Visualise yourself as Brand A that sells a consumer offering — say, a mobile phone. You have successfully led research and innovation initiatives to develop unmatched features at cost-effective price points. Your versatile product has features such as a fingerprint sensor, smooth UI, near-field communication, 4G technology, high-definition dual cameras with selfie flash and bokeh mode, ultra-long lasting battery life, exhaustive storage space — basically, everything that a mobile phone user could possibly wish for. And when you make the market foray with your product, you simply announce all of your novel features across multiple marketing channels.
You might think your approach is ideal. But imagine yourself as a customer who wants to buy a new smartphone — something that you do not buy very often, which is why you have decided to research online before making the purchase. You are in midst of your research when you see a link: “Brand A launches its 4G smartphone”. There is another link right below it which says, “Brand B launches feature-intensive 4G smartphones at a cost-effective price”. Which link are you more likely to open? Nothing has changed, only the content.
Successful content marketing
There is hardly any doubt about whether a product lacking in terms of value proposition can be marketed. It simply cannot be. Even if it is, the marketing effort will only work on the initial set of customers. The brand value will decrease later on, for the product is destined to fail eventually.
Conversely, a product that has the desired value proposition and is not marketed right will certainly fail. This explains the need for effective marketing, which in our case is content marketing. We are going to discuss the same, but first, a question: how will you ensure the success of a fashion outlet in your neighbourhood?
Obviously, your neighbourhood (read: your target audience) has the biggest impact on the success of your fashion outlet. Content marketing is not much different from business strategy. You have to develop an understanding about who you are addressing and which approach is going to be the most effective. Conduct an analysis of your target audience and make it as comprehensive as possible.
Take the support of additional (but reliable) research. Profile your target audience appropriately and develop content for the media — digital, conventional or both — that is most optimal.
Make your content as crisp as possible, but also take cognisance that despite the axiom being absolutely accurate, content has dynamically changed over a period of time. This explains the need for bringing dynamism within your content. Furthermore, you must directly generate value through your content. Seasoned marketers are aware what their audience is interested in and deliver precisely the same.
Finally, if content is the king, engagement is surely the queen. What is exciting is that this queen needs attention. You must develop engaging and actionable content. Otherwise, you might end up stocking a billion drafts that will sooner or later fade into digital oblivion. Engage your audience in a manner that subtly creates a desire to fulfil the objective that you have in mind — be it making a purchase, filling a form, sharing, interacting, browsing more or anything else. Try and become the knowledge house of the field that you are catering to. It will make you more relevant among your target audience.
The author is founder, Pulp Strategy