Last week I was honored to kick off the NewsCred Content Marketing Summit.
So I decided to change up my standard Content Marketing Imperative talk. And explain a little more about why I bet my career on content marketing.
I believe content marketing is no longer a question, but an imperative for every brand – large and small, across every industry, in B2B and for consumer brands as well.
The reason is because all of us are now firmly in control of our content experiences. We opt-in to the content we want to watch, read, share and binge on. We opt out of the ads we don’t want and will not accept interruptions to the content experiences we want to consume or share.
The effectiveness of traditional promotional marketing is on the decline in every channel and across every format. We receive 5,000 marketing messages a day. We ignore 99.9% of banner on the websites we visit. We ignore more than 90% of the emails we receive. We skip commercials, throw away mail we don’t want and screen calls from unknown telephone numbers.
In today’s always-on, hyper-connected world, the only option for brands to connect with their audiences is to create, publish and share stories people love.
While social media is barely 12 years old, the impact has been enormous. We are all connected. The “digital, social mobile” world we all talk about – those are just the pipes. It’s the stories that flow across this infrastructure that drive what we do.
Stories have been around as long as man has walked the earth.
Stories helped us survive by conveying important pieces of information that were vital for our survival. But the stories that succeeded were the ones that connected to us through emotion.
The first ads pushed a simple message: buy our stuff. Buy our stuff because other people do. Buy our stuff because people you respect do.
It took decades (and is still the exception) for advertisers to tell stories. The great ads touch our hearts and inspire our minds through emotion.
Seth Godin said that “content marketing is all the marketing that’s left.” And that was way back in 2008!
Peter Drucker said “The aim of marketing is to get and keep customers.” And yet we primarily use tactics that drive potential new customers away.
We are seeing a shift away from paid promotion, through earned (social) media and into owned media. Branded content hubs. Where the brand becomes the platform for storytelling. But takes the brand out of the story. Makes the customers the hero.
Even the largest advertisers are shifting a significant amount of their spend from paid ads to owned content hubs.
We talk a lot about brands telling stories and becoming publishers. But Red Bull is one company leading the way. Their CEO’s advice: “Brands need to take the phrase ‘acting like a publisher’ literally.”