content marketing

Content Marketing For Actual Human Beings

A few days ago i sought to teach my 5 year old daughter about the life cycle of butterflies for her school assignment. I rolled up my sleeves and conjured quite the grin when i realised she was actually interested in learning about this stuff. To hold her attention, elusive as it is, i became overly animated in gesture and tone and voice, and all was looking pretty good for her show and tell presentation on… the life cycle of butterflies. I did my absolute best, repeating for emphasis and nigh breaking into song and dance to get the cycle to stick, and for the most part, she got the gist of it as she is intimately familiar with caterpillars and butterflies and other really creepy crawlies that adults tend to shy from. Chrysalis and cocoons however, those eluded her a bit, so I turned to youtube, and alas, we were there. The video was fun, and colourful and simplistic as it was meant to appeal to fiery fivers, so it was really short too. That’s when I realised something quite interesting this is it had more than 600,000 views… six hundred thousand! I know professional artists who would give anything to have their music videos rake in those numbers. It seems i’m not the only parent looking up life cycles of butterflies

What content are real people looking at?

My wife’s life has also taken a digital turn since discovering Pinterest. Each night, she diligently searches through public boards for outfit ideas.. and she gets them, all the time, then she creates her own for others to pick up and share, feeding the “what to wear with what” machine. Not once has Pinterest let her down, it always delivers. Now i’m also on the bandwagon, maybe not every night, but quite often. It has since become my number one research tool for creative ideas, especially layout design and web design case studies. Actually, now that I this of it, Pinterest has totally replaced google searches in that category for inspiration.

You could argue that with relationships, trade becomes inevitable

Tendai Machaka

Content Marketing for relationship building

These 2 platforms have made a real contribution to my family life and work life, providing entertainment, education and inspiration (EEI). This got me thinking about how most brands and companies seem to loose that real connection by repeatedly shoving the wrong type of content to their markets. Technology has opened a world of possibilities to communicators, and quite literally too. Regrettably, for the most part, brands still seem to miss the human action part. During any normal day, we will go online looking to be entertained, informed or to be inspired, imagine if your brand would provide all this on one platform, or all all platforms for that matter. Most companies in South Africa however still seem to focus more on information, and often negate the other 2 which in my humble opinion, are quite key ingredients in the “connection recipe”. If I asked you to think of a brand that made you laugh or feel all warm inside, chances are you are still loyal to that brand. This engagement may have happened in the form of imagery, reading blogs or periodic publications, social media posts or videos.

 

Content marketing that just doesn’t push product, sells more product.

Clever marketers are figuring out what EEI is to their market. For example, to some, entertainment is fashion trends and pictures, to others it is quite literally jokes or humour and others yet, music videos and audio. Imagine a brand with a well crafted mix of content that entertains, informs and inspires. A brand that meets you at your point of need. In most cases, global powerhouses have embraced User Generated Content (UGC), because who knows people more that people right? The thing is, this is just one avenue and brands can still connect themselves with their markets today. Connection with your target through strategic content marketing that speaks to and addresses the cerebral, intellectual and aspirational needs will make your brand, product and service stand out as they become more than just a product. Think of this concept in the form of relationships and family. Who wouldn’t buy cookies from a niece, nephew or their neighbours kid? Once there is a relationship, trade is simpler due to the trust that would have been nurtured by “just being there”. You could almost say, with relationships, trade becomes inevitable. See where i’m going with this? Investing in relationships inevitably grows brands, with the added “benefit of a doubt” benefit for bad PR, what’s not to love. This is why people follow people on social media, and when those brand ambassadors say “I bought this here”, then all the minions must buy one there too. It is quite possible to achieve this relationship directly with client without being coarse by blatantly shoving product in their face.

Entertain, inform and inspire your target market into relationships through well crafted strategies for content marketing and you won’t go wrong, it may take time, but what good thing doesn’t. Just think butterflies and outfits, the rest should be a breeze.

Article by TJ Machaka – Creative Director at Cornelius James Branding South Africa.

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