No, you don’t need News of the World headlines about Prince Andrew to engage your readers (although they help), but our parent company, gardyneHOLT has launched a new service – content marketing – that will help you achieve similar results. (The News of the World headline featured in this issue is real, by the way.)
GardyneHOLT this week unveiled its exciting new website – complete with a very cool, very entertaining stop-animation video – to coincide with the launch of the agency’s new Content Marketing Service.
Red Bull, Coca Cola, American Express, Forbes, Kraft Foods, Virgin Mobile, L’Oreal and Marriot International are doing it as a vital part of their overall marketing strategy and – as of right now – gardyneHOLT can help your company get your own content marketing strategy underway.
What is content marketing?
“What lifts a piece of content above all the noise is the value it has to the person reading it. The term we use is ‘valuable content’. Valuable content is supercharged content – words, knowledge and information shaped for your particular audience. It is content with a bigger purpose, useful information created for a niche; quality collateral that really hits the mark.” – Sonja Jefferson, TrustAdvisor
Why is content marketing the best way to put your company front and centre?
- Nine out of ten New Zealanders research information and buying decisions online;
- Two out of three New Zealanders trust word of mouth;
- Advertising in New Zealand is in decline because of rapidly falling effectiveness;
- Nobody reads Ads anymore, but consumption of relevant content is going through the roof;
- Content marketing uses people’s obsession with technology, Internet and Apps to meet the new information needs of people;
“You don’t have to invest the kind of money and resources that the big companies do in content marketing – it’s very easy, once you have a strategy and various channels in place like a website, blog, social media and other networks – to produce and publish good quality, engaging content.” – Gary Richards, Account Director gardyneHOLT
- Content marketing strategic facilitation workshop (together with your management team, staff, stakeholders we help you determine your brand story, positioning, key messages, competitive opportunities, story and content ideas)
- Complete content marketing communications strategy and editorial calendar (based on the strategic planning workshop, research and gardyneHOLT’s expertise)
- Social media set-up and branding, of website (if necessary), your blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Hootesuite, etc.
- Online and general public relations, including preparing and distributing news releases
- Generate and publish valuable content including articles, blogs, press releases, photographs, video, podcasts and any other media required by the strategy
1 in 5 marketing emails are blocked by spam filters, and probably others are filed in the "to read later" box or deleted out of hand… so how do you get your message across when people, frankly, don't give a damn?
According to the ‘Australia and New Zealand Email Intelligence Report’, by email intelligence firm Return Path, reaching the inbox is tough enough for Australians, and its even tougher for Kiwis:
"Australian email marketers scored 74 out of 100 on Return Path’s rating system, performing well against key reputation measures of complaints, unknown users and spam traps. By comparison, New Zealand marketers scored 40."
So what to do about it? Three things…
- Maintain the integrity of your database by emailing people who have opted in; that is they have subscribed on your website. To begin with, your list may be small but the quality will be excellent and it will grow.
- Start by not sending people emails they don't want. Marketing firms send emails about marketing, accountancy firms send emails about accounting and… well, you know what I mean – what is relevant and important to you isn't necessarily so for your clients and subscribers. So mix it up a bit. By all means, be informative. Use your expertise to provide content that helps your clients and subscribers in some way shape or form, but give them some variety on the menu. You can do this by aggregating content from other sources - content that is informative, entertaining or educational but completely off your traditional beat. I saw a real estate agent's newsletter the other day with some real estate advice (namely how to prepare your house for sale), but she also had a recipe for pavlova and advice on what vegetables to plant in February. A wide variety of topics will have wider appeal.
- Click throughs are the real gold. Click through rate is the percentage of people who click one of the links on your email. By sending a variety of content and offers to your subscribers, you will be able to measure who is interested in what. When you understand what people click through on, you will be in a better position to segment them in to different database. I have a client who sells environmental testing equipment. Some of their customers clicked on air testing offers, and others on soil testing offers. By segmenting the database into those who are interested in air quality and those in soil quality - as well as other segments - we can dramatically increase click through rates by between 300 and 600 per cent.
