Modern-day consumers are desensitised to advertising. From the sad soundtrack that tugs at your heartstrings to get you to donate money to a good cause… To the pulse-pounding cinematography that turns a car commercial into a miniature action movie… The audience has built up walls to resist these kinds of advertisements.
They know that whoever runs the ads is trying to sell them something, so they tune-out. They switch channels during a TV commercial break, they ignore pop-up ads online, and they let radio spots go in one ear and out the other.
Your customer base has built up walls against traditional marketing that can make getting them to listen, much less make a purchase seem almost impossible.
Until you bypass those walls, anyway. And that’s where content marketing comes in.
The Trojan Horse of Marketing
For those who are a little rusty on their classics, the Trojan War was a huge conflict between a combined force of Grecian warriors, and the city-state of Troy. Though greatly outnumbered, the Trojans had walls that couldn’t be climbed, couldn’t be broken, and couldn’t be forced. No matter what the Greeks threw at them, Troy endured.
Until they came up with a cunning plan.
The Greeks built a huge, wooden horse, and left it as a symbol of their defeat. Then the armadas sailed away, making it look as if they were abandoning the campaign. The Trojans took the symbol of the Grecian surrender into their city and celebrated. What they didn’t know was that, inside the horse, was a crack squad of commandos. When the cover of darkness came, they stepped out of the horse and opened the city gates for their fellows who had returned.
Troy fell all because of a single, clever idea.
Content marketing works the same way. If you do it right.
Instead of barraging your audience with ads, free offers, and attempts to get your foot in the door, content marketing simply puts something they want on their doorstep and walks away. Whether you’re writing entertaining movie reviews, or a how-to guide for auto repair, or putting out a web comic or video series. As long as you’re making something people want, they’re going to open up their gates to take it inside. And once they do that, you’ve got your in.
People Trust What’s Familiar
If you can get consumers to enjoy your content, then you are building a rapport with them. They’ll see you not as just another company, but as someone they know.
You are the person who makes this thing they like, and that means they have a relationship with you. The longer they follow, and the more they consume, the stronger that bond between the two of you becomes.
And once you have a firmly-established relationship, it is a lot easier to make sales to your fans.
For example, say you ran a home improvement business. To get an audience more interested in all your landscaping options, you create regular how-to videos full of advice on how to get the best at-home gardening results. Then, in the video, you provide links to your online store, showing the recommended tools, fertilizer, etc.
This might look like any other sort of ad, but because people watching the videos trust the expertise of the host, they are more likely to see it as a recommendation from a friendly source. Which, of course, makes them more likely to click-through and make a purchase. (Obviously, you want to be genuinely helpful and provide genuine expert advice or you will lose trust and destroy your reputation.)
That is the power of content marketing. You can earn an audience’s trust, get them to see you as an expert and a friend, and persuade them to make a purchase all just by giving them content that they like, which has no visible strings attached. It works best though when
For more about content marketing, and how you can use it to your advantage, simply contact us today!