People like stories. Well told, they are becoming increasingly important vehicles for campaigns. Seven questions that need to be answered in every content marketing plan.
Perhaps you were sitting in front of the TV a few weeks ago and witnessed the Philadelphia Eagles win the Super Bowl against the Patriots, who were actually favoured.
For the US advertising industry, the Superbowl is also a home run: a lot of effort, millions in costs, but also very rewarding. A 30-second commercial during the breaks of the biggest US TV event costs around five million US dollars - so you don't want to bore the audience with the usual commercials.
Toyota launched a spot at the Superbowl that tells the touching story of Lauren Woolstencroft. She was born in 1981 without a left forearm and without legs. But Lauren learns to walk. And skiing. And wins a gold medal for Canada at the 2002 Paralympics - and later several more medals at other major events. Incidentally, a car from the current product range does not appear in the entire 60-second film.
Amazon, on the other hand, is thrilling the scenario of a silenced Alexa in its ironic commercial. But after the technology fails, celebrities have to step in to give Alexa a voice - causing surprise among Alexa users. Even Jeff Bezos himself has a small role in the commercial.
What almost all Superbowl spots have in common: a captivating narrative, whether touching like that of Lauren Woolstencroft or ironic like that of the human voice assistants at Alexa, is the supporting framework of the films - and not necessarily the loud drumbeat for a concrete product.
People like stories. That is the simple reason why companies can achieve their communication goals not only with classic advertising, but also with content marketing. Look, for example, at how Coca Cola does it on its website: the product is a simple sugar soda. But around its product, the beverage company has created an entire universe of content. that appeal to the Millenials' attitude to life.
But it is not only billion-dollar corporations from the B2C sector like Toyota or Amazon that can be successful with USP - the Unique Story Proposition. This also works excellently for smaller companies and with B2B topics, as you here see Or also here.
Content marketing is often not a question of budget, but above all of idea.
These seven questions will help you find the right answers for your content marketing.
What do you want to achieve?
Think about what goal content marketing should bring you closer to. There are two rough possibilities: Brand awareness or the sharpening of corporate values on the one hand, or conversions, i.e. increasing customers' willingness to buy, on the other. The choice of target group and thus also of distribution channels and media formats will then depend on this.
Who do you actually want to reach?
A good story for one audience can be a very bad story for another audience. A very good distribution channel for reaching one target group can be a very ineffective distribution channel for another audience. Therefore, first think about who you want to reach and on which channels you can reach one or the other group - for example, by creating buyer personas to visualise your customers with all their behaviours (also beyond mere buying behaviour). Don't make the mistake of playing a supposedly interesting topic across all possible channels - that only costs resources. Methods such as the creation of buyer personas allow you to identify more precisely where you have media contact points with which customers.
What do your customers want to achieve?
Content marketing lives from the problem - the one your customers have and for which you offer a solution. So don't try to do storytelling about the product and its details, but put yourself in your customer's motivational position to be interested in your solutions. To approach these questions, you could use customer surveys as a basis for topic setting, involve your customer service and skim their knowledge about buying intentions and - very important - systematically monitor your customers on social media - for example by looking at the activities of a predefined group of customers on Facebook, Twitter or Facebook.
What do you already have to show?
Evaluate what content already exists in your company. It is possible that other departments have already done valuable work to create white papers or write a case study about a client. If you already have content, be honest with yourself: do you need to update content that is already online? Is the content also linguistically designed in such a way that it can hold the attention of your customers?
Interpret the statistics provided by Google Analytics, for example, in a very targeted way. See which content generates hits and which not so much. This can help you narrow down future topics and focus on what seems to meet the reading needs of your website visitors.
How varied is your content?
In content marketing, content sometimes follows form. There may be topics that work excellently as text, but there may also be some that don't work at all as text, but work all the better as content. Video function or also as Live Event. It is also possible that a Printed customer magazine can be a useful tool to distribute your narratives. Always pay attention to the diversity in media formats and choose the right form of expression for the respective content.
What is the competition doing?
Take advantage of what the competition has to offer. Scan the websites of the three most important competitors for their content and make an honest inventory analysis: what does the market competitor do better in content marketing, which topics that are set there then appear in social media or on the online platforms of industry magazines, for example? If you have experience with SEO, also analyse the keywords used by the competition and see which ones rank well in search engine results. You can also structure your topic plan according to this.
Do you plan your topics?
Content marketing requires just as much long-term planning as advertising - at least in terms of timing, classic advertising and content marketing should also be timed accordingly. Remember: content marketing is an instrument whose full effect naturally unfolds more slowly than, for example, classic online advertising. Only very few succeed quickly. However, content marketing is an extremely effective instrument for building lasting trust in your company, your brand and your solutions.
We wish you every success!
If you have any questions about content marketing solutions, please contact
Nikolaus Gutjahr, Sales Management