Content marketing is the the marketing strategy that engages potential consumers with informational, relevant, and interesting media that draws attention to products or services, but does not have a traditional sales pitch. Traditional marketing utilizes advertisements that are consciously biased and are created with the sole purpose of driving sales revenue. Content is successful when consumers are interested in the content media, regardless of whether or not they actually make a purchase after engaging with the media. The internet has made content marketing the most widespread and successful strategy for branding and expanding a company’s visibility, which has led to content creation being incorporated into the core curriculum of the best online marketing degree programs in the world. Let’s look at some of the different media forms that content can take, and some of the successful examples of those forms:
Television advertisements are expensive investments that require high-quality video production and airtime that has to be purchased. However, high-quality videos are getting easier to make as professional grade equipment becomes cheaper. This has allowed companies to utilize videos that they are hoping will be spread on the internet as opposed to being shown during high profile television times like the Super Bowl. One example of successful video content was Pepsi’s series of undercover sports stars who dressed up as normal elderly citizens to surprise the public when they showed off their skills. The most famous example is Kyrie Irving’s elderly alter-ego Uncle Drew, who became so popular that they are making a movie about his character. The Uncle Drew movie can therefore be seen as a large-scale content marketing video. To become a successful video content creator, you could consider an online digital marketing certificate.
Infographics are made up of statistical research that gets dressed up with visuals that help elucidate the data, making the numbers more meaningful and accessible to consumers. They usually come in the form of vertical graphics with charts, graphs, and salient numbers. Infographics support the theory behind content marketing, as they provide consumers with verifiable and unbiased statistics that allow them to make the decision of whether they should buy something or not themselves. They empower consumers by giving them knowledge in an engaging manner, as opposed to empty, handpicked numbers, like when commercials say “four out of five doctors recommend our product to their patients.” Many infographics show opposing companies that consumers can purchase from, like this infographic that analyzes the colors that marketing campaigns choose in different industries. Successful infographics can be shared for many years, and their creators are well compensated for their effort.
Podcasts are becoming a popular alternative to the radio, so having a free podcast has become an effective way to get in the ear of a specific demographic. Podcasts must be sought after by their listeners, so it is important that content podcasts have information that consumers can actually use. One of the major reasons that podcasts have become great avenues for content is because they are very affordable to make. Professional recording equipment can be purchased for low sums, making podcasts minimal investments for a marketing budget. One example of a successful content podcast is “So You Wanna Sell on eBay…” which talks about tips and traps of selling items on eBay. Another example is The New York Times’ “The Daily” podcast, which takes an in-depth look at some of the Times’ headline stories. If you want to learn how to create successful podcasts that reach intended audiences, research some of the best Communications Degree programs in the country.
Books or Periodicals
The world of content creation has become the de facto online marketing tool of the digital age, but content expands to print media as well. The printed word remains one of the best ways to hold someone’s attention, but to do so they need to be extremely engaging. Politicians frequently raise their brand awareness by releasing biographical books during campaign season. Barack Obama released a number of successful books, such as “The Audacity of Hope”, that allowed him to discuss his policy ideas at length, while simultaneously raising his public profile. Major brands have their own periodical publications that aren’t just catalogues of products and services, but contain neutral articles and information about the context that their products might be used in. Perhaps the oldest example of content marketing is John Deere’s magazine, “The Furrow”, which was launched in 1895 to provide farmers information on how to make their farms more profitable. Another example of a content periodical are the alumni newsletters that colleges and universities often send out to keep their alumni up to date with the activities of the school. To learn about and create print content yourself, you could research some of the best marketing departments in the world.