Achieving success with your content marketing efforts requires an absolute understanding of the inverse relationship between audience reach and brand relevance. It’s a force you can’t fight, but one that can be solved. The first step is to understand what it’s about, to accept and embrace it, and to then use the sacrifice model to guide your content marketing efforts.
The full eBook is available for download, free, here: http://www.cerebra.co.za/resources/the-content-marketing-sacrifice
Content marketing is a critical evolution in how brands tell stories.
It’s about creating content that serves the consumer’s interest, at such a
high quality the audience actively chooses to consume it.
CONSUMER CHOICE IS
• interruption based advertising does not work
• consumers have the tools to control what content reaches them
• consumers also have the tool to be storytellers and contribute to your
The challenge in putting consumer choice first is that brand must come
second, which is very scary.
CONTENT MARKETING HAS TWO OBJECTIVES:
1. to achieve as large a reach as possible
2. to be as brand relevant as possible
The problem is that reach and relevance are opposing forces.
The more you make the content about the brand, the smaller the interested
Reach is easy to achieve, just post cat pictures. Relevance is also easy to
achieve, just post press releases.
Achieving BOTH reach and relevance is difficult, and this is the crux of
The Sacrifice Principle: In order to achieve reach, we need to sacrifice
What’s big in your world is not, necessarily, big in the world.
By plotting reach against relevance, we see how a press release can be
highly relevant but only to a small audience, and cat pictures can achieve
great reach, but mean nothing for your brand.
When we put relevance ahead of reach we serve commercial intent, and
when we put reach ahead of relevance we serve consumer interest.
Not only should we sacrifice relevance to increase our content’s reach, but
we can shift our curve to the right by deploying content marketing tactics.
CLOSING THE GAP:
Once we’ve made the sacrifice and achieved the desired reach, we can
begin to build brand relevance back into the communication (shifting the
curve to the right) by using various content marketing models.
Native advertising is a form of online
advertising that matches the form
and function of the platform on
which it appears.
Embedded marketing, or product
placement, involves a brand
inserting their product into
content that shows the context
and environment within which
the product would naturally occur.
Sponsoring and event, or entering
an endorsement agreement with a
celebrity, enables the brand to
attach themselves to the content
of the event or the person.
BRAND AS PUBLISHER
The brand creates its own publishing
platform which houses the content,
and acts as a central point to which
all other content drives the
Increasing your brand’s content by
piggy-backing it onto current events
which bring a pre-build relevance for
THE JOURNEY TO
There are four logical steps to driving an audience from low to high
GO FOR REACH
Your content strategy should
be structured as a journey,
start by winning as much reach
as is reasonable by sacrificing
brand relevance and creating
content that is exactly what the
target audience wants.
Next, start injecting brand relevance
through your content marketing
tactics. You will see a drop off in
reach, but that’s fine; not everyone
is going to buy your products.
First, cast the net as wide as
possible, then, start pulling it in.
BRING THEM IN
By having a content home,
your content marketing efforts
will be able to direct people
Back to a centrally controlled
resource where you’re able to
complete the content journey
and servce commercial intent.
CONVERT TO CUSTOMERS
By now, you have narrowed down
the initially large audience into an
audience of potential customers.
This audience is happy to receive
brand relevant content, because
they’re close to making a purchasing
A correctly developed and implemented content marketing strategy is
critical to the success of your brand’s content. When the consumer has the
power to shut you out, your best option is to earn your way in, and to do
that we must put their interests first.