Content Marketing Is The New Way To Get Customers
If you read part one of this two part blog, then congratulations! You now know the many ways not to advertise your brand; simply put, stop advertising and start creating content that brings people to you - wanting more. We even offered insight into first steps to take in adopting content marketing as your primary strategy.
Well, it's now time to offer some solutions to help you become the Master and Commander of content marketing. From videos, photos, podcasts, to blogs, content marketing is a sure fire way to grab your targeted audience's preciously limited time. In this blog, Hollywood Branded reveals three successful content marketing strategies that were major hits with consumers.
Content Marketing Provides Value
It is practically instinctual to turn away, run from, or simply mute an advertisement as soon as it pops up in front of us. This is because it does not provide value to the consumer, with exception to rare instances when the creative team does manage to tell a story that captures interest, and grabs the viewer's attention enough to tune in, and not tune out.
Content Marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online. The first key to understanding content marketing is that it typically has to provide some kind of value, whether that be informative or entertaining. This gives the customer the freedom to choose to engage with your content. Try not to underestimate the power of choice.
One good example of this is Furthermore, an extension of EQUINOX that acts as the premiere destination for fitness and fitness culture. Boasting over 57 thousand followers on Instagram and 93 thousand subscribers on their Youtube, Furthermore is a tour de force of value giving content. With a clear focus on people over brand, Equinox has cleverly created a reflection of itself that rewards its consumers with a branded entourage of clickable interests.
The site’s photos are captivating, and their video content is compelling. The Furthermore website covers all topics from style and nutrition, to science and travel. Providing frequent blog posts and even specially curated music playlists, Furthermore is your fitness best friend with all the cool answers. All Furthermore content is then published and viewed through the Equinox app, on-screen at its gym complexes, and finally through their already established Equinox social media pages. Equinox truly covered all of their content marketing bases with the creation of Furthermore.
Content Marketing Provides Education
By creating content that explains and affirms the existence of your brand, you can help educate otherwise uninterested customers more effectively. There are times when a customer needs more information about a product before they dedicate their dollars to it. It is important to consider developing blog posts and YouTube videos that explain the relevancy and functionality of your brand in their lives. Take for example Google, but specifically what they did in August of 2016.
To unveil the capabilities of using Google Cardboard for a VR (virtual reality) experience, Google crafted a virtual reality adventure that centered around the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Their videos series called “Beyond The Map” transported the viewer into the infamous favelas - the historically impoverished dwellings of the city - and introduced them to cast of ambitious locals.
One video highlighted a teenage boy, Luis, who dreamed of becoming a ballet dancer at the Teatro Municapl. Another video reveals Paola, a young woman who wishes to better humanity with artificial intelligence. Most of the viewing experience is comprised of 360 degree videos catered for the Google Cardboard experience, but anyone can enjoy the full package of content on their personal computers and mobile devices.
These are the key takeaways from the campaign:
- Right timing: The Rio de Janeiro Olympics provided the perfect stage for a visual stunt like this.
- Right feeling: The video series captures universally relatable human characteristics that anyone across the globe can connect with, blending perfectly with the “togetherness” theme of the Olympics.
- Right technology: Google chose to unveil their latest technology NOT with a television ad, but by creating a visual theme park for the entire world to participate and have fun in. “Beyond The Map” provided both information about Google Cardboard and reasons to invest in its services.
Content Marketing Creates Community
Content Marketing forces you to give before you receive, essentially making your company seem like the Santa Claus of amazing free content. The more free and valuable content that you produce, the larger your audience will grow. As your audience blossoms, so does their trust in you. Trust is often overlooked, but it is the key to creating a culture of reciprocity surrounding your brand. This will mean that consumers will eventually want to give back to your brand in any way that they can.
This might include sharing and reposting your content, which is sure to penetrate dozens of new social networks; or, it might even inspire them to buy into your brand. The idea is that they will want to pay you back for all of the free knowledge and entertainment that you have provided.
A great example of this is Ben and Jerry’s. Remarkably, their website is more of a social and political commentary than a gallery of ice cream creations; but, this is the brilliance of their approach. Nestled underneath the Values section of their website resides the Issues We Care About page.
Here you’ll find dozens of articles covering topics such as Racial Justice, LGBT Equality, and Refugees. With blog headlines that read "QUIZ: How Much Do You Know About Climate Change?" and "7 Ways We Know Systemic Racism Is Real," Ben and Jerry’s makes a clear statement to its customers that their ice cream is coming from a company that cares deeply for the safekeeping of all peoples.
Global Head Of Integrated Marketing, Jay Curley, explained the method behind the madness of their unique approach to content marketing in a New York Mag article.
“What we’ve found is that we’re a better ice-cream company because we have values that people can believe in, and we’re able to serve the movements because we come with a different perspective, one of a fun ice-cream company,” Jay Curley (New York Mag, 2017).
A fun and socially woke business model seems to be doing the company justice. Ben & Jerry's business has tripled over the past 15 years. In April 2017, Unilever, which owns Ben & Jerry's, reported that the company grew at double-digit rates, making it Unilever’s fastest growing ice cream. Ben and Jerry’s leads with their values, and their content is reflective of their commitment. Their fan base and consumer base has only grown from their unrelenting stances.
Still Not Convinced? Well, It's Also Cheaper
Google ads are great, but they also cost money each and every time someone looks at them. A blog post, however, takes a few hours to write and will drive traffic to your site for years to come. Not to mention, that blog post will be indexed within Google as a searchable page for your business. If one blog post, video, or podcast were to be published every week for one year, your business would have 52 more pages for customer’s to stumble upon when using Google. Triple it? And watch your SEO and keyword placements of your company soar. You can save so much time and money by utilizing content marketing.
Though these examples are great and are sure to increase your brand's awareness, there are still many different strategies that your company can employ. One such method is through product placement. This is a great way to get your brand seen and heard using the leverage of other people's content (hey - it's still content marketing!), and Hollywood Branded provides dozens of blogs and podcasts to help you along the way.
Check out the blogs our team wrote on the subject:
- 3 Reasons Why Productions Use Product Placement
- 4 Common Myths About Product Placement Debunked
- 10 Surprising Reasons Why Brands Do Product Placement
- 8 Ways To Use Product Placement Assets To Amplify Your Brand Into Sales
- 3 Important Steps In Planning Product Placement Strategy
- Thinking Product Placement Cost Is High (It Isn't!)
And make sure you check out our e-book guide to Product Placement by clicking the image below! It provides insider advice on how you can best leverage content partnerships for your brand.