Acting like a media company is imperative in today’s business world. Back then, the “middlemen” were the big media corporations who had most of the control of what people received in terms of content. They were controlling television, radio, billboards, and newspapers, deciding what makes the cut. The consumers’ attention has been shifting rapidly to places where there are no longer people in charge of what content gets shown. The internet is now the middleman! We live in times where anyone with a smartphone can produce content for themselves or for a business, and it can reach hundreds, thousands, even millions of people. The consumers (the overall market) gets to decide what good content is. Good, great, valuable, or bad content is all subjective. When you act like a media company, you put out tons of content and get to see what people react to, what they enjoy, etc. You are in full control of your company’s content distribution and can build an actual brand around your company’s ethos. The best part is that most of the marketing channels people are paying the most attention to are free! Although, you do have the choice of amplification of content with paid options within some platforms to reach more people. It’s time to discuss the two most important factors for marketing in 2017.
Marketing in 2017 doesn’t just mean putting out content in relevant places. Yes it’s true that in order to get in front of your target audience, you have to produce content in places where they have a chance to see it. The challenging part about this is to create content that is valuable to your target audience. Creating content for the sake of creating content will do you no good if all your content is about your company or the company you work for. It’s best to try to create content around your audience’s interests. A simple example of this is a local sports bar creating content around different sports according to the seasons that are currently on instead of making every piece of content about the prices of the different beers at the bar. Valuable content is subjective, but the attempt to provide value is a better approach than being spammy. Nike does an excellent job with branding and marketing in today’s tech infrastructure. A big portion of Nike’s audience is made up of athletes and fitness enthusiasts, so it’s obvious to see why Nike puts out a lot of motivational content that their audience can probably relate to.
Now what does an Instagram post like this do for Nike? What’s the ROI (return on investment) for this post? This is more of a long-term thinking/branding approach. It’s more about pushing your brand and what it represents. There is no definite number for the ROI. Nike is playing and has been playing the long-term game. This picture with the guy wearing the Nike training shirt and with the captain “You can quit. Or you can quit complaining” is a motivational piece of content that represents Nike. Keep “value” in mind when producing content. Producing marketing content can be in different forms such as images, videos, voice (podcasts), and written form (blogs). When you think you got the right themes for your marketing content, then take the time to understand where you should be putting out this content.
Since mankind started taking over the planet, content distribution has never been more open and feasible. Distribution is such an important factor to your marketing strategy. What good is having the best content in the world, yet it reaches no one? What good is having great content that reaches the wrong audience? You see how this is tieing together. You have to think about a consumer’s attention if you want to understand content distribution. A mother with two babies and a passion for interior design will most likely be spending more time on Pinterest than a male basketball player who plays on his high school’s basketball team. It wouldn’t make sense if a company selling sports apparel and is marketing to young teens chooses to make Pinterest a priority marketing platform over Instagram.
If you are not marketing like it’s 2017, know that your competitors most likely are.
Social network platforms are now being considered more of marketing channels to businesses because so many people spend countless hours on these platforms. You can look at actual data in app stores to see which platforms are being downloaded the most, therefore you get a better idea of where the market’s attention is. Some of the most popular ones right now are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
Our Instagram article goes into more detail about that specific platform and marketing. Another way to reach an audience with your content (if it’s in written form like blog posts) is distributing content on other blogs/websites your target audience visits. Many blogs allow guest posts, where other people or companies provide value to the blog site in exchange for awareness. Not only is guest posting great for SEO and backlinking, it’s a good way of getting your brand in front of new people who have interests in what your company does. We can go on and on with tactics on different platforms for distribution like Instagram influencers, Facebook Ads, etc. but that is a whole ‘nother article.
The overall takeaway is to know that your company can operate like a media company to some degree with all the empowerment from the internet. If you are not marketing like it’s 2017, know that your competitors most likely are.