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Let’s talk content: 4 benefits to content marketingDate Posted: 11 September, 2018
We know, we know; everyone and their dog seems to be putting out content right now. ‘Why content marketing’ isn’t a question uttered all that much anymore, with podcasts such as the mighty (and now sadly ended) This Old Marketing helping put that issue to rest.
The truth is however that there are still plenty among us who are a little unsure about the benefits to content marketing for brands, and even more people struggle with the how. Despite being as old as the hills, with The Furrow Magazine by John Deere, launched in 1895, just one famous early example of successful content marketing, it’s no easy task to plan and execute effectively.
Brands in our own consumer tech industry gain just as much as anyone else from having an effective strategy in place. So, just for you, we’ve outlined a few of the main benefits to content marketing, with some top examples chucked in for good measure. Just in case you need a little more convincing.
1) Content marketing develops your brand awareness along with the right associations
To increase brand awareness, investing in services such as PR and social media are a must to get your story out there to the right people. Including content marketing in the mix helps take this to the next level and there are a number of key reasons why.
Firstly, regularly producing relevant and consistent search-optimised content, such as blog posts, videos and infographics, is a great way to make sure you’re popping up in relevant online queries. Intercom’s blog is a good place to start, as the company has a steady flow of quality content for its audience (230 articles in 2017 alone), all of which show off its services and are designed to be eye-catching and reader-friendly.
Secondly, a successful content marketing strategy is an incredibly effective way to position your brand as an expert in its field and develop the right associations. This is the discovery phase for new people to your brand, and you want to start building some authority.
Let’s turn our eyes (or ears) to Land Rover’s Discovery Adventures podcast. In this series, the car manufacturer tells a number of interesting stories focussed on specific UK destinations. Exciting and innovative, it’s a fantastic example of a brand using content to promote the right image to both its current and potential customers, as well as providing a reason for that audience to return again and again to its channels.
Needless to say, it came as no surprise when the series came away with gold for branded content at the 2018 British Podcast Awards.
We can’t help but also flag the video Apple created for its HomePod in March 2018. Both product advert and music video rolled into one, it featured FKA Twigs getting freaky to Anderson Paak’s ‘Till It’s Over’. Racking up over 14 million views on YouTube as of September 2018, it’s another instance of content being used effectively by a leading consumer tech brand, in this instance strengthening the tie between Apple and a cool, modern soundtrack.
2) Content marketing drives the right consumer through your door
It’s hardly a secret that a business trying to cater to everyone is never going to succeed. It’s all about focussing on what you do well and pushing out relevant content.
Let’s imagine for a minute that there’s an audio brand that makes high-end headphones and speakers aimed at the discerning listener. It won’t want any traffic from casual users looking for a cheap product to use on the move, but rather real audiophiles with cash to burn on premium gear.
One way of doing this is to look beyond your blog and traditional social channels, and instead start thinking about what other kinds of content your target audience engages with. For our audio brand, it might be producing a video series informing its followers of other high-quality tech, such as laptops or TVs, that they should be buying.
Although not strictly audio, the idea here is that the high-end tech angle will speak to the sort of people the brand wants to attract, promoting its name in the process to a wider audience.
The Land Rover podcast above is also an example of this point in action. Creating a ‘shareable family experience that encouraged adventure and interest in the Great British landscape’, it is reaching out to people that might not initially be looking for a podcast on cars. Instead, it’s producing content that talks to a wider, though still relevant, audience, and encourages them to think about Land Rover in a new light.
With the latest research demonstrating that more people are listening to podcasts than ever, this is increasingly seeming like a wily move from the car manufacturer, and evidence of a brand producing content for a specific audience.
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3) Content marketing builds a relationship with your audience
The examples that best show the benefits to content marketing are when a brand creates content its audience has an emotional reaction to or a real-life need for. This approach builds trust. Whether it’s Microsoft and its inspiring Story Labs or the Land Rover example above, a successful content marketing strategy doesn’t just bring in the right people, but it starts to turn them into fans.
And it comes as no surprise that developing trust has very tangible value. According to Cohn & Wolfe’s 2017 Authentic Brand Study, globally 91% of consumers said they will recommend brands they trust to friends and family.
Just for something to aspire to, take a look at Fujitsu’s I – Global Intelligence for the CIO website. The aim is that the site ‘provides exclusive insights on leading ICT trends and their impact on global businesses and society’, uploading a range of articles and interviews to provide its audience with information on the industry.
With nearly 11,000 unique monthly users according to Hypestat, and interviews with big players such as Jay Crotts, CIO of Shell, the website is increasingly becoming an authority among a very specific and targeted audience. More to the point, however, it is also increasing that distinct audience of CIOs’ trust in Fujitsu as a leader in the space.
4) Content marketing turns your fans into customers
This is, ultimately, the most important metric for most brands doing some kind of content marketing.
You may well know the old marketing saying, which says that people need to see or hear your marketing message seven times before they buy. How much truth there is to that is up for debate, though what’s certain is they will almost always engage with your content more than once before they make a purchase.
This is why content marketing should always be consistent and relevant, as you continue to build up the trust among your potential audience to the point where they want to buy a product or service from you.
We need only to look at the example of Red Bull. Admittedly not a consumer tech brand, Red Bull is a great example of a company reaping the benefits to content marketing and using it to seriously increase its sales.
From regular blog uploads on everything sports, culture and lifestyle to documentaries covering extreme sports, Red Bull’s content has dragged it away from being just another energy drink company and positioned it as invested in a much wider range of interests. Which, in turn, has drawn in a much larger audience.
Now we know that not every brand can create its own media house. The numbers however speak for themselves when considering the value of this association, as Red Bull is currently the energy drink with the largest share of the US market.
Not bad going, especially considering Red Bull Sugar Free and Red Bull Blue Edition also feature in the top 10.
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Like this? Great! Next, check out: Our guide to the latest social media trends for consumer tech brands