Content is King……?

Tomorrow, 22nd September 2014, I am due on stage at around 8:30am in the GR Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre to join in a panel discussion entitled ‘ Why Content is King’.

The panel is formidable and I am a last minute stand in, it’s also going to be full of my peers in the industry so I’m a tad nervous.  I am looking forward to the discussion though because I do believe that content is indeed king.  I decided to write some very brief thoughts about the subject.

The Content Marketing Institute define content marketing as:

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

In essence then, its a method of communication, not a method of selling.  If it’s not a sales channel then the business stands to make no money so why bother?

I think one should bother for a lot of reasons.  Content Marketing to me is a way of building your brand by telling your story.  It’s also a method to inform and maybe entertain your customer group and user base.  The problem with content marketing is that it’s not really measurable, these days lots of people with budgets in businesses get nervous if they can’t see a positive ROI or measure the impact of some marketing spend.  That line of thinking is killing those businesses.

Not everything can be measured.  One has to believe that the output (that is to say the content marketing itself) is both relevant and valuable to your customers and may even attract more customers.  You have to believe that it’s good and people like it and they’re going to come back.  You will not be able to accurately measure the impact it has on sales but that should not stop you doing it.  Content Marketing is brand investment.  Its difficult to argue against building your brand.

Rob Chapman is an example I use.  He is a session guitarist and has a band.  He also has a channel on You Tube.  On his channel he and Lee Anderton (owner of Andertons Music, Guilford) review guitars and accessories.  Basically it’s two middle-aged men playing guitars in a room above a shop.  I love it.  I play guitar and am a bit of a nerd when it comes to guitars, I love everything about them.  So I subscribed back in 2013.  They produce one or two videos a week.  They’re funny, engaging, informative and they don’t sell.  They have 205k subscribers, 67 million views and and over 50k views per video on average.  Thats more than a lot of TV shows.  I ended up going to Andertons and bought a guitar.  I could have gone into central London but decided I’d visit this shop i’d seen so much of.  I was over the moon.

There is no way Andertons could link my purchase to the video productions.   On a spreadsheet the ROI would look worse than in reality because my purchase could not be attribute to the videos / content marketing.  Yet it was the exactly the video content that did lead to my purchase.  I can’t be the only one.  How many more purchases have been made because of the content marketing?  we’ll never know but this example explains to me why content marketing (specifically video in tho case) is so important.

There are loads more examples, look at Tyler Oakley, he’s 25 years old, has 5.5m You Tube Subcribers, 267m views and has interviewed Michelle Obama.  He had zero budget when he started, he built this from nothing and now he’s a brand himself all because of his content.

There is no doubt that content marketing will continue and become more personalised as consumers can chose their own content, just as I did with Rob Chapman.  Therefore it follows that any business should ‘be themselves’ and that is to say be true to the brand, if done correctly customers will find you.

So for me content marketing has to be:

1.  Honest

2.  Relevant (so the context is critical as is the actual message)

3.  Informative  and could be….

4.  Entertaining – although this is by far the most difficult to achieve and probably most risky!

Successful content marketing helps to build the brand and solidify your customer base.  Building brand value increases the value of your business and therefore it is a great investment.


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