That's a quote by Seth Godin. And when he puts it like that, there’s not much left to argue.
Content marketing is informational, entertaining and non-intrusive. It has evolved over the years and gotten better as brands learn what works for their audience.
But in this constant evolution, the definition of ‘content’ has expanded to include many newer formats, it has become a lot more liberal and a lot more focussed- all at the same time. At any given point of time, the audience is being exposed to thousands of messages from competing brands. Getting their attention doesn’t just mean being able to catch up on trends, it means being able to be the ones that start them off.
When pictures do the talking
They say that the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text. That’s a pretty conclusive number to urge brands to tell more visual stories or find ways to tell the same stories, visually.
One of the easiest ways to notice this change, is to look at how print ads have changed over the years.
This 60’s print ad for a television is verbose to say the least. It carefully elaborates on the merits of the machine, and that’s what makes up the ad. At least, most of it.
Here’s how they advertise their televisions, today.
Letting data drive the story
Creativity in content can never be compromised. But what makes content even better is creating content that’s backed by solid data. There are a number of free and paid platforms that help marketers get valuable insights about what exactly their audience is interested in, and where to find them.
As Carly Fiorina rightly puts it,
It’s not just about creating content, it’s about building a content experience
Brands have realised the importance of building conversations and content around their areas of expertise to stay relevant in the minds of their consumers. This means creating content centered around high energy videos if you’re a camera manufacturer like GoPro or creating beautiful stories about the latest in the world of technology if you’re an innovation expert like GE.
While established brands like RedBull and Coke have been running full fledged media houses churning out great content since years, smaller brands are picking up on the need to have more content- both in terms of quality and quantity.
Recently, the mattress manufacturer Casper, rolled out their content marketing destination ‘Van Winkle’s’, dedicated to everything there is to know about sleep. The site is filled with articles, stories and snippets about the world of sleep.
We’ve got to agree, when it comes to sleep- they have it covered. And that’s quite a witty name too!
These changes in the way brands connect with their audience bear true testimony to the fact that the brands that succeed in the future will be the ones that are open to change and willing to listen.
So whether that means finding new forms of content to connect with your audience, or turning the spotlight on the audience itself- the challenge lies in a brand’s ability to be agile. And to constantly evolve, just like the content it creates!