Content marketing, say what?

Everybody is talking about content marketing, but what is it and how can you use it for building brand awareness?

Winning the battle for your audience’s attention takes constant innovation. Consumers aren’t engaging with traditional marketing in the way they used to. Sure, they’re bombarded with advertising across many more channels but they can switch off, opt out, and simply ignore irrelevant noise. Marketing used to talk to a passive audience, but with the proliferation of digital media, it’s now about how brands create value for their customers.

Consumers are no longer passive, they have to feel compelled to engage with a brand. Marketing will fail without outstanding content. This is the foundation for content marketing, which is what forward-thinking businesses are using to win that battle. Content marketing is the process of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined target audience – with the objective of ultimately selling more products or services.

In an interview with SME South Africa, radio personality Gareth Cliff explains, “You can hear a 30-second ad on radio but it doesn’t mean you’re going to do anything about it.” And if you’re honest, you don’t actively listen to most ads – it’s noise in one ear and out the other.

At CliffCentral, the strategy is to engage listeners in useful and entertaining branded content. For example, FNB wanted to tell audiences about their gold cheque account special, which as a value-add gave customers the opportunity to download the favourite songs from iTunes.

CliffCentral’s creative team came up with the concept whereby Gareth and the breakfast team would all talk about a song that triggers a special memory (a first kiss, a summer holiday without parents or even a world event) and what that means to them. Having captivated listeners, they then tied in the FNB deal and talked about how they could relive their memories with FNB’s help by simply opening up a gold cheque account.

Simple branded content like this is the essence of content marketing.Content marketing is designed to attract and retain customers by changing or enhancing their behaviour. Rather than punt products and services, businesses need to embrace content marketing and deliver information, experiences and ideas that will elicit customer loyalty and advocacy.


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