Let me ask you a straightforward question first.
Do you watch videos on YouTube?
I guess so. Almost, every person who has access to the internet and smart devices use YouTube.
Since you watch videos on YouTube, I have another question for you (I hope you don’t mind).
Do you also get annoyed when any random guy suddenly appears on the screen while watching your favourite video and tries to sell his stuff?
I understand what it feels like.
Just like you, everyone impatiently waits to hit the ‘Skip Ads’ button.
But the truth is that this is one type of marketing (paid advertising).
And people are paying hundreds and thousands of bucks to irritate you and also to promote, get leads, or even sell some kinds of stuff.
From traditional marketing to digital age marketing, interruption is always there.
At least with the help of modern age technologies like retargeting, niche audience selection, people now mostly get interrupted by the advertisement that they might be interested in.
But! it still doesn’t stop irritating you.
Wait a little more. I will show you how to fix this exactly.
You may have heard of the ‘4Ps of marketing’.
Well, I am not against this at all, but the thing that hurts me is that where the customer’s point of view is.
I mean every company tries to spread messages about the mission statement, product offers, or even price.
At traditional marketing, everything is about either company or product or even service.
No one talks about what customers want to hear and solutions to their pain-points.
Traditional marketing is based on interruption. Interrupt to get attention; this is why it makes it hard to convert people.
Nobody likes to be sold anything.
That is where content marketing takes place, and this is what you must care about.
Because content marketing works by educates or entertains customers instead of interrupting.
So, how does content marketing actually works like?
I just love how Joe Pulizzi describes content marketing.
Here it is.
Content Marketing is all about creating and distributing valuable, compelling, and relevant content consistently and strategically to attract loyal customers and delight existing ones.
Sounds simple, huh?
It actually is.
So, why is it so effective as compared to traditional marketing?
The difference is in the approach of marketing.
Let me show you a case study.
Jyske banks (One of the largest banks in Denmark) built their audience by content marketing.
They used to spend thousands and millions of dollars on sponsorship. But that didn’t help them to build an audience.
Instead of keeping investing millions of dollars on sponsorship, they decided to launch Jyske bank Television.
What they did was creating high-quality content (valuable, relevant, and useful).
They created content to educate and teach young consumers to become better financial students. All of that information was for free just to help its target customers.
No sales pitch. No product or service promotion. These are important but not at the beginning.
Jyske bank keeps doing this amazing job for a few years (That is why consistency plays a crucial role).
Handpicked article for you: Content markeing ROI
And guess what?
They end up creating a highly valuable audience. On top of that, Jyske television also got tons of offers from the organizations that they were looking to sponsorship, to become a media partner.
The approach of communicating with their audience just changed everything for the Jyske banks.
First, they used to pay millions of dollars to the organization for sponsorship. But later on, they end up getting media collaboration offers from those organizations.
Isn’t it amazing?
What they did was simple. They tried to help their customers.
By teaching about financial management, stocks, Jyske banks managed to build such a huge and valuable audience.
Content marketing helped Jyske Banks to get more visibility, and now they don’t have to spend millions of dollars on advertising.
Yes, Content marketing is a marathon, but organizations that have implemented it strategically know the value of it.
Okay, now you might have a clear idea about how powerful content marketing can be.
Now, let’s talk about one misconception that people have in their minds.
A few days ago, I was talking to one of relative who runs a B2C business. I discussed the opportunity of leveraging content marketing.
Then he said one thing that is “Content is everywhere. How can information helps in attracting customers, where information is overloaded on the web”.
And this is what I have replied.
‘Information overload’ is not a problem but not understanding and defining your audience is.
Just ask some business owners or startup founder these following questions(If they are into any form of content marketing)
- Who is your target audience?
- What pain-points are they going to solve through content?
- Which type of content to produce and why?
- Which platform to choose to distribute content and why?
Let‘s ’try to figure out why most of the companies/organizations don’t get a significant result even after using some form of content marketing.
1. Not defining a specific niche
It’s been said that “If you try to serve everyone, you’ll end up serving no one”.
Getting as specific as possible is the key to get identified even in this information overload scenario.
Let me cite an example.
Assume you’re 25 years old from India, and you want to grow your career in AI, but you don’t have any basic concept of AI. One more thing is that you’re more comfortable with the Hindi language.
Now tell me which one you will choose from the following and why?
ABC Institution is offering an AI course.
