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Content Marketing – The voice of branded communications

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when someone asks you about content marketing? Facebook? YouTube? Fancy websites? Endless e-mailers? Well, that’s the new age content marketing for you. 

Content marketing has been around for a very long time. Far longer than the Internet! 

Content marketing is all about storytelling – and brands have been telling stories since they learned to speak. We have always paid attention to people who tell great stories. That’s probably the reason interesting blogs tell a simple story, and movies do so well. 

Many years back, when Hasbro and Marvel joined hands to launch their comic book series, ‘G.I. Joe - A real American hero!’ back in 1982, their marketing strategy was really simple. They wanted to create what Kenner Toy Company’s Star Wars action figures already had – a rich backstory for their action toys. 

Within the first two months of releasing the comic book, about 20 per cent of their target audience, boys between the age of 5 and 12, had two or more G.I. Joe toys. And the comic book had only two stories. The series was one of Marvel’s strongest titles and 2 out of 3 boys in the same age category owned at least one G.I. Joe action figure. 

Now, that’s what I call using content to market a product. 

Coming to today’s digital savvy era, content marketing is a long-term strategy that is based on building a strong relationship with your target audience by serving quality content that is relevant to them on a daily basis. Eventually, when the consumer is going to make a purchase decision, the emotional connect that you have built with them over time embeds a sense of pre-existing loyalty which is likely to skew their preference to your product instead of the competition. 

Some brands leverage content brilliantly and are on point when it comes to building brand loyalty, which eventually driving sales. With new trends popping up almost every day, there’s a good opportunity for brands to get their claim-to-fame moment if they capitalise on these topical events with the right communication tools and marketing agenda. 

Successful content marketing strategies have always been a long-term investment because you have the ability to become a part of your consumers’ lives. Eventually, this strategy starts reaping benefits when brand advocacy kicks in. 

With over 300 million fellow countrymen (rising at 16 per cent YoY) staring straight into their smartphones, spending 70 per cent of their mobile data on social media & entertainment, consuming content is clearly an integral part of everyone’s lives. Backing these statistics with the ability to produce compelling and sticky content, you have an audience of this magnitude just waiting for you to tell them more interesting stories. 

(Rishi Sen is Chief of Staff at The 120 Media Collective. With over 11 years of experience in media, events, activations and advertising, he drives innovation and strategic partnerships that support growth and success for brands on digital.)

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