The world is not going digital, it is digital… and if you’re in marketing or communications, this is good news because it presents an opportunity to engage your audience with some really powerful marketing innovations.
In the past, most marketing communication was one way via various types of print media like magazines and newsletters, billboards, television and radio (though it could be argued radio was a bit more interactive than most).
Effective digital marketing however combines technology and technical skills, creativity and strategic thinking to develop campaigns that engage your customers and potential customers in ways that are still being dreamed up.
First off though, it’s important to get the basics correct – like making sure your website works on a mobile device.
According to the 2011 US consumer Mobile Movement survey, 71 per cent of smartphone users that see a TV, press or online ad, do a mobile search for more information.
We know those are American statistics, but experience tells us New Zealand won’t be far behind.
Key to digital marketing is that it offers you multiple ways to add value and functionality to your customers that goes beyond pushing ads at them. Your customers will pay attention if what you’re saying or doing is relevant to their lives in some way, shape or form – and digital marketing delivers it in spades.
Now you can provide them with useful information and compelling stories when they come looking for it. You can offer cool app solutions that help them do things better, faster and more efficiently – like tell how good or bad their night’s sleep was, find the nearest bargains or scan a QR code of a product for more information.
The world is your oyster when it comes to digital marketing, but it is key to package your marketing with professional design, compelling photography and engaging stories if you want to ensure cut through, credibility, functionality and engagement.
Talk to the team here at Jag about how we can help you develop marketing that is relevant to your customers.
Coca Cola has launched its content marketing campaign with a Coca Cola website that looks like a magazine. On the face of it, that might seem like a bizarre move for a company that sells sugar water.
You would think that a consumer soft drink is the last kind of product that would have a need to publish informative and educational content, but Coca Cola knows something a lot of people still haven't caught on to yet – people are turning off 'sales jingles' in favour of substance.
Nobody wants to be exposed to communication that has no relevance for them. Time is too short and life is too fast to sit through meaningless ads. If you have something to say, make it matter or don't say anything at all.
Red Bull have perfected this content marketing approach in the extreme sports niche. The company generates a massive flow of reports, documentaries, profiles and stories across channels like video, print and the web.
Coca Cola is doing the same by telling stories about the people and places it's involved with – cricket, an orphanage in India and human trafficking in Georgia... Coca Cola is bringing us human interest stories from around the world – ordinary people, extraordinary people, places and sights we might not normally be exposed to.
It's far more interesting than a Coke ad, and its also making me aware of how Coke crosses cultures and affects people's lives across the planet. The Coca Cola site is worth spending time with.
That's what content marketing does. Content marketing makes it worth your customer's while to invest some time in what you've got to say, because it is going to inform, educate or entertain her in some way.
At Jag Creative we create content marketing campaigns that help you attract attention with compelling articles and interesting stories and we publish them across multiple channels.
Build profile, establish market presence, and retain customers by becoming interesting. Your customers will want to spend more time with you because they like your company. After all, everybody loves a good storyteller.
Expect company websites to become the centre of an organisation's marketing efforts in 2013, as content marketing increases its share of the marketing budget. More conventional marketing campaigns - including television, radio and print media advertising – will focus on driving traffic to the organization's website.
I would suggest that the heart of any campaign to drive more traffic to your website is a good opt-in strategy. What value can you offer your audience? Preferably at no cost.
White papers are popular, as are reports, eBooks, apps, tip sheets and checklists - to name just a few.
Once you have your offer and a mechanism for capturing email addresses and first names, you can promote the offer across multiple channels, not just via the Internet or social media.
Here are some channels you can use to drive traffic to your website (remember to have an attractive opt-in strategy):
- Radio, magazine and newspaper advertising
- Pay-per-click Google campaigns and their equivalents on LinkedIn and Facebook
- Vehicle and other signage
- Direct mail
I probably don't have to mention more because by now you'll see what I'm driving at.
Conventional marketing channels still have a place, but it's good to think about using them in a different way to the traditional promotional way of doing things - utilise traditional marketing promotions and advertising to give-away free stuff, with the objective of growing your database.