XYZ Institution is offering an AI course in the Hindi language.
Even better, MNO Institution is offering an AI course in the Hindi language, designed only for the people who don’t have any basic knowledge.
So who you are going to choose?
Yes, the MNO institution is a clear winner because it is designed only for a specific group of people.
Even though there are thousands of courses on AI, MNO institute can easily differentiate themselves from the competition.
But most of the organizations don’t have such type of specific audience. They simply try to attract everyone but end up getting no one.
No matter which industry you are in, you’re going to get some kind of competition.
But the only way to beat the competition is by staying out of the competition.
And this can be done by becoming best within a super-specific audience, even though you’re the only one.
Today’s fact: There is an online course on ‘yoga for back pain Relief’ and more than 4700 students got enrolled.
That is how specific you should be or even more.
2. Do you really understand what your customers want?
Targeting a specific niche, and having a well understanding of customers’ pain point, both compliments each other.
You just cannot ignore one.
So what not to do?
How can anyone not take inspiration from Proctor and gamble, when it comes to an understanding of what customers value most?
Proctor and gamble were selling soap and detergent. Now clearly, their target audience was women who build households.
But this is not all. You need to deep dive into what your audience needs.
Here’s what they did.
They tried to understand the behaviours and need of their customers; in this case, their targeting audience were women.
They also found that their target audience, women are mostly busy doing works.
They hardly get enough time to relax, but when they got, they wanted to be entertained.
So the company decided to attract its customers’ attention by giving them entertainment. It started with television shows with rich storylines and characters that they can relate to.
And ROI was even better.
They end up getting sponsorship, more attention from the women. And as a result, more started getting more revenue from selling soap and detergent.
I am sure most of the business would have stopped thinking after considering women as a target audience.
There is more than finding your target audience. This is about what they care about, what problems they have.
Content marketing can bring so much value to a business but consistency must be there.
3. Find your why in content marketing
The most of it[content marketing] is that everything you do must have why.
Ask company owners why do they have a business blog?
Why some organizations spend like crazy on gaining followers on social media?
Is it because everyone does this in this way?
If it is so, then you’re also going to get what everybody gets, less effective result.
Remember the definition of content marketing?
There is a word called creating and distributing content strategically.
But the fact is most of the organizations don’t have any proper strategy.
Let me show you what I found after surveying almost 50 people.
Question 1: Do you plan your content for more than a month?
Lesson: Almost 6 out of 10 people do not have any content strategy. What they do is simply create content. There is no business point of view behind their content.
Question 2: What type of content do you produce the most for your business/freelancing/blog?
Lesson: It might not be very accurate, but it gives a rough idea about the type of content people are making. Organizations or companies focus on creating those types of content that they are comfortable with.
Question 3: Do you use content marketing to attract new clients or delight existing customers?
Lesson: Almost 4 out of 10 people don’t even try content marketing. Even out of 62.5 %, most of them do not have any long-term content strategy.
So, not knowing why is one of the reasons behind the ineffectiveness of the content marketing campaign.
The best way to do this is to know what type of content to focus on? And most importantly, why?
Is it because most of your customers consume content through that format?
Is it helpful to choose a specific format for educating people?
Why behind every content plan must be identified?
It must align with the customer’s point of view, not with the company or product.
More than a decade ago Seth Godin said that “content marketing is the only marketing that’s left”.
And it is still so much relevant and true that traditional marketing is shifting from interruption marketing to content marketing.
The rule is simple. Create content to help customers. Forget about company and products.
Consistency and strategic approach in content creation and distribution will help to build your own audience.
Everyone is creating content, but you need to create content to provide value to only your customers. It could be a group of 100 people or 1000 or even more.
Last but not least.
The more targeted audience you choose, the better you will understand their pain point.
The more you help your audience by solving their problems, the more loyal they would be to your brand.
Once you build loyal customers, you’ll see exponential growth.
And loyal customers are the best marketers that you can afford for your brand.– Rafiqul
So, are you ready to leverage content marketing?
Ask me your query or give your feedback in the comment section.
I will reply to your comment for sure.
Thank you for reading this.
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Sk Rafiqul Islam is a content marketing practitioner with 3+ years of practical experience. He spends most of his time helping businesses to build a loyal audience with content marketing. He is also running content marketing VIP, a weekly marketing newsletter. In his free time, he loves reading books and playing football.