Many businesses shy away from content marketing. It's a term that gets thrown around, but that is often misunderstood - and, so, organisations conclude that it is best avoided.
Writing for Entrepreneur, Toby Nwazor provides a brilliantly clear explanation that gets to the heart of the matter. He says: "To keep things simple, I like to say that content marketing is just good old storytelling. Make that storytelling to a targeted audience, with a precise purpose: to convert your audience members into customers."
Put like that, it's easy to see the value in content marketing - and Toby goes on to outline five reasons why businesses shouldn't keep ignoring it. His first reason is: everyone reacts to a good story.
From novels to films, news articles to personal anecdotes: we read, watch, listen to and tell stories every single day. They are powerful entities - and that makes them a powerful business tool as well.
But, like any story, content marketing stories have to be worth telling. So, a rambling blog post describing, in intricate detail, the features of your latest product? That's a no. But, a well-written blog post highlighting an issue that your audience faces and explaining how your business (and product) can help them to solve it? That's a yes.
Toby says: "Almost everyone will slow down for a beautifully told story or other creative content."
And, if you can get the right people to slow down, you can power up your business.
1. Everyone reacts to a good story Storytelling was one of humankind's earliest means of communication, and through the ages it has remained relevant. Stories, after all, are human triggers. While it is an established fact that humans have a short reading span online, almost everyone will slow down for a beautifully told story or other creative content. That reminds me of the wisdom shared by Nirmal Gyanwali, a Sydney-based web design expert, at the 2015 Content Marketing World Conference. Said Gyanwali: "Content marketing, when done properly, is bound to generate more inbound traffic to your site for the reason that good content marketing focuses on what the people want to hear and not what the business wants to tell them. Stories are good bait. [Listeners will] always bite."