In the “olden days” (aka – pre-Internet ads), companies needed to find where their audience was and place a paid ad there. They bought time on television, spots on radio, banners in stadiums and ads in newspapers. Half of the time it worked. The other half of that money was flushed down the toilet.
When people began adopting internet usage, advertisers pounced and soon ads began worming their way into browsers, invasively marching across screens, interrupting the user experience. As expected, consumer’s started to kick back. Advertising in the digital age meant that advertisers and marketers needed to walk the line between having their message reach their intended audience, while not negatively impacting the user’s overall content experience.
Content marketing was born out of a need for companies to communicate to customers (and future customers) in an engaging way. The good content marketing makes you feel something; great content marketing makes you feel something AND want to share that feeling with your network.
We are in perhaps the best media age of our time. Television has never been better, the devices we use are constantly pushing beyond our imaginations, and social media makes us all feel more connected than ever before. Simply put, we as consumers expect better. We know that ads are the lifeblood of publishing, we accept that. What we don’t accept are bad ads.
Marketers realize that they needed to step up to meet consumer’s expectations. Consumers are savvy they don’t have time for bad content. They know the difference between being “sold to” and being “communicated with.” Content Marketing is creating that conversation with consumers in a way that fosters a shared experience instead of the hard sales pitch. It’s creating increasingly innovative, engaging content that people have come to expect – or better yet, demand.
Here are some great examples of content marketing done well.