For the last 100-plus years, content marketing has been around. I’ll take it one step further and say that since the dawn of man content marketing has existed.
The first caveman that discovered fire told the elaborate story of how it came to be and he sold the idea of warmth to his buddy. His buddy turned that idea into a story for his mate about how to cook their food and so on. The story, whether in grunts, groans, and hand gestures, or through emojicons and hypertext, should be central to your campaign.
In the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, it was mass media that controlled marketing. Advertisers were held hostage by the major media outlets like TV, radio and Print. The term “Mass Media” was coined to self-describe the size of the outlet. I think Mass Marketing is best described as “reach the most number of people at one time as possible.”
In 2016, we have what I term “micro media”- outlets at the upper definition such as social media platforms like FaceBook, YouTube and SnapChat. However, influencers and big brands have partitioned these outlets to develop their own channel and ultimately their own followers.
There are obvious and definite advantages to corralling folks who are dedicated followers. There are also cautions. Here are the do’s and don’ts of channel management.
1. FOCUS ON YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Don’t even consider posting any content until you have a robust understanding and definition of your target audience. Never post without fully understanding the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) for your target audience. Once you can answer that question you can then focus your efforts on the channels and content most relevant to them.
2. IDENTIFY THE CHANNELS YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE FREQUENTS
Trend analysis of the platform demographics is a fancy way of saying who’s there and what are they interested in. You wouldn’t feed your cat bird food just because they like birds. By examining this information you will uncover trends and positions that may not have been casually apparent.
3. ADAPT TO THE PLATFORM
Make your content platform specific and relevant to that audience. For example, don’t repost a blog of 500 words to a twitter feed with only 140 characters. Think of a new way to entice that audience to click through for the root content. Don’t try to fit the content to all of the outlets- make it specifically relevant to each outlet and its audience.
4. DON’T BE AFRAID OF EXPERIMENTING
Don’t overlook a trending outlet like Snapchat simply because its user-base is primarily teenagers. Teenagers have a way of becoming your target audience in the next 10 years or so. Be open to the unique ideas and opportunities that new media offers.
5. OFFER SOMETHING OF VALUE TO YOUR AUDIENCE
This is where I rip off the Band-Aid. If you expect your audience to respond favorably to you and your brand, don’t short-change them on the content and do not underestimate their BS meter.
The days of “Build it and they will come” are long over! You know that the customer and your target audience are your most valuable digital asset- do not take them for granted. Do not add to the white noise already out there.
6. VISUALIZE THE AUDIENCE
Let the audience see who you really are- post relevant picture and videos of staff members doing real things, volunteering at local animal shelter or feeding the homeless. Visual media is today’s attention grabber. Making use of it without compromising your brand or the audiences intelligence is tricky but doable. Rich, expansive and colorful, these are the basic keys to keep in mind when addressing this for your media campaign.
Having a media development department may seem out of reach for your brand, but sageCADRE is just a click away. If you just want to chat and explore your options, please reach out to us, we really are here to help.
Rik D. Middleton is the principal thinker with sageCADRE and has been the driving force behind some of the agencies most engaging campaigns for nearly a decade.