Without question, the internet has changed the marketing game’s rules, chiefly in that interruption-based advertising is no longer as effective. Content marketing is the ad industry’s way forward, and all the cool kids are talking about it.
What’s wrong with interruption-based advertising?
The short answer to this question is that, while it’s far from dead, it can’t be a marketer’s only trick anymore.
Essentially, consumers are exposed to more marketing messages than ever before, and have reached a point of ad saturation. They also recognise traditional ad-industry tricks such as exaggeration and puffery, and don’t appreciate being manipulated. Their response has often been to block out ads in a variety of ways, such as:
- Flipping past magazine ads
- Ad blocker software
- Recording TV programmes and fast forwarding through commercials
- Muting ads on YouTube, or simply shifting to another tab while ads play out
- “Training” themselves to ignore banner ads and buttons while surfing the internet
And let’s not forget the impact social media has had on consumer habits. That is, they now demand to be part of a dialogue with other online personas, rather than remain silent recipients of advertising messages.
Bottom-line: Traditional advertising still works. You just have to be a lot smarter about how and when you use it. Roping it into an overall strategy that includes a content marketing dimension would be a great start.
Content marketing: What is it?
Content marketing involves communicating with your market without selling to them. Rather than pitching your products or services, your goal is to give your consumers information that empowers and entertains them. Once you’ve consistently delivered valuable information to your market, they recognise your help by giving you their loyalty.
Why does it work?
Content marketing creates a win-win situation between the consumer’s interests and brand’s interests, which overlap within the Venn diagram of engagement. Consumers become more intelligent thanks to the information supplied by the brand. The brand, in turn, gains loyal customers.