a community with a strong shared social object.
2. Identifying participants (customers) aspirations and motivations, creating simple and intuitive services supplementing and strengthening your overall service to the participants and own brand goal
Example: An online bank identifying a need from their customers to check their current account holdings regularly, meeting this need with a simple one-button interface on the mobile, retrieving only the account balance information and displaying it on a tailored desirable interface.
. To create a “use-situation” in which the brand is able to participate in the consummation or interaction with its product – not only create a need and/or persuade to take action as has been advertisings traditional goal.
Example: Musical instrument company creating an online community with a possibility to learn-create-inspire-share
. Giving their musicians a place to explore, discover and publish their content.
The point of content is not that it should be something one could passively consume (like traditional ads or campaign sites). It should be an action, a service or an experience that creates a meaningful addition to the current product or service range.
The participant’s goal is added value and added possibilities through new experiences. The companies’ goal is increased control of brand reflection, a set of unique services creating a stronger identity in the marketplace and new business models
– How will it change marketing and advertising:
Up until now, advertising has been mainly focused on messaging and creating meaning through stories and narratives
. Content Marketing is all about admitting that meaning is created through much richer contexts and proving that through “meaningful” applications, experiences, mindsets or ways of authoring the content itself. Creating a whole range of events all concentrating and working together to enforce and differentiate the brand in an effort to create more loyal and valuable brand participants.
There are some great blogs on the topic, I personally recommend The Kaiser Edition: The Content Manifesto, who has gone through the trouble of collecting a series of articles from the wider range of the topic, from “content” to “agency 2.0” and “social objects”.