content marketing 2014

The 2014 Consumer: Understanding Content Needs

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe – Abraham Lincoln. This saying by Araham Lincoln holds true when it comes to planning a content marketing strategy. As a marketer, you need to plan your content marketing strategy well before you start implementing the same. We all are very well acquainted with the power of content then how can your strategy be weak and ineffective?

Let’s assume for a minute that there is a brand called XYZ which has been marketing its products through different social media and advertising channels. Now, this brand loves to boasts its own products online with posts only about the products flowing in every day. The likers of this brand keep getting updates about the new products being launched by the brand. Now, would you really like someone touting his or her own horns for a long time? Certainly not! That acts as a turn off for most of the people. The consumers of this brand will soon unlike the page to stop those notifications. This is really bad for a brand! It’s like using traditional tactics on modern marketing channels. So what should marketers be doing? Well, the answer is to have a documented content marketing strategy.

While we all are more focused towards what and how the content marketing strategy should be, very few focus on what our consumers want? What kind of content they wish to see and consume? What are their expectations?

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According to a survey conducted by Yahoo and BBDO, there are around 57 per cent of consumers who wish to know about the history and more details of the brand while 54 per cent of consumers feel that it is important that brands provide information as to why consumers should care about a particular brand and 45 per cent of consumers are looking for interesting stories about the brand.

Consumers want to engage with the brands. 79 per cent of consumers say that brands should be ‘genuine’ and 82 per cent of consumers will ignore a brand if it is viewed as intrusive.

Information seeking consumers are hungry for more information and that more information is still not enough! If you have posted a great content, you have not reached a finish line you have merely reached the starting line.

This blog will talk about consumers’ expectations from brands’ content marketing strategy. Check it out…

Think Like a Consumer

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Okay let’s be honest here, how many of us keep our target audience in mind before creating content. I believe very few of us. It’s important for us as marketers to think from our consumers’ perspective. Think like your consumers. What kind of content do you scroll through when you visit Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. This type of thinking will give you a direction which will eventually help you create compelling content for your target audience and you will relate better with your consumers.

Content is More Than a Blog

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Gone are those days of creating a blog to attract large number of audience to your website. Consumers are not satisfied with a blog. With diversification of social media channels, consumers’ needs in terms of content too, have diversified. If they have access to YouTube channel, they would love videos from their favorite brands. Similarly, if they have an account on Pinterest or Instagram, they would be more than happy if they get to see amazing pictures from their preferred brands. The formula is “When in Rome, do as Roman do” which means customize your content according to the social media channel you are using for branding. Thus, consumers are consuming content in all forms be it video, whitepaper, article, Image, case study or ebook. Leave no stone unturned when it comes to creating content for your audience. Be in front of them, educate them, entertain them! That’s the new mantra.

Information is Power

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Talking and blabbering just about your brand creates unnecessary noise on social media. People have limited time. And in that short span of time they would want to gain knowledge and if you are thought leader in your industry, you have hit it right! Your customers will definitely follow you because they know that you will come out with something really interesting and informative for them. What else do you need eh? Inform your consumers about latest trends and share your industry reports with them. Consumers want to stay updated and informed. Use this opportunity to attract them towards your webpage.

Content Consumers Love to Share

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There is no doubt about the fact that consumers love to read interesting and informative content online. However, there are few types of content that people love to share with their friends and groups. This becomes an opportunity for marketers to focus their efforts on content which is shared widely. One such content type is Infographics. Infographics are basically representation of complex information using various visual elements. These are easy to read and understand and are most popular among consumers. Another eye-catching content which can be created is ‘Curation Lists”. For example, ‘Top 10..”, “Top 7…”, etc. Other content types which a marketer should explore are videos, slideshare, and research based articles which are easily digestible and draw people’s attention.

Correct Your Intentions Before Its Late

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Let’s get it straight! We are creating content to woo our customers, to gain their attentions and to win their trust. We want them to engage with us and finally convert. But our intention and focus is still lingering on SALES! Why can’t we try and shift our intention of luring customers to creating something which is valuable for them. While keeping an eye on the end objective of more traffic and leads we can still become a master of different types of content. Venture and tap into the world of content but with the sole intention of satiating information hunger of your consumers. Then what is there that you cannot achieve. More traffic, more engagement, more conversions will happen automatically! Isn’t it a win-win for all? Think.

Become a Multi Screen King!

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Source: Infographic by Uberflip

Not just Smartphones, your consumers are using screens of all sizes. These include tablets, ipads, mobiles of various screen sizes, etc. Your content must be created to suit the multi screen market. For example, the image posted on your Pinterest account must look as attractive on a mobile phone as it does on a computer screen. The videos must load as faster on a mobile phone as on a laptop. According to a research Consumers give up on an online video if it doesn’t load in two seconds. Thus, the trick is to make your content compatible to all screens.

Human Touch

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Do not make your content too professional especially when it is directed at B2C consumers. It should always carry your personal message in a well defined and humanly manner. This will make your audience more interested in reading your content.

CONCLUSION

Content marketing is evolving and developing into something bigger and better. Marketers, who have not yet started exploring the wonders of content, need to start it in 2014 in order to be able to compete with their counterparts. On the other hand, brands which have been doing content marketing need to change their content marketing strategy according to the needs of the online consumers. Understand your consumers first and then create content. You will observe the amount of traffic growing tremendously within few months.

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