Content Marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of material — typically online — that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services. I like to think of it as a soft sell...a way for you to remind customers, donors, and audiences that you're out there, so that when they're ready to buy, donate, volunteer, or hear music, they will think of you.
I first became aware of content marketing about a decade ago. My realtor had been emailing me frequently with a list of for-sale homes in the area. (Smart strategy — easier to keep a customer than get a new one.) But then I got an email that grabbed my attention. It wasn't a list of homes — instead, the email was rife with ways to take care of the house you already own. How to keep your heating costs low; how to clear your rain spout. Hmm. I scrolled down to see the listings, but nope, not a one. Just a small tag at the bottom that let me know he had plenty of properties to show, and that if I wanted a list of them to CLICK HERE -- on a link that took me right to his website. Smart.
Content marketing doesn't always have to provide information.
You can tell a story, offer some fun, or just let people know what you've been working on. One of the stock photo companies that web designers count on sends out an email every week with links to articles on how to be a improve a site's look and feel. One of the newsletters I subscribe to is a local graphic designer's. It's not much more than sketches from whatever she's been working on; it's interesting to see her process. Why does this work? Well, next time I need to hire an outside designer to help with one of my projects I'll likely think of her first.
And content marketing also includes some "outside the box" strategies. One of the best examples is Coke's personalized bottles — the product didn't change, but now, Coke was personal. People who NEVER drank Coke were looking for their name on the bottles. People collected bottles with their family's names.
I had a meeting with a client and noticed two bottles on his desk, one with his name, and one with his girlfriend's. "Corny, I know," he said. Still. "Do you drink Coke?" I asked him. Nope, he is a diabetic. Now there's a customer Coke would never had gotten were it not for a campaign like this one.
(Want more examples? Just google "Content Marketing" —there's a host of sites that have gathered up some of the best.)
What about YEP? Well, we send out a newsletter once a month -- it's just one way we utilize content marketing. In it, there's not a sales pitch to be found. It just has lots of good marketing ideas, some cool or different marketing we've noticed recently, and always something we hope will get a laugh. See for yourself. Subscribe to it today.