Rethinking Content Marketing
Have you seen a rainbow eucalyptus tree? They look as if someone took a brush and painted colorful, vertical stripes on the bark. You don't expect to see bright green, blue, red and orange stripes on a tree -- patches of bark that shed annually, darkening the layers to reveal different tones and hues. This one lives on the road to Hana in Maui.
The colors that call attention to these tall slender trees found in a field of green are no different than a good piece of content that readers find on the Web. Content -- whether video, blog post, or case studies -- should set the tone for the company's image and point of view, and help consumers discover products and services by thinking out of the box.
Similar to any content marketing strategy: know the brand's potential and existing customers. About 80% of brands don't know their customers, according to a Yesmail Interactive study. The study focuses on using data to market to consumers, but tips in the key findings of the report provide insight into content creation strategies, such as "just because you know what your customer buy doesn’t mean you know your customers," and "organizations need to message to consumers, not to the channel." Translate that into: marketers should create content for consumers, not for the channel, and learn more about potential and existing customers from the content they chose to interact with.
Images will become more important for brands trying to reach consumers, which in turn forges a fresh focus for Google and other search engines. New York Times Nick Bilton tells us Instagram reports people share 45 million photos daily on the site, and 16 billion total since it began less than three years ago. He also describes how Google co-founder Sergey Brin responded to an email while eating lunch by snapping a picture of his surroundings through Google Glass.
Adding data to structure and photo or images gives content meaning. The data becomes the connection that links between. Marketers can use guidelines at Schema.org as a guide. While Schema.org, a shared vocabulary, helps search engines understand the content of Web pages, it also helps marketers to integrate data across applications and content.
Thinking out of the box will help create content consumers comment on and share.