Content Marketing: Become the Media
It’s the Web 2.0 Era where transparency and ‘non-selling’ rules the day – call it the era of ‘Un-marketing’ – so what’s a marketer to do? For more and more successful companies, killing them with content (good content!) is the answer.
Today at Web Content 2008 here in Chicago, Joe Pulizzi at Junta 42 (prior profession: B2B/trade publishing) provided a call-to-arms to marketers to get on the “content marketing” bandwagon, or risk getting left behind by the competition.
The marketing recipe of the past was: create brand awareness, use mass media, interrupt your customer, repeat. Not anymore.
OK, so what is content marketing?
It may be easier to tell you what it isn’t. It’s NOT sending more product messages into the market. It’s not hitting customers over the head with how great your product or service is. It IS communicating directly with fresh, relevant content that creates a conversation and provides value to your customers — information that will help them do their jobs or live their lives better, or content that informs them of what’s happening in their industry.
Says Pulizzi, “You are a media company whether you know it or not. Think like a publisher. You are all publishers.”
This content can take all sorts of forms:
• White Papers
• Case studies
• Content microsites
• Digital magazines
• Community forums
• Video portals
But really, who’s doing it right on the web?
www.WillitBlend.com: Blendtec (yes, they make blenders) built this site to humorously answer the question “Will it blend?” – they throw all kinds of items into the hopper (say, an iPhone), flip the switch, and put the video up on their site. The content is compelling enough to drive up sales 500% in 18 months.
www.HomeMadeSimple.com: It may look like a ‘home’ site (kitchen, décor, living, etc) but it’s run by consumer products giant P&G. Great content has attracted more than a million opt-in subscribers – a community that P&G has turned into a primary customer research channel.
www.MillerWelds.com: B2B welding supplier Miller owns the welding publishing channel and the largest online community of welders thanks to this self-developed website.