Say it ain’t so! Does content blindness really exist? The answer to that is an underwhelming yes and no. Content marketing is not a secret strategy. In fact, it’s a core marketing strategy for many businesses both small and large.
Marketers across the gamut are creating content and there is an unending supply of content and information available to consumers. However, the stark reality is there is not enough time in our lifetimes, let alone during the average day to get through a fraction of the content created.
The outlook might seem dire at times, and we’re tempted to think what’s the point of doing it at all if it’s just going to fall into the abyss and among blind eyes? Have faith and don’t give up just yet because content marketing has been proven effective, and content blindness exists as much as any kind of consumer blindness exists. Think about banner ads. If they weren’t doing anything, we wouldn’t still be using them, and we do, and I find over the years they’ve become more effective for me personally. And also, always remember cats; we still haven’t gone blind to cats on the Internet.
So what can you do to cut through the noise and to stand out from the crowd?
Understanding the Fundamentals
There are five steps an individual goes through during the consumer purchase process to get to their decision: 1) Need/problem recognition, 2) Information search, 3) Alternative evaluation, 4) Purchase decision, and 5) Post-purchase behavior.
The second step, information search, is where content marketing fits in. As a content marketer, you have to be able to grab consumers at the moment of opportunity, and show them how what you’re offering solves the problem for which they have recognized and activated a search for solutions. But there’s a catch. The catch is that to be successful you have to do it in a way that catches their attention, appeals to emotions and logic, and you have to do it in a way that doesn’t make people feel like they’re being sold. Consumers don’t want to be sold anymore, they want to feel like their making the decision on their own, based on how the product or service can provide value in time, money, or quality.
Embrace Your Unique Story
You can grab people’s attention by grabbing their emotions, and stories are a way to connect. Stories also provide a unique advantage over any of your competitors. Your story is your own and it affords a natural tie in for emotional connections because stories are familiar. Strike emotions and then explain how the story helps with their problem. Position yourself and your company as an entity who can be trusted because they know what they’re doing. Trust is a crucial component of the decision making process as well. Excitement and engagement with the brand are the ultimate goal, but a relationship starts with building trust.
I have a client who is in the process of launching a new platform. Their product is very relevant to current events happening right now concerned with school safety. I helped them with the content aspect of their blog by providing a few key pieces to start with. They published the blog, but then they didn’t do anything beyond that. Unfortunately, that’s not enough. While you don’t have to be everywhere all the time, you do have to maximize distribution in the ways that you can. Choose your outlets based on your target market and your strengths.
Another outlet for maximizing content distribution are distribution networks like Taboola and Outbrain. Although they can be pricey, when someone has taken the plunge down the rabbit hole, sometimes similar information can be helpful when it’s just a click away when they are in the information search stage.
Although it’s a crowded space out there, the results seen from diligence and consistency with the core message embedded in good content is hard to ignore, so participating in content marketing is still a worthy cause.
Authored by Heather Wied, Marketing Director, Pubsoft