Maneesh Sharma Be Human, Not Machines: Content Marketing Tips for 2017 Maneesh Sharma
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With the age of the social media and the emergence of more technology, content marketing is the latest trending technique. Traditional advertising has displayed quick returns over the years, but with the rise of content as means to advertise, marketers are trying to change their ways.
Display advertising has lost popularity due to ad blockers and other technologies that opt out advertising on browsers.
As of August 2015, an approximate of 200 million people use ad blockers on their devices and counting.
Customers have become more inclined not only on brands that are visually appealing but brands that have worthwhile content. Due to this, many companies are now investing in content marketing. Companies have realized that any extravagant marketing automation software or PR campaign won’t be of any use if customers are not engaged and reached. It may be difficult to generate high-quality content, but rest assured that this will be worth it in the long run.
In a study by Neil Patel, a top influencer and entrepreneur, stated that there is at least 7.8 times more traffic in websites that provides quality content than others that don’t.
This means that customers like to be more aware of the products or services that are available and this became a game changer to marketers. Content marketing has been helping businesses succeed as customers continue to rely on their information.
So, what can you do to humanize your content marketing to be more engaging to your customers?
Ever bought a cup of coffee from Starbucks? If yes, then you’d be familiar with their custom of writing your name on the cup and calling out your name once the coffee is ready.
Writing a customer's name on a cup is somewhat similar to content marketing because it makes an active effort to personalize the experience and be relatable to customers.
Several other examples of the personalization are:
- blog posts, interviews or quotes from clients
- infographics or video content calling out to a customer or group
- in-depth journalism through photos
- behind-the-scenes glimpses of the company or employees
These mediums give customers a sense that they are valued and not just consumers that you want to convince to buy your products.
Information is tailored based on the needs of the clients and based on feedback. 56% of marketers believed that personalized content allows for higher engagement rates as stated in a survey by IBM Digital Experience in 2015.
Personalization can be a refreshing experience to customers because you create a direct line of feedback, which is more valued. Comparing this method to automated content, human-generated advertisements will always have better results.
Winning customers’ attention has always been a challenge for marketers. PPCs and ads have been used over the years and were effective. However, increasing expenses has shifted efforts away from board targeting and focused to geo-targeting based on likes, interests, or location. In the long run, we will continue to see a decline in targeted ads that create effective opportunities quality customers.
The rise of social media has led to the diminished effects of traditional marketing and led to the demand for worthwhile content.
Shifting a part of marketing efforts to social media content and geo-targeting there would definitely boost sales for companies since there is a way for customers to interact directly with the company.
Create a Company Voice
With a plethora of content that is available now, content needs to have appeal. Content marketing is human-generated and depending on the branding of the company and the creator, personality will emerge.
One of the dilemmas of businesses that embrace this marketing strategy is that they can get boring content. If it fails to entertain or innovate, it can lead to lesser people availing the services. However, content marketing is versatile and you’ll meet a lot of creative people using the web.
Find content that is fresh and eye-catching to readers. Let’s take BuzzFeed as an example. They publish fresh content that is attractive to young and old consumers.
Buzzfeed noticed that people were consuming content at work. As a result, they created a ‘bored at work’ network, content created specifically to help people get through the working day!
Their content speaks for everyone and this result to a lot of people sharing their content making advertising easier for them. With this articles, customers became engaged and don’t actually simply skim the content.
In a NewsCred Insights post, they stated that timely and relevant content gets more audiences and over time gets brand recognition. Looking at the perspective of customers, boring and uninformative content won’t get much attention if there are other sites that can provide that.
Customer Content Creation
As advertisements and marketing gets more personal, customers end up getting more engaged. This means that customers can learn more about the products they browse and compare it with others. They can leave their suggestions and marketers can have a chance to improve their services. This will give both marketers and customers a new perspective. It can generate more ideas for content marketing.
Customers who patronize services with good content will likely share it on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This will result in businesses getting more attention too!
Consumers are now more aware of the information they share over the web. This has become an issue because when technology improves, thieves also become craftier. However, with data-driven content, businesses can provide an opportunity to educate customers on how their data is being utilized.
As customers become more aware of how their data is being used, they become more confident in sharing their insights. In turn, this makes it easier for businesses to improve their services and build trust.
Over the years, content marketing has been an effective way of selling your products and/or services. Despite many marketers being unsure if they should adapt to this, a lot of studies show its effectiveness and can prove that this is worth a try.
Successful content is human and provides real value to the audience while traditional methods of advertising is less personal and as a result, less engaging to customers.
Content marketing is an essential marketing tactic that continues to cater to small and huge businesses in all types of industries. It is less expensive, customizable, and efficient. Creating unique and compelling content is a very effective way to reach out to consumers in the most personal way that will generate more profit.
What is your favorite example of content marketing? Have you encountered anything that had caught your eye? (Do you read Buzzfeed?) Share your thoughts below.