You’ve heard it said that “Content is king.” And it’s true in the sense that this type of marketing is dominating, and consumers are looking to relate to brands in a way that is more personal than ever before.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
It’s a new way of thinking about marketing and advertising. Instead of pushing out products in a salesy way, you start to craft a story around your brand, what you stand for, and your product or service offerings.
Why Content Marketing Rules
Content marketing is more consumer-centric. And it’s becoming the way of the world. Hubspot reports that over 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing. Instead of pitching products or services, brands are providing truly relevant and useful content to prospects and customers to help them solve their issues, entertain them, or educate them.
In a way, it’s a bit like a using a back door to reach your customer rather than the front door of traditional TV/billboard/radio, which can feel noisy. But content isn’t only good for the consumer—it’s good for your bottom line.
Content is engaging—whether it’s a professional, informative white paper passed among associates on LinkedIn or a listicle about top ways to use a new product shared among friends on Facebook. And when your customers feel engaged with your brand, they turn into subscribers, and subscribers turn into customers. And happy customers become brand advocates—and they can drive sales.
How to Make It “Reign”
Wondering what kind of content makes sense for your brand? As a thought-starter, the primary types of media used in content marketing are blogs, videos, infographics, case studies, e-books, whitepapers, checklists, and interviews. Your audience and goals will really determine what content makes sense—but an active output of content (even if it’s recycled) can establish your brand as a thought leader and storyteller.
There are several approaches you can take to establish your content marketing strategy:
- Segmenting content (and even topic) by your audiences. The more tailored content can be, the more relevant it will be to that audience.
- Recycling and refreshing old content that is more evergreen. No one says everything has to be brand new all the time. (Just ensure that your content is updated and not stale.)
- Publishing content using various media channels. Select channels depending on what’s appropriate for the tone and goals of your brand.
Pro Tip: One very helpful tool is a content calendar, which allows you to plan for and schedule your pieces throughout the year. Perhaps you orient the calendar topically, or seasonally, or even in conjunction with events or trade shows you’re attending. This will also ensure you can plan for resources to produce the pieces in a timely manner.
An Example of Content Marketing Royalty
A few brands have truly mastered the art of storytelling through content. One that does this especially well is Chick-fil-A. Although it has the added bonus of rabid, chicken-loving fans, it uses creative content to make its brand about more than just selling sandwiches.
One example is its blog post “Tweet Art,” which transformed funny fan tweets into illustrations. Or when it introduced a series of recipe videos crafted by its in-house chefs, enabling fans to create their own delectable feasts at home. Or a more recent series of easy meals to help families get creative with their Chick-fil-A food during quarantine called “Nightly Nuggets.” All of this activity has resulted in 8.5 million likes and subscribers to its blog The Chicken Wire.
Bottom Line: Content is not just a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have in a world where skepticism around advertising is rampant, and consumers expect to be able to relate to the brands they love in new and exciting ways. Once you figure out the story you want to tell about your brand, the possibilities are endless. If content is king, you want to rule the kingdom.