The year 2017 has seen the rise of several content marketing tools that pave the way for a new digital era. In here, you ought to discover how these tools can be maximized to reach the right audiences and catapult your brand to success.
Content marketing is more than just paying for banner space or posting ads on a website to sell your brand. Content marketing transcends that traditional type of advertising; it goes beyond and deeper into an actual human interaction to create meaningful relationships with users.
It’s not just about asking people and persuading them to buy your products, but about getting them to fall in love with the process and experience your brand offers. There is a high level of awareness of content marketing among brands, but only a few know how to utilize the tools that they offer.
Learning these, the call for brands to diversify themselves and to think of what makes them unique from others becomes increasingly essential. By clearly defining these, they will be able to set themselves apart successfully from other brands that come up with similar content.
One of the things content marketers need to look out for is the vast opportunity that mobile media offer. CISCO reports said that smartphone traffic would exceed that of PCs by the year 2020.
More and more people turn to their smartphones to access websites and social media, so it is important for brands to consider this in implementing their content plans. It is imperative that websites and content be functional, easy to digest, and compatible on mobile.
This popular shoe brand’s mobile website is a perfect example of how a brand can perfectly optimize their content for mobile. Their homepage includes a banner that links to current website promotions or product information. They also feature a menu section which allows you to filter categories to get users to quickly and easily view the products they are interested in. The mobile website design is a perfect mix of clean and minimalistic design with engaging and interesting content, perfect to be viewed on a user’s smartphone.
Users tend to have a better experience if the content is something interactive, conversational, and accessible in real time — such as the case for media in the form of videos, blog posts or live streams.
For instance, last April, Buzzfeed used Facebook Live to showcase a video of two people putting rubber bands on a watermelon to see how many it would take for the watermelon to burst. The video streamed for 45 minutes. And though it had a ridiculous premise, over 800,000 people all over the world tuned in to watch the video. Why exactly was this live video so effective? It was mainly because of these three reasons: an appeal of mobile medium, real-time value, and the instant user engagement.
Watching videos has become more easily accessible because of faster Internet speeds and the use of a mobile medium. Buzzfeed knew exactly how they could use Facebook’s new live feature to appeal to the general population, who are glued to their mobile phones 24/7. The video was also effective because it was aired in real time which made the viewers feel as if they could experience the event vicariously. Lastly, viewers were able to give instant feedback and engage with the video all through their mobile phone. This gave viewers an overall more enhanced user experience.
The Rise of Virtual Reality
This has opened new opportunities for brands to offer richer and more enhanced content to their users. Although innovativeness is important, marketers should veer away from using gimmicky and flashy tools to launch their content, especially if it offers nothing of use to consumers.
Apparently, it’s not wise to simply jump on the bandwagon without clearly conceptualizing how it can improve the user experience.
What brands need to know is that they must be able to smartly use these tools to create a whole new dimension of experience that users have never been to before.
For instance, virtual reality allows users to look at different angles of a video through a virtual reality headset, giving them the feeling that they are part of the video, making the experience all the more interactive, personal, and worthwhile.
An example of a brand that has perfectly used this innovation is Tom’s, a shoe brand that has proven its mastery at storytelling. In its flagship store in Venice, California, they have a “virtual reality chair” which allows people to be transported into a journey of a “giving trip” at Peru. This is also where you get to meet village children and give out shoes, all through a virtual reality headset. The whole experience feels all the more real, memorable, and engaging, that people would be able to perfectly understand the mission Tom’s is vouching for.
This paves the way for a greater message impact and retention. An even easier way to start with virtual reality is by looking into the usage of 360 videos, which is something Facebook and other mobile apps have already started to integrate.
For one, 360 videos give the same effect as virtual reality, in which you can move your phone around and be able to see the different angles, but without necessarily using a headset.
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Brands such as Mercedes-Benz have already uploaded 360 videos online, which immerses you into an experience as if you’re driving along the coast of the Californian Coastline. Likewise, Qantas, Hamilton Island, and Samsung have then partnered together to create a 360 video that allows users to experience the island — as if you’re really there swimming with the turtles, playing golf, or just simply enjoying the breathtaking views.
Brands can look into these fresh and innovative formats to improve user experience while, of course, still offering quality content that their audiences will connect to.
The Heart of Content Marketing
This will always be the value you can offer to your consumers. To create a reliable and unforgettable experience for your consumers, your content should be something of value. It is important to always remember the motive behind every single content being posted.
If a brand can sincerely offer something valuable to their consumers with the end goal of enhancing their user experience in mind, then they are surely creating winning content for their brand. And before you know it, this will carry on to translate into sales and customer loyalty, and the brand’s overall success.