Content Marketing has been a term for several years already, and in existence for much longer, but the concept has only taken hold on South African shores in the past 18 months or so. Many still mistakenly think that content marketing is simply copywriting, stand-alone social media posts, static information on your website and the occasional article or blog post that you may write. Even though it is all of these elements – together they are so much more.
Whilst content marketing as a field, does include all of these elements, it is much more strategic and focussed than a singular piece of content.
According to the Content Marketing Institute in the US, content marketing is, “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.’
This definition, in itself, is still fairly broad. The best content marketing does not ram product, service, special offers and the like down the consumer’s throat, but rather aims to engage them in a ‘story’ – whether about the brand holistically, something the brand has done – for example, pertaining to their CSI ; values the brand has, or just promoting the brand as a thought leader in their industry.
Obviously, various media can be used to create content marketing campaigns that build consumer loyalty. Whether written, video or graphic – any and all of these tools together can make for great content marketing – that is, if they send the correct message.
Here’s a great, yet simple, example of content generation from a local brand that will keep audiences engaged for years, possibly decades. The key to this piece of content (which is a standalone item), is a) the level of engagement, b) the longevity and c) the fact that it neither sells nor promotes product.
By now you’re hopefully wondering what it is? It is none other than a cookbook which was written by the resident test baker at Defy – South Africa’s largest white goods manufacturer. She tests all their ovens and has, over the years, developed her own nearly flop-proof recipes.
If you think about baking and cooking by following a recipe – the consumer’s level of engagement is exceptionally high. They are likely to tell their friends and family about what they’ve made and where the recipe came from, and then return to this resource time and time again – possibly even passing it down a generation. Can you see how this simple tool can build brand loyalty in consumers? I don’t think they necessarily intended it to be a great example of content marketing – and yet it is.