As marketers, PR professionals, sales professionals or even consumers, we all know, understand and have discussed that ‘content is king’. There are books, blogs, discussions and workshops on how one can generate meaningful content for content marketing and create value out of it. In fact as I write this blog I have a bestselling book on content strategy resting on my table, ready to teach me how I can make the most of the content I create. How do I create content that is shareable, if marketed in a right manner?
But let us take a step back and get into the reason for this fuss over content marketing. Why is it one of the most important and commonly discussed topics in our field today? I have penned down a few reasons which I feel make content marketing one of the most ‘in’ things today:
- Fading importance of Press Releases:
All of us who work in communications know very well that the press releases we create and disseminate are quickly losing their significance among its stakeholders. We still tirelessly create that one page document if we have an announcement to share although we are very well aware that the chances of it being ‘even read’ by our audience are bleak. That is what brings us to brainstorm on newer ways to make noise about the information we want to share.
- Customers v/s telemarketers:
When was the last time you actually spoke to a bank insurance salesman or a credit card sales representative? Don’t we all either ignore those calls, politely decline them or be curt and sometimes even rude in expressing the fact that we do not want them to call us? Customers today have very less time on their hands and are also knowledgeable on the kind of product &services they want for their various needs.
- Customers v/s SMS marketing:
Even after activating DND services I get at least 10 messages from marketers on a daily basis. Not only is it annoying when the phone keeps beeping but I also have to make the extra effort in deleting those messages from my phone which certainly isn’t a very productive task.
- Rise of social media:
Social media is not the only reason to make content marketing the ‘in’ thing but it certainly is one of the biggest. People spend most of their day surfing through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram and other such platforms. This behaviour has enabled a two-way conversation between a brand and a customer. The customer no longer likes a brand to be silent to her/his reactions. They seriously demand a conversation and engagement in order to be able to relate to them. This engagement happens through creative content and its marketing.
- Rise of bloggers and influencers:
With the rise of social media we have also seen the rise of influencers and bloggers. Various brands deliver content to their end-audience through this channel as they bring a ‘trust value’ along with them.
- Limited importance and usability of websites:
While websites are a must, even for the smallest brand in existence today, it is not very useful to convert the site traffic into sales. Websites are used to provide pieces of information or talk about the basics of a company.
- Customers as loyalists and brand ambassadors:
Engagement is a magical word in the world of marketing today! If a brand can make easy and friendly engagement with their customers then it is easy to turn them into loyalists. Social media also enables these loyalists turn into brand ambassadors as it makes sharing of content easy and fun.
- Two-way conversation between brand and customer:
Like I have mentioned above, two way conversations help brands bring a customer to their side. While social media enables this behaviour, a brand would not be able to make these conversations if they are not interesting enough.
- Connecting with the customers:
Creative content helps a brand build an emotional connection with the consumer. If a consumer is emotionally inclined to a brand it is not rocket science to know that he is going to stick on to a brand for a long time and in some cases even forever.
- Re-usability of content:
Once a company is able to come up with a creative theme or a line of thought for their brand communication, it is easy for them to re-hash that content for various platforms. But it is important to remember that the idea can only be reused on a different platform if it is customised according to the nature of the same.
The 10 points discussed above are, according to me, the main factors that make content marketing a must in the world of marketing today. Feel free to drop other reasons I may have missed in the comments section below.
– Radhika Nandwani
Radhika is the Corporate Communications Advisor at Dell’s Performance Analytics Group. She started her career in 2011, with one of the leading public relations firms of India – MSLGROUP, specialising in technology brands. The campaigns executed by her while at MSL, have won several public relations industry awards including SABRE and PR Week Asia. In her last role, she was the founding team member and the marketing communications manager at SCoRe. Radhika is an English graduate and holds a Master’s degree in Mass Communication. She loves reading and is passionate about gender equality, food and Bollywood. She can be reached at @RadhikaNandwani on Twitter and here on LinkedIn.