Content marketing is nothing short of new. Rooted in advertising and the arrival of salesmanship in the business world, top tier brands and agencies have long since been working together. Their task: Capture the heart and mind of their audience.
Using everything from magnetic mascots to celebrity brand ambassadors to pin ups and posterboys — thousands of striking characters have been used as a marketing tool to connect with their audience.
The problem lies in that an advertisement is only as good as the time it is viewed. It’s worth is next determined by shareability. Word-of-mouth has traditionally been the most effective way of passing on a message. It brings the added bonus of merit based on social proof — we are more likely to take the advice of a friend or family member.
When you flip through the pages of a magazine, they are filled with paid-advertisements from a number of brands. Some ads are better than others, but you understand how thumbing through a magazine works. Ultimately, you more than likely aren’t going to cut out that ad and share it with a friend. Television ads work within the same constraints.
With two-way communication possible through social media platforms, brands have taken to the new frontier, some with hesitance and others like a fish to water. However, the approach of these brands remains largely one-sided.
Your target audience is no longer fooled by smoke and mirrors — largely due to the increasing amount of transparency available in our everyday lives. And the verdict is that they no longer want to be sold something.
Well, that’s not completely true. Your audience all want to be sold something. Heck, we ourselves want to be ‘sold‘ on things– ideas, strategies, which movie to watch, what shoes to buy, the car we drive, etc.
When you conduct business with people, they don’t want a simple transaction. Of course business sense, professionalism, and standard procedures go a long way in running a prospering company. However, a brand is the seal of approval on your work.
But for a moment, look at these two ad scenarios:
Come to Sears this weekend and save up to 25% on all menswear. Offer includes seasonal items from Polo, Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica, Eddie Bauer, and more. You don’t want to miss out on these Summer Savings! #Chic4Cheap
Purchase a power tie from JoS. A. Bank Clothiers. We offer superior quality, hand-crafted goods with a lifetime guarantee. And, all purchases over $50 are custom tailored, free-of-charge. At JoS. A. Bank we don’t just sell you a tie, we raise your net worth.
**The information above is not factual in nature, but fictional and intended for editorial purposes**
While the former description is appealing to practicality, the latter represents expertise. While Sears offers business and formal attire, JoS. A. Bank is adamant in distinguishing their brand as more than a department store. Each brand has a different target audience, evident by their:
- Product Descriptions
- Sears – ‘menswear’ ‘seasonal’ ‘Polo, Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica,etc.’
- JoS. A. Bank – ‘custom tailored’ ‘lifetime guarantee’ ‘hand-crafted goods’
- Emotional Language
- Sears – ‘miss’ ‘save’
- JoS. A. Bank – ’power’ ‘superior’ ‘guarantee’
- Sears – ‘Chic for Cheap’
- JoS. A. Bank – ‘We don’t just sell you a tie, we raise your net worth’
- Unique Selling Points
- Sears – ‘Summer Savings’
- JoS. A. Bank – ‘lifetime guarantee’
While we’ve highlighted the differences in these brands, however, we’ve not covered their similarities. The most glaringly obvious are that each is pitching you for a sale. Additionally, each ad is framed within the context of one-way communication — one of the defining elements of traditional advertising.
Content (Digital) marketing evolved beyond one-way communication. Instead, true communication has been established through social media outlets operating on internet and mobile devices. These platforms by their very nature allow true, two-way communication.
Your audience no longer has to listen to your advertisement without refuting your claims. Your brand stance can be challenged by your target audience or a ‘troll’. The level of transparency created through social media has withered the veneer of advertising.
Consumers are more educated and aware of the millions of dollars spent on advertising. Brands that have adapted are using this do their advantage. Through the use of digital content marketing, companies have been able to welcome the audience into their daily operations.
In doing so, these businesses dispel any doubts concerning their mission, values, and integrity concerning their brand. Social media platforms have allowed content marketing teams like ours at TalenAlexander to introduce the people that you’re doing with.
This is a principle of business we noticed had been lost in the marketing industry. Organizations forgetting that business is conducted person-to-person, and not person-to-corporate entity. We’re filling that void here at TA.
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change – Wayne Dwyer
We hold firmly to the principle that if you do right by your audience, they’ll do right by you. In bringing our old-school approach to new school technologies we’ve realized something. Marketing hasn’t changed so much as the world has evolved.