I recently did a Google search for “definition of content marketing” which seems to be a growing part of our business vocabulary. I got more than 36 million hits. But it’s not that complicated when you think about it, because consumers will only hear, see, and interact with messages that have relevant and valuable content for them.
It is what I call the WIITY (what is important to you) Principle. SO, content marketing, then, is simply developing and disseminating consistently relevant and valuable content about your business that can solve customers’ problems through educating, entertaining and informing. Said another way, content marketing is using information and entertainment to promote your business. Think about Infomercials, the Butterball turkey hotline, tutorials on YouTube, or even the Dummies for… book series.
Effective content marketing has five essential characteristics. I call them the 5-Cs:
- Customer-Centric.The information must be compelling for consumers. To be compelling, the content can never be average or mediocre; it can’t be the same-old-same-old. Compelling means that the content is exciting, fresh, innovative, powerful, and personalized for that target market.
- Connectivity. Your customers are coming to believe that the ability to connect to your business 24/7 anywhere is a basic human right. This undeniable need means that content has to be supported by all things Internet.
- Community. The advent of digital and social media has redefined the notion of community from geographical to more in line with being a group of people who share the same interest of experiences. Your content has to help form a community of followers and advocates for your brand.
- C-Suite Champion. Businesses with successful content marketing strategies have someone who oversees the content marketing strategy – i.e. had the big brand message picture.
- Choice Generation. Businesses can’t just think of customers in terms of characteristic like age, gender, or location. Because of converging demographic and technological forces, traditional segmentation lines are blurred and segmentation has to be more lifestyle driven. As one social media guru says, in the future, we will not find the news, the news will find us.
The biggest impact of digital or social media on a brand’s marketing strategy is that the business had lost control of the brand’s message. In an ever-changing consumer-centric media world, consumers can choose to be – or not to be – connected to your business and to each other anytime and anywhere. And they can choose to provide new content about your brand 24/7. Your challenge is to regain your brand’s message through King Kontent.
Your bottom line will thank you!