Content Marketing Plays Big Role in Social Media Planning Photo credit: fracklemedia.com Content Equals Value Content marketing can be described as the “value” a brand offers in hopes to build a positive association with potential customers. Value from a brand may come in many forms, such as straight facts, training, entertainment, connection, storytelling, coupons, inspiration, or contribution. A blog posted by a member of a brand can provide key details that will be immediately helpful to readers, for example, “Caricature Artists get 16 Gigs a month via Social Media”. Value may also come in the form of a video or a game that temporarily relieves the viewer of stress or possibly inspires creative thinking. Content Marketing is a Gift The content provided by a brand must be seen as a gift, without any implied expectations of a purchase. Consumers have become wary of advertising and quickly move their eyes to something else when they sense an ad. Think about how annoyed you get when your favorite game or music video is interrupted by a commercial. A good motto to follow is, “You must give far more than you expect in return.” Content Marketing Builds Connections Building loyal customers takes time. Just like good friends. You cannot build loyal customers over night. Brand managers need to accept that content marketing will not have an immediate impact on sales. However, if the brand continuously provides value, the readers and viewers of the content will build a bond not only with the brand but also with other customers. Together, the users and the brand can build a lasting connection that will make all other marketing efforts more effective. The impact on sales will be realized down the road. Efforts are underway to measure the impact but sometimes prove too difficult to isolate. This is where our industry still has room for improvement. Content Marketing Builds Brand Value Having brand value goes beyond just sales. It also helps the company attract better employees, partners, customers, and neighbors. Valuable brands are also more likely to get mentioned in the news and social media. The most mentioned computer brand mentioned on TV news and social media is “Apple”. This may not surprise you. Think of the millions of advertising dollars that are saved. Popular political candidates save millions of dollars because they get mentioned in the news on a daily basis. Valuable brands can also provide an edge when it comes to negotiating favorable terms. Wal-Mart and Disney both use this leverage because they know suppliers want to be associated with their brand.