Marketing can be defined in many ways but a definition I always liked describes it as the art of knowing, attracting, and engaging consumers in a mutually beneficial relationship. Throughout the years, this relationship has been constructed in different ways and has faced changes due to many factors and now, customers are unprecedently so involved in the marketing lifecycle of products that companies can now be permanently in contact with them if the consumers see it fit.
Despite this potential, the sea of online ads and spam you receive everyday probably does not even get more than 1 second of your attention and even less if you use tools like Adblocker, for example. So, how can a company get your attention in such a crowded space? By providing you with valuable and relevant content that you want to see and to which you can relate.
This is what we call Content Marketing, the idea that content drives consumers, and you can tell by your own experience: Do you know a company that keeps making you go back to their website simply because of their great Linkedin articles? I cannot even count how many interview tips I have gotten from these. Or maybe because it posts cute and funny pictures on Instagram, no? And what about those tutorials, informative videos or blogs that you care so much? If technology is of your interest, companies like Microsoft, IBM or Intel for example, also have you covered on that.
The point is that the content is not only relevant and informative to the consumer but today, he can also be a part of and interact with it, providing the company with valuable inputs to their strategic plans and marketing contents to further engage and retain its consumers. As I said, it is a mutually beneficial relationship. In the case of Microsoft, they provide news and informative content to customers and in return, are able to customize their services to consumers and to foment their network of users and developers.
Although the impact of Content Marketing has been amplified in recent times, in part due to the rise of technology and online social interaction, this Marketing technique has been buzzing long before the digital era, namely in a company that manufactures agricultural equipment. Ever heard of John Deere? It may not be the “sexiest” place to work as a marketer but Content Marketing was born in 1895 exactly in this company and was one of the pillars of its success, through the “The Furrow”, a customer magazine that tackles agricultural matters and that is sold in over 40 countries, has a circulation of 1.5 million copies and is translated into 12 languages, making a profit on its own, besides being a distinctly recognized John Deere product.
More recently, another company has stolen the spotlight in what concerns Content Marketing and in a completely different industry. Oreo needs no introduction for us millennials, mainly due to their brand image overhaul in 2013, and since then it has made significant efforts in the Marketing field, experiencing very positive results from it.
With Oreo, the possibilities are endless, like mobile games, videos, articles, recipes, you name it, and they have taken full advantage of its potential and have done exactly this. The results? OREO: Twist, Lick, Dunk was #1 mobile game in both Apple and Play Stores, being downloaded more than 15 million times, and their Instagram account has approximately 2,5 million followers, featuring the likes of Neymar and Shaquille O’Neil in their videos. They are incredibly successful in Instagram as their target market is very active here and they constantly interact with them in this platform through humorous and original campaigns such as #PlaywithOreo or #NationalOreoCookieDay, for example.
Some of their most successful campaigns however, did not involve any superstars and not that must investment, but were successful because of their agile way of thinking and creativity. During the 2013 Super Bowl, Oreo was able to react in less than 10 minutes to the power outage of the event and released the “You can still dunk in the dark” image that in itself created more buzz than its multi-million dollar advertisement during the event.
This comes to say that Content Marketing is not enough on its own to lead a Marketing strategy to success but if you are able to integrate it with other channels and use your creativity and true understanding of your target audience, you can create a brand personality they like and that they become attracted to. If there is a key takeaway from this is that with these tools, you are able to make Content Marketing one of your most powerful and efficient techniques to position yourself in the market and to even expand it, independently of your business.
Rodrigo is a member of the Nova Marketing Club and is currently in the 3rd year of his Bachelors in Management.
Last modified: 25/10/2017