Everyone is talking about content marketing like it is the new messiah of marketing. Hasn’t marketing communications been producing content for years?
“Marketing communications are messages and related media used to communicate with a market.” The key point of this definition is “communicate with a market.” What type of communication grabs the interest of the market? The behavior of today’s consumers and b to b targets dictates that the communication must evolve and change. As a function, marketing communications can no longer simply rely on press releases, corporate styled marketing brochures and web presence, and pitching their goods to media outlets. Yes, these are still important activities. But if you look at the way most are attracted to information about products and services, brand marketing communication needs a new approach.
Content marketing has become a must for marketing communications. There are those that say say mar comm people have been producing content for years and that is true. But the stylization of the content they have produced is corporate speak and insufficient. Audiences are not motivated by this flavor of content and do not react to produce desired business results. I will get to the change required in a bit.
If you believe that content marketing has been around for years consider what others are saying. Forbes asks the question “Is Content the Future of Marketing?” And another recent article claims “Content Marketing Goes Mainstream.”
So let’s just agree that content marketing has been around for some time, BUT requires a dramatic change if brands want to provoke desired outcomes and measurable results that contribute to their companies’ KPI (key performance indicators). As I have said for a number of years now, brands need to think and produce like a publisher.
This exact mentality was captured well in an article in AdWeek titled “Genuine Brand Publishing Needs to Trump Generic Content Marketing.” There is some great advice provided there. They state, “The first step is to switch the language and change the content marketing moniker to brand publishing. A valuable piece of brand content doesn’t exist in a vacuum, despite what some publishers would have you believe. In fact, content is an effective medium for brands because it maps back to a broader narrative—the story a brand is telling about itself.”
The story – this is the key change. A brand story is not product speak. We see brands getting caught up in this mistake over and over again. And marketing communications must stop this approach because it is turning off their audience more than turning them on.
When you think of brand stories, think about how people use your product/service. How did the brand get it’s start? What are the people like that manufacture the brand and bring it to market? What stories do your users want to tell? Let them tell their stories. How is your brand supporting a particular community? What are special rituals within your company? These are the types of stories that resonate with today’s audience.
If you want to keep your brand top of mind of your potential marketing, tell great stories. Doesn’t everyone want to hear a great story?
How high can you reach? How far can you see? How big can you dream?
Make It Happen,