The practice is old, but it has gained considerable importance in recent years. Content Marketing has become an essential practice for capturing and growing an audience. Content has become king, but for what purposes?
“Content is King” declared Bill Gates in 1996 when the Internet was only in its infancy. This sentence has never been more accurate than it is today. Brands can no longer be satisfied with traditional marketing, they must become media companies in their own right. Content marketing goes even further than branded content because it is no longer about creating content around products, but creating content without putting the company first. The two practices are therefore complementary.
The aim is to answer customer questions and create high value-added content. No intrusive logo and no endless explanation on “why my brand is better than others”. You no longer have to say “look how great we are”, but “look how useful we are, we have answers to your questions”. The objective is to gain consumer confidence and build your expertise.
Associated with inbound marketing, content marketing goes against traditional marketing practices and habits and is part of a long-term effort. It is an investment that sometimes takes several months to reveal its full potential. Some of the best examples of content marketing include Colgate, which has opened its own oral and dental health site, or Leroy Merlin, which produces videos and tutorials dedicated to DIY enthusiasts of all levels.
If it does not directly promote my brand, why insist on Content Marketing? According to a study conducted by The McCarthy Group, 47% of millennials trust a brand that produces useful content more, 87% admit that they do not trust traditional marketing at all and 99% of them even say that traditional advertising has no influence on their buying habits. These figures are important when it comes to attracting a population that will soon make up the majority of the country’s working population. Because content creation also means more transparency, and with 600 million ad blockers worldwide, it is important to find other ways to promote your brand outside of traditional marketing channels.
Millennials differ from previous generations in their desires and their relationships with brands. Unlike baby boomers, who are extremely attached to the same brands throughout their lives, 18-34 year olds very regularly look for brands and personalized content that they can identify with. And 95% of them say that they consider their friends as their most reliable source of recommendation. The company’s reputation no longer depends solely on the quality of its services or products, but also on its ability to adapt to its customers’ worldview.
Content marketing also has a key advantage: it can turn loyal customers into ambassadors for your brand. By making yourself relevant and indispensable, you ensure that customers share your content themselves, giving your brand additional authority and prominence in its field.
Content marketing can and must be done in several ways, but the basic principle remains the same: it is essential to understand who you are addressing and produce the appropriate content for that audience. Expectations are not the same depending on age, socio-professional category or geographical location (urban, rural, etc.). Knowing your customers and adapting content have become obligations in the implementation of a marketing strategy. It will always be more profitable to become a reference for 300 people than a vague acquaintance for 10,000.
For an effective strategy, the key lies between the variety of content offered and the regularity of its distribution. It is much more effective to publish one piece of content per week for one year than 53 at a time.
Video is undoubtedly the most effective format for content marketing. It is the most accessible and eye-catching format. A video can take any form: humorous, informative, short film, tutorial… Anything is possible. The Dollar Shave Club video campaign engaged 10,000 customers in two days with an original and particularly funny video that was not a Hollywood production… This success shows that content marketing is not only a question of budget but also of creativity and, above all, of connecting with customers. By proposing an innovative concept and an offbeat tone, the two founders were able to win over a clientele that was no longer found in traditional razor companies.
Blog articles are also a great way to build your content marketing strategy. By regularly writing articles related to your field of activity, you ensure the loyalty of a base of readers who can share your articles with their connections and thus help spread your brand. And you will improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
In the future, with the development of artificial intelligence, content marketing will further transform and integrate new technologies. The challenge for marketing departments will be to integrate them as soon as possible in order to stand out. Like the car manufacturer Jaguar, which caused a sensation two years ago when it presented its electric car model in virtual reality.