In the last few years, the marketing paradigm has witnessed a profound change. Gone are the days of intrusive traditional tactics that left the target audience mildly irritated.
Inbound marketing has introduced an inviting method by eliminating pushy emails, messages, pop-ups replacing them with:
- Whitepapers and a lot more.
Brands and companies finally realised that garnering the interest of their customers rather than buying it, was more beneficial in the long run and it also paid dividends in the form of better recall.
Now here’s why this may no longer work for your brand:
With every advertising & digital marketing agency adopting this new mantra the internet is flooded with new sponsored articles, blogs, solutions. But herein lies a small problem. With the amount of content on the internet growing – and everyone’s attention span decreasing, it's gotten harder for content writers to make their writing compelling, to make it stand out. Unless you can provide your readers utility, inspiration or experiences they aren’t getting elsewhere, you’re going to get lost.
So what kind of inbound content marketing will really stand out from the crowd and grab attention? Here are a few techniques employed by some of the familiar companies to make their content marketing work.
Content can be consumed in so many ways! You can read blogs and E-Books, watch videos, listen to podcasts. However, your audience likes to be surprised. Add the typical elements of game playing (i.e point scoring, competition with other players, rules of play etc.) to your content to encourage engagement with your product or service.
Gamification incites decision making like never before. It can be employed in a multiple ways such as:
a. Loyalty programs:
It costs a business a lot more to find a new customer than it does to retain a current one. By providing rewards and points on purchases, along with membership schemes, customer loyalty can be garnered effectively. A good example of a loyalty program is My Starbucks Rewards.
Gamification must help in simplifying the content that a company or brand promotes. This is what IBM realised. After pushing content which mostly revolved around industry studies, white papers and solutions, they decided to make their content a lot more interactive and engaging. They came up with their business-management game, CityOne.
CityOne educates users on solving business, environmental, and logistical problems. Not only is it educational, it's also fun and addictive!
2. Promoting user-generated content (UGC):
User-generated content builds customer loyalty & gives you a measurement scale for your online presence. It is safe to say that customers care more about the opinions of other customers than the promotional material that a brand showcases.
An easy way to create UGC is is to connect with your customers over social media and hold conversations with them. You can have them review your products, hold contests and even have their opinion reflect in your actual product like the Lay’s Do Us A Flavor campaign. Another good example would be almost any app on Google-Playstore - soliciting reviews from top customers is how apps promote themselves primarily on the online market.
3. Creating engaging content that your audience will share:
If your content platforms like social media aretalking about your company all the time, mentioning its new products or services or just giving out company news, then it must be stopped. After all, social media is a take-on tool that you use to interact with your customers or target audience in real time for garnering engagement. Here are a few tips that you use to make content that your audience will engage with:
a. Weave your posts around current trends
b. Always include influencers in your posts
c. Always promise and deliver prizes and takeaways
d. Promote a challenge or a contest
Besides social media, keep an eye out for different platforms you can use to create engaging content your prospective or existing customers would love to share.
For more insights on creating shareable content, check out “5 ways to make your content more shareable ”.