Axonn Media's MD Alan Boyce presented this talk at the Elite Business Event in April 2014. He discussed content marketing: why it is more than just the latest buzzword, why businesses should be doing it and what they need to do to make it work for them.
Content marketing works because begins from a different point of departure from most other kinds of marketing. Content marketing is different because it treats its audience as an equal partner in a dialogue, rather than a passive recipient - a “mark” to be taken advantage of or sold to.
A lot of what used to happen under the general heading of SEO – and the whole of PPC advertising – is based on the objective of getting maximum visibility in SERPs (“number one in Google”) by whatever means necessary, on the presumption that people click on the first result they see.
Whether it’s paying Google to position your results prominently or trying to trick Google into doing so (by cloaking ten years ago, by keyword stuffing 5/6 years ago, or by unnatural link building two years ago) – it’s all essentially the pushy salesman jamming his foot into the audience’s door; of getting your message across whether it’s something the audience wants to hear or not.
Content marketing is contrasted with “interruption marketing”. Interruption marketing says “you want what I’ve got? Well you can’t have it, until you’ve done what I want” and it may or may not give you what you were after, once it has pitched you. Content marketing is different. Content marketing says “here is what you wanted. Now that I’ve given you that, will you do something for me?” It treats the audience as an equal partner.
That’s why content marketing is eclipsing and will continue to eclipse interruption marketing.
Take something as paradigmatically “old media” as a poster on a bus stop. This one (slide 14) has a QR code on it, allowing viewers to choose to interact with content that is valuable to them. And if they choose to do so and the content meets their expectations, or fulfils their needs, them they are better disposed towards the business or product that gave them something they valued without insisting on taking anything in return.
Content marketing starts from the simple message “be interesting to make people like you, then they might do what you want”. It may be true, but it doesn’t help you avoid being part of the 58% of organisations doing content marketing who are not effective at it. You will only succeed at content marketing if (i) you work out who you want to like you (taking particular note of which of those groups are likely to do the sort of things you want your audience to do); (ii) you work out what is interesting to people like that; and then (iii) you create stuff that is interesting and get it in front of the people you want to like you.
Read more: axonn.co.uk