Content Marketing

Content Marketing 101: Use Relevant Content to Foster Customer Relationships

6 minute read

Content marketing is continuing to become an integral part of any marketer’s portfolio. A recent Slideshare presentation created by Marketo informs us that 70% of executives rely more on content now than they did a year ago, and yet 90% still feel overwhelmed by the amount of content available today. It’s certainly not a stretch to think that consumers, the target of all of this content, feel the same way–and it’s your job to make your message heard above the rest.

The key to creating a successful content marketing campaign is relevancy. Consumers are now exposed to so much content from countless sources that they tend to tune out the white noise–that is, content that they find neither valuable nor useful. As a marketer, your goal is to capture the consumer’s attention by making your message relevant. Here are a few ways in which you can tailor your content to your unique customers, as well as success stories from some big content gurus.

Be Thoughtful

Red Bull is a pioneer in creating content that their consumers find valuable. Their website is a portal to a world of exhilarating extreme sports news and videos–entirely appropriate for their audience of energy drink consumers. Never create content just for the sake of creating content; while it is important, it is ever only as successful as the amount of customer action it generates on the other end. Red Bull found a domain of content that their target customers truly appreciate. Take a page out of their book and research what your customers value and how they spend their time.

Be Engaging

Successful content marketing provokes any type of positive response in consumers (not just profit). Take the McDonald’s Canada content campaign called Our Food, Your Questions–a forum on which any Canadian can ask any question about McDonald’s food. The purpose of the campaign was to eradicate certain negative perceptions of the fast food chain’s food preparation processes; the result was 350 to 450 questions asked daily (more than 16,000 total), most of which have been answered by McDonald’s. While the success of this particular program is unprecedented, do make sure that your content features some call to action, whether it be a Facebook like or a visit to your website. A call to action will boost your visibility and ensure that the consumer will receive further brand information and content, ultimately increasing the likelihood of profitable action.

Be Responsive

By now almost everyone is familiar with Oreo’s “dunk in the dark” success story during the 2013 Superbowl blackout (if you have no idea what we’re talking about, check out this Wired article). The basis for Oreo’s “touchdown” was their instant reaction to a real-time event. You can follow Oreo’s lead by looking at what’s trending on the news and on social media and using this information as the foundation for content with which your audience will identify. Just remember that this technique, called newsjacking, is a two-way street; the news you choose to base your content on must be relevant both to the consumer and to your brand in order to be effective.

A successful content marketing campaign generates a relationship between you and your customers that runs deeper than sitting in front of a 30-second commercial. Grasping at straws for ideas? Check out inSegment’s Marketing Minute webisode on Crunch Time Content Marketing for some quick tips.