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Let Your Brand Do The Talking, A Content Marketing | The Brand Studio

“Letting your brand do the talking”

This is the first of our content publication series published in all hopes that companies, brands and content developers will utilize every bit of information presented when looking to introduce own content marketing strategies. Content marketing is fairly old but in recent years, a lot of companies have broken out of their comfort zone and have started making use of their most valued asset, their intellectual property to attract and retain customers. In order to break down what content marketing is, the following questions will be guiding us through.

We ask:

What is content marketing?

What are some of the basic tools in Content Marketing?

In letting your brand do the talking — how and where do we begin?

We discuss some of content marketing success stories (One Rand Man Web Series)

Lastly, we discuss ways that will help you establishing your own content marketing strategy (A Step By Step Guide)

What is Content Marketing?

In order to understand the true definition of content marketing, we must first dissect the term. “Content” is essentially information that is disseminated via electronic media, while “marketing” refers to the set of strategies and processes to communicate a product or service’s intended value so as to drive profitable consumer action. So when we combine these two terms we understand that content marketing is the strategic use of content to bring customers closer to your products or services.

Content marketing is the marketing and businesses process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience — with the objective of driving profitable customer action

– Michele Linn, Content Marketing Institute

Content marketing allows a company to demand market leadership and show its knowledge base by making a meaningful impact and contribution to their industry. It is different to traditional marketing in that the focus is shifted away from communicating who you are as a company or why you are the best, to who your customer is and providing value through content.

In order to be impactful, this content must be delivered on a consistent basis. There are basic tools that content marketers use to effectively distribute informative and valuable content.

What are some of the basic tools used in Content Marketing?

There are so many types of content marketing strategies that exist especially in today’s digital age. Each content marketing strategy is driven by a combination of digital and Information tools. These tools are used effectively to deliver content to consumers. What drives a decision as to which mix of tools to utilise is dependent on the targeted customer.

Digital Drive (Photography & Video)

Photography and video are the most popular ways of delivering rich media content especially on social media. We live in the era of the connected generation which means that consumption of both images and video will forever rise. The downside of these two is that with the rise of consumption, the rate of production is also high. This means that companies need to invest in consistent high quality photography and video to demand a voice in their respective industries.

Information Drive (Blogs & Websites)

Thanks to publishing platforms like, WordPress, LinkedIn and Medium.com, sharing information has never been easier. There are millions of existing blogs and pages dedicated to content marketing. This implies that there are over a million articles that are being published on a daily basis. A portion of these contribute heavily to content marketing, with subjects varying across all industries.

Publishing since the digital evolution, is no longer the playground for the media houses only but professional individuals, the stay home dads and independent journalists have also taken it up upon themselves to share valuable information. Today anyone, from the individual to the major enterprise can become a publisher of original content but successful publishers are those that consistently share knowledge and information that highlight their industry expertise and insights.

Design (Graphic Art & Info)

A painting is more than just art; it’s a story, an emotion — it’s a progression of mankind. Humans by nature are highly visual creatures thanks to the gift of sight. The use of digital graphics floods the internet as all brands battle for attention in the digital world. Memes, animated videos and Info-graphics remain excellent forms of content marketing and contributes greatly to content consumption.

Info-graphics in particular come in handy when info needs to be condensed and presented through graphs and charts. This gives an opportunity for big data companies like banks to accurately condense information in a friendly and consumable way possible for consumers, eliminating a strain of bombarding consumers with boring numbers and figures on white papers.

All of these tools, when perfectly blended, allows companies to do the talking, to have a voice and claim market domination.

“Traditional marketing and advertising is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world that you are one.” — Robert Rose

Letting your brand do the talking — how do we begin?

“Don’t Just Sell, Add Value “

A brand or company needs to be able to speak in tons the work it is involved in and perhaps also the work it is not involved in. The best approach according to content marketing gurus is to always think educational when engaging in content marketing. Content marketers must share content that will improve the success of companies and individuals respectively. They must after consuming your content, be empowered, become smart and ready to make an impact using the information they have been exposed to.

There are many ways for a brand to do the talk, add value and these are some of the types of content marketing.

In television there is what we refer to as branded content. Branded content refers to the process where big brands like Unilever or Nike produce or sponsor a show. Such shows are categorised as Advertiser funded shows or programmes (AFPs). The advertiser will fund a production and pay a certain fee for airplay on a desired TV channel.

