Many businesses make a crucial mistake when it comes to content marketing. They’re under a false impression that they need to create their brand by creating content. That’s it. End of story. Sadly, these businesses are under the wrong impression.
It’s not enough to create content. I’ve seen too many businesses create content and not get far. They register a domain name and fire up their website and believe they have it made. All they want to do now is churn out 5000 words a week and eventually they’ll get noticed. These people are running a marathon by sprinting. Within a month – two months, tops – they burn out. In the beginning, they’re full of spirit and enthusiasm. Before long, they’re burnt out and begin to dread their website.
Content is an art and science.
Content is an art because you get the opportunity to be creative. Creativity leads down some pretty exciting avenues. However, content is also a science because of the way it gets measured. Everything we do in advertising gets scrutinized and examined to see how we can make it better. Times are changing. Advertising and marketing must change with it.
Engaging in a brand-new way.
Marriott hotels did something remarkable to change with and move with the times. They created a 15-minute YouTube video called, “Two Bellman.” They got some of the biggest YouTube actors and actresses to deliver a content piece without deliberately pushing the message that Marriott wants people to stay at their hotels. It was fun, quirky and entertaining. The whole idea was built on the premise that people using their phone to watch videos don’t want to watch 30 seconds of an advertisement before accessing their content. So instead, Marriott’s video became the content that people wanted to watch. It’s far more valuable to have 5000 people seek a brand out on their own terms rather than forcing 10,000 people to watch 30 seconds of an advertisement that ends up getting ignored.
There’s never a dead end with content.
We live in a fast-paced world. Content marketing didn’t really become big until just a few years ago. The thing about content marketing is that it will never end. There’s never a dead end with content. There will always be something more that you can add – another twist you can incorporate into the story. Advertisers are now creative professionals – that’s where the industry is heading today.
Become the content they want to watch.
The way Marriott hotels put it is that they wanted to become the content that people wanted to watch. When they looked at their YouTube comments, the Facebook comments and all the feedback that people had in reaction to their video, they saw that their message wasn’t lost. This is a good example of how the marketer’s main job isn’t to drive sales. Instead, it’s to invite people. Marriott Hotels is doing a fantastic job demonstrating how you can drive a brand without being pushy. The hotel industry cannot force people to stay in hotels. Hotels are a luxury. Marriott realized this and has been driving their brand forward without making their brand the center of attention.
Millennials don’t like being pushed.
The year is not 1986. The business world is not ruled by corporations. The business world is instead ruled by Millennials. Love it or hate it, Millennials aren’t going anywhere. At this point, their numbers have overtaken that of baby boomers. We live in a world where people have a wide variety of choices when it comes to who they do business with. People don’t have to stay at Marriott hotels. Instead of being pushy, they’re merely inviting people to stay at their hotels – and it’s having a tremendous impact that’s making waves that bleed across from the hotel industry to the entire business world.
It’s not about you.
Advertisements and commercials have a bad rap because of the way large television networks use them. People sit on the couch to watch a show or watch a movie after a long day at work because it’s relaxing. When the commercials come on, people take a break and divert their attention elsewhere. It could be to help their children with homework, go to the fridge or take the time to interact with their family. People have been known to mute the commercials. When people do this, all the money that people spend on advertising gets wasted. People aren’t interested in commercials being pushed on them like this.
Your brand is no longer just a name.
Your brand is no longer just a name – it’s your reputation. Reputation is an intangible asset that you want to protect. Reputation cannot be bought – it must be earned. A brand is about the association. You take your name – your company name – and get people to associate products, behaviors and even concepts with it. That’s what a brand is.