Content marketing helps mid-market companies influence positive actions from their targeted audience, increasing sales while not pushing their brand.
Today’s consumers don’t want to be sold, they want to consciously buy. At times they still respond to traditional advertising, but today’s consumers are savvier and consume more media and information faster now than a decade ago. This means that businesses must get more sophisticated in their engagement processes. Que content marketing.
The entire concept behind content marketing is based on offering and distributing valuable and relevant creative to a targeted audience, without directly selling their brand in the process. Several very successful national brands have used this strategy for years. They include P&G, Michelin, Nike, Subaru and the list goes on.
Regional businesses have a unique opportunity and should capitalize on content marketing since they can directly connect their content marketing to their local markets and the local vibe. The vast majority of people know more about local opportunities and affairs than national or world-wide opportunities. It’s a fact.
Think about your markets’ consumers and ask yourself the following questions:
1. What information do I have to offer that would be of interest to your audience?
2. What headline would I use to get eyeballs and attention?
3. Is the content worth sharing?
4. Will it be shared with others to read?
5. Will the content represent your brand well?
6. Will your message assist the local community in some way?
7. Are you giving back or being a positive influence on them personally or locally?
A great example of this type of content is a regional food manufacturer that invests in a “greener” operation. Producing content that speaks to their environmentally conscience facility. Installing solar panels and recycling all their packaging materials. Using recycled materials, even participating in environmental cleaning initiatives and donating a portion of their profits to clean air and water. These issues impact us all but if it’s in your backyard it just means more.
Good content marketing never mentions a brand attribute but rather speaks to useful information or helpful advice. Some examples are a PSA announcement not to drink and drive from a liquor company, or a don’t text and drive message from a cell carrier. Audiences are intelligent, they’ll get and appreciate it. It shows your brand cares about them as much as your bottom line and everyone wants to feel that they matter. It’s simple human nature.
No matter what content a brand creates, keep it timely and fresh. Truly know your audience and dial into things that matter most to them. Be passionate or they will surely smell your phony positioning. And, always speak to them, not sell at them. Write about your business and how it’s intertwined with their interests and concerns rather than just writing about your brand or something you want to pitch.
Local and regional businesses stand much more to gain from this strategy than national companies do. Take advantage of the opportunity or your competitor will.