Content Marketing: Yes, You’re Probably Doing It Wrong.

In digital marketing, we have a saying, “Content is king.”  Without a proper content marketing strategy, you’re doing nothing but merely talking.  Talking to hear yourself talk as my grandmother would say.  The concept of creating content isn’t merely writing a blog on the features and specifications of your latest product or creating a YouTube commercial to advertise on every website you can find.  It is an art form that requires genuine thought, and a little bit of fun.

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Take for example the brilliant marketing strategy behind the  Straight Outta Compton movie.  In preparation for the big premiere, nearly everybody (companies included) posted pictures with the “Straight Outta…. Insert Subsequent City.” The filter spread to the masses in a matter of days.

The most important part of it all was that one little piece of branding, the small Beats by Dre icon on every single one of them.  It wasn’t Beats talking about their newest solo headphones or some ergonomic design with Bluetooth capability, in fact, it had nothing to do with headphones at all.  What you’re probably saying now is “It advertised the movie!”  You’re absolutely right, it did advertise the movie, but again in a way that would draw interests on social media.  Not the usual commercial, or behind the scenes featurette.

Another example is the approach Red Bull takes as it pertains to marketing.  Red Bull doesn’t need to consistently tell you they specialize in energy drinks, instead, they feature extreme sports such as skateboarding and dirt bikes.  Patagonia looks more like a charitable organization than a clothing brand.

How can these brands afford to market everything but their product?  It’s because they know that people are more likely to react to brands that are doing some good in the world, or promoting interesting topics.

A previous employer once asked me to create a strategy for them; one they could execute throughout all social media platforms.  They did not have a blog, no plans of starting one, and had virtually no content.  This particular employer was a longstanding pillar in the men’s clothing industry, in business for nearly 100 years and many ‘firsts’ to their name.

One suggestion I gave, which would’ve worked well, was the idea of reaching out to local entrepreneurs.

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They were very proud of being a local company, founded and continues to operate in Dallas, TX.  My proposal was to reach out to the local entrepreneurs in Dallas to feature stories about how they started and why they choose to do what they do.

We would dress these featured business owners in some of our best selling products.  It was, in my mind, a great way to promote ourselves without having to sell ourselves.

The moral to the story is that when you are sitting around trying to figure out how to create content and what you are going to create, remember it’s not about you.  What do I mean by that?  I mean the content is not about you, it’s not meant for you, it’s meant for your potential followers.  It is them who you must impress enough to follow your brand.  Impress enough to click on that website link on your profile.  And impress enough to inquire about what it is you do and potentially purchase your product/service in the future.