Each show is chosen by each brand on various merits and one of the basic one is that the show has to be “a brand fit”. Unilever for an example will fund a cooking show since majority of its products are cooking products. In that way, not only Unilever as a business gets the exposure but it also allows the show to educate customers on how to best use some of Unilever’s products and that’s content marketing.

Discussion some of content success stories (One Rand Man Web Series)

https://onerandfamily.sanlam.co.za/

Content marketing comes in many varieties depending on the medium or a channel as previously stated. Each channel also has limits to what you can present to the public. For an example, a blog can be content rich in media. Included in a bog could be pictures and Info-graphics, but it is totally different to video because a video captures emotions and moments. This means that the impact or an engagement on these mediums will not be of the same nature.

A focus on this publication is something that is closely linked to Film and Television. Some of TV’s previous success shows include the ever so popular Coca-Cola pop stars, a popular talent search show that breaded celebrities and artist in the early 2000.

The other Advertiser Funded Programmes areTropika Island of Treasure(SABC1) (Sponsored by Tropika), Vodacom Yebo Millionaires, the prestige annual MTN SAMA Awards and the list goes on. The one which stands out and key to this publication is One Rand Man (2014) Web series.

One Rand Man is a TV series by Sanlam. According to Arcade Content TV, One Rand Man, is a King James’ campaign for Sanlam about a man who has his salary paid in one rand coins. This is a 4 part series, documentary style educational content aimed at educating viewers on how to save. What is interesting about the series is that it never went on TV but only online.

Since we are living in a connected world, a content convergence approach seemed precise and the series delivered on its promise. Although the impact cannot be measured accurately, Arcade Content TV as specialised online content producers carved the perfect recipe for online success.

What was important here is the value that was provided through content marketing by Sanlam. The statement “Don’t just sell, add value” fits perfectly well with this campaign. Not only Sanlam got to showcase their savings and investment services, it also helped ordinary citizens, non-Sanlam clients to save and spend their money wisely so, One Rand at a time.

Lastly, we discuss ways to help you establishing your content marketing (A Step By Step Guide)

Establishing a content marketing strategy starts with having a clear vision for your business and well-defined set of goals for your brand with regards to what you want to achieve. This does not only help you drive your approach but it also helps narrow down your content focus. The step by step guide is a 3 phase guide provided by Content Marketing Institute, an organisation that is focused and dedicated to developing content tools and tips for businesses.

Each phase will enable a focus on key elements of your business allowing you to strategically develop a distinct content marketing initiative.

PHASE I — A purpose driven content mission

Content marketing isn’t a one-time campaign. It’s a continuously evolving process that follows a strategic path, based on your organization’s goals, assets and value propositions.

[If you are just starting with content marketing we need to find the purpose that will drive your strategy.]

[If you have already begun to create content but are struggling to get the results you were expecting, you might want to start with an honest assessment of your content efforts:]

Identify your greatest challenge:

When looking at your business goals, identify the point where your team is struggling the most to achieve its goals.

Lack of awareness?

Distinguishing yourself from the competition?

Struggling to get leads?

Struggling to convert prospects into customers?

What specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, time-based goal would you like to achieve? E.g. increase customer database 20% in 6 months

Optimizing your existing program

What content are you currently producing?

What platforms are you disseminating your content?

Do you have an overarching strategy or plan?

Are your content marketing efforts unrelated projects?

What is your content marketing mission?

What is our goal for creating content?

What valuable experience can we deliver at a key stage of their journey?

What target audience can help us satisfy that goal?

What makes OUR approach to delivering this value different?

PHASE II — Find your target audience

Start by describing the ideal customer who might benefit most from the content you create:

WHO is the persona? What traits characterize her?

WHAT roles does she play? What does her typical day look like?

WHERE is the gap in her needs/wants (beyond our products/services)?

WHEN does she need to close this gap (i.e., where is she in the purchase funnel)?

WHY would she care about us, as a company (aside from our product)?

PHASE III- content management resources

Are you currently producing your own content?

Do you have an in-house marketing team?

Do you currently have an in-house graphic designer?

What channels are you currently using to share your content?

There are multiple resources as we have previously discussed on some of the basic tools used in content marketing. The trick is getting the right content mix for your business. When we take into account that each business is unique, it is highly recommended that you pick the right mix for your business. That will not also ensure success but will also yields results, in terms of sales.

This publication is powered by The Brand Studio that holds that brand developers, brand managers and business owners ought to realise their brand’s true potential at any given stage of their business.

Contribution: Nelson Moropana, Tasneem Abrahams

Editor : Thembekile Sibiya

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