Notes from the Trail - August 20, 2014
Content marketing, social media, and user experience seem to be all the key buzzwords that are rocking the blogs lately, and as marketing professionals, we need to pay attention. Certainly, the methods and tactics that worked for our parents’ marketing strategies aren’t going to work for us, and even the strategies we ourselves used less than a decade ago are becoming obsolete.
Current times demand marketing programs that center on the consumer. As the lines between social media and search engines blur, the quality of a content strategy can be the lifeblood of any marketing mix. But, as is often the case with anything web related, there could be a major twist on its way.
As investigated in the article: What do Coca-Cola, Kim Kardashian’s Butt, and the Ice Bucket Challenge Have In Common?, even the nature of content marketing and social media may be undergoing more change. Whereas it was once imperative to ensure value-added, educational style content, the success of some recent online campaigns indicates that the definition of “value” in certain cases could be transforming.
Value-added content typically provides customers and prospects with information they can use to formulate better opinions, and make better decisions throughout their research/discovery phases. However, as can be seen in some very successful recent campaigns, it could soon be the case that the value in the content will be the person who’s reading it.
Personalization: Nothing New
Personalizing content for prospects isn’t a new online idea. Heck, it’s not even a new marketing idea. The notion that a salesperson can close more business by remembering a prospect’s likes, dislikes, important date, hobbies, etc. is as old as sales itself. However, the move to create campaigns that allow individuals to stand in the spotlight (while happily promoting your product) seems to take the idea of personalization to a completely different level.
It shouldn’t be astounding to consider that by allowing your customer to become the face of your marketing campaign you’ll likely see better results. In fact, it seems almost obvious in light of society today. The desire to be liked, noticed, and receive approval from peers is a key motivator for many people, and the ability of individuals to gain social currency is a key to the success of sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. The ability of marketers to meld that approval with their own particular brands is simply a way to capitalize on a common human behavior.
Sometimes, this seems all too obvious, and indeed, even the idea of social currency isn’t new to marketers. What current trends are starting to demonstrate, however, is the sheer unstoppable power the right campaign can have, if the target audience is able to insert themselves directly into it…