When Content Marketing Works

content marketing

Despite it’s undeniable ability to grow revenue and strengthen relationships, there are still many businesses on the fence about content marketing. This is because they don’t understand the world has changed.

We must begin to see a world with only two generations: the Connected Generation and the Unconnected Generation.

The Connected Generation is defined as:

Anyone who communicates, builds relationships and ultimately making buying decisions using digital and social technology.

…an enormous group of consumers if we only count individuals with smartphones, tablets and Apple computers.  Everyone else in the Connected Generation is just gravy.

In a marketplace of constant interruption a content marketing strategy is our Rosetta Stone for deciphering the message of value consumers desire before purchasing. The fluidity of content marketing is it’s source of power. As consumers ideas, thoughts and desires change so we adapt our message and medium of delivery.

Today I could write a blog post that sparks interest. Tomorrow I can find the premier expert on the same topic and dive deep in a thirty minute podcast episode. The next day I set out creating a ten-part video series explaining each minute detail of the topic.

This is when content marketing works.

You write a blog post that bombs… learn from your mistakes and write a new one. Then write a blog post explaining the mistake you made and what you learned. Then write another blog post highlighting three customers who were willing to give you feedback and why you appreciate them so much.

This is when content marketing works.

A focused content marketing strategy creates a resource for consumers. Your website, blog, YouTube channel, podcast, all become repositories of information that consumers want and need in order to make a buying decision.

Here’s the rub…

…the Connected Generation gets to consume your resources on their own terms and on their own schedule without a heavy sales pitch shoved down their throat.

This type of content marketing builds trust. Over time Connected Generation consumers come to see you as a thought-leader, maybe even a linchpin within your industry.

You’re aren’t interrupting, you’re integrating into consumer lives.

This isn’t to say that interruption marketing doesn’t still work. It does, but only two specific cases.

  1. You’re marketing to the Unconnected Generation. These individuals lack the technology and/or desire to stay current and do research. Unconnected Generation consumers need interruption to understand the marketplace.
  2. You’re marketing to a Connected Generation consumer who already values your brand. These types of interruptions are often built around new product launches.

If the consumers being interrupted don’t know who you are and aren’t in need of your product or service then your out of luck.

Game over.

Content marketing isn’t about interrupting potential buyers and hoping they need what you sell, but rather integrating into the lives of consumers you serve.

This is when content marketing works.

We’re creating a message that supports, educates, strengthens, and empowers the unique group of people who need what we sell. No matter what the nature of your product or service, it has a story.  And by creating content that let’s consumers feel like they are part of that story you begin to build a community. You’re building a community of brand partners that will continue to buy your product or service over and over again and feel obligated to tell their friends why they should too.

There is so much more to content marketing than just typing words in a blog…

…you’re exposing the soul of your business.

When content marketing works you’ve replaced interruption with integration, heavy sales pitches for education and with a little bit of creativity and a pinch of luck, one-time customers with lifelong partners.

Thank you and Good luck,

I am Ryan Hanley

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