Connecting with today’s consumer through the ever-growing diversity of media and message delivery options can be extremely challenging. And while there is still a place for the “hard sell” of advertising that delivers an overt sales message, marketers are increasingly using a more subtle and indirect “soft sell” that provides relevant information and connects with audiences on a deeper emotional level. Research shows that a softer sell is often more persuasive, and that’s where “content marketing” shines.
Content marketing involves providing information your audience members value so they can make independent or more informed decisions. Instead of promoting your offering directly (hard sell), you deliver consistent, meaningful content that enlightens, engages or motivates your audience (soft sell), helping build loyalty to your brand as well as moving people to action.
Researchers say that 80 percent of business decision-makers prefer to get information about companies through content rather than ads. That content can be delivered through almost any online or offline channel — websites, blogs, emails, white papers, case studies, videos, newsletters, company magazines — all allowing you to tell your story or promote your brand in an engaging way.
The success of content marketing for organizations large and small is well documented in “100 Content Marketing Examples,” available to download from the website of the Content Marketing Institute http://contentmarketinginstitute.com. Here are a few condensed examples:
At my agency, Crosby Marketing, content is king. Here’s an example of how we make it work.
The results? This content strategy drove a 33% increase in traffic to state donor registration sites, a 1,500% increase in Facebook “Likes,” and record levels of sharing via social media. Most important, the campaign is adding to the more than 100 million registered donors in the United States, helping to save thousands of lives annually.
To learn more about the power of content marketing, see the many case histories at www.crosbymarketing.com.