Content marketing is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of marketing deliverables ranging from custom magazines, print or online newsletters, web sites, white papers, and webinars to podcasts, video presentations, interactive online experiences, email campaigns, and events. As you may have guessed, the need for a company to have a strong value proposition or message combined with a cohesive plan for stringing it all together across a variety of mediums—without being diluted in the process—takes a certain measure of creativity.
Three reasons why your company should be focusing on innovative and authentic content marketing include 1) the fact that your customers have become increasingly connected via social platforms, 2) that Google is ranking your importance based on content, and 3) that content platforms are free, easy to create and maintain.
From the article entitled, “Five Reasons You Shouldn’t be a Content Marketer,” Ann Handley writes:
A new model is emerging for brands … what we have is a new model, one of the exciting and interesting opportunities that allows for true innovation. To do what? To mine the stories from within our organizations and bring them brilliantly to light. To bond with customers in collaborative ways. To put some flesh on the bones of a company in a way that’s human and connective, rather than dry and corporate.
When information about a company can be easily aggregated from and streamlined through a variety of channels, it is of the utmost importance to have a unique and memorable message that drowns out all of the competing noise. To illustrate, I recently came across a video that communicates my point exactly:
Having received over 5.5 million views to date, the RCA, an England-based enlightenment organization committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges, has certainly managed to find a captivating and engaging way to illustrate their messages through video animation. (You can watch their other videos here.) By doing something fun, unexpected, and completely original RCA was able to capture the attention of millions and not only show how their ideas are important in the world, but why they should spread and ultimately thrive.
From a July 2010 article in Newsweek entitled “The Creativity Crisis: for the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining,” the author discusses how children in America are becoming less creative (perhaps due to factors such as video games), that schools are dropping the very classes that foster creativity, and why this spells disaster for an increasingly complex world that requires increasingly creative solutions. The author writes:
The potential consequences are sweeping. The necessity of human ingenuity is undisputed. A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the No. 1 “leadership competency” of the future. Yet it’s not just about sustaining our nation’s economic growth. All around us are matters of national and international importance that are crying out for creative solutions, from saving the Gulf of Mexico to bringing peace to Afghanistan to delivering health care. Such solutions emerge from a healthy marketplace of ideas, sustained by a populace constantly contributing original ideas and receptive to the ideas of others.
In short, the companies that embrace creativity and marketers who harness it will ultimately prosper. Unfortunately, the trick is being able to tap into it.