Sunday, September 27, 2015

Content Marketing - Creating Headlines, Avoiding Clutter

Content Marketing is the buzz word right now. Content Marketing institute defines Content marketing 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."

Rather than talking about content marketing, I'd like to focus on the objective i.e. Profitable customer action. Profitable customer action apart from advertising dollars would mean a purchase. For most high involvement purchases, a lot of content is informational including consumption of reviews (Word of mouth).  In this space you'll find a lot of How To guides, which have been practically done to death by most e-commerce companies. If you start searching for how to guides such as how to buy a refrigerator, a mobile phone etc. you'll find practically every e-commerce company offering one without much difference in quality or presentation of content. Not to mention the ads by Google.

One big challenge is doing such form of content marketing is the presence of clutter. As a consumer you end up asking yourself, "How to figure out, which How to guide should I read?" Similarly in the space of fashion, you'll finds tons of online magazines offering fashion tips, etc. The space of gifting is not much different. As another player in online commerce the instrument of content marketing may not be much useful. You might end up spending money distributing your content, building an audience in order to finally drive transactions (profitable customer action). The long funnel has been one of the reasons most marketers and online shopping companies have not been able to get ROIs through content marketing. Another challenge with content marketing is that most online commerce companies cannot beat the might of media houses in terms of creation and distribution of content. Since creating and distributing content is not the core competence, it essentially leads to costlier content creation and distribution thus leading to costlier acquisition and retention through content marketing.

However there is another form of content. This is not the content that you host on your website or your App. It is the content that resides on influential media portals and is not sponsored on paid for. Most successful marketing campaigns are great stories that make headlines. This is the content that users seek and would like to read. This content is not consumed based on a need but out of habit. This content is essentially a news headline. It also uses the competence of a media house in creation and distribution of content.

Is your brand doing cool things that make headlines? These headlines cut through the clutter and find their way in to the timelines of millions of users who end up sharing it. Doing this consistently means a high recall for your brand. If the associations are built in the right manner, your brand should definitely find its way in to the consideration set during purchase.