You use the words ‘content’ and ‘marketing’ so often you don’t even hear the words any more. Over the past few years, you’ve increasingly found yourself putting them together, referring to ‘content marketing’ as a thing you’re thinking about, and doing. You may even be able to articulate the difference between ‘content marketing’ and ‘native advertising’. Still, you’re just not sure you need to invest in a robust content marketing effort. I don’t blame you. I might have even felt the same once. Content Marketing represents a change, and change is hard.
In olden times, (pre iPhone) we didn’t ‘consume content.’ We didn’t even say ‘content.’ We read the newspaper in the morning over a cup of instant coffee, went to work, came home, ate, and eventually turned on the television set to watch a situational comedy or (on those nights when we felt especially erudite) read a French novel over a cup of mulled wine.
In those days, we read or watched (what we now call consuming content) in those blocks of time reserved for that activity. Now we spend every free moment consuming content on our phones, tablets, and computers.
For brands, content mania has opened up spectacular opportunities to tell stories and articulate core values. In the past, we only interacted with brands through 30-second ads during Perfect Strangers commercial breaks. We resented the interruption (you never knew what Balki would say next) and we didn’t care for ads. Now we interact with brands through social media, YouTube, and brand microsites that unfurl a bonanza of content – little of which could safely be labeled ‘advertising.’
Now we have Content Marketing.
Our preferred media outlets of yore simply can’t keep up with our appetite for content. That’s left a yawning void through which brands are sprinting. From long-form thought leadership pieces to rap videos about frozen lemonade, the world’s biggest brands are increasingly providing the content we consume. In the process, they’re building an awareness of their brand values and services and ultimately driving us to profitable action.
And at 15Four we’re darn glad about it. We’ve been making content, building microsites, and leveraging social media channels for years. And the more brands that jump onboard the content marketing ship (and make no mistake – that ship is cruising) the more chances we have to tell stories, build a home for those stories, and get eyes on them.
But you’re still not sure about content marketing. It’s a longer sales play then ads, and you just don’t feel like making a video or writing an article that isn’t focused on an explicit sales pitch. Or maybe you think your brand just isn’t big enough. But no matter how big or small your brand, content marketing is no longer an option. Your absence from the conversation is noticed by your prospects, and appreciated by your competition. We want to tell your stories, and the world wants to hear them.
So stop waiting. Clean the newspaper print off your fingers, shut off your 16” television set, and join the world of content marketing. We’ve got a lot of great content to create before that societal collapse. So when you are sure about content marketing (and we both know it’s time for you to be sure), you’ll let us know.