Content Marketing: Changing consumer behaviour
Growing up, there was no getting around having to watch television commercials or listen to radio advertisements. Whether you were watching your favourite primetime sitcom or listening to the Top 30 countdown, the interruption was expected and part of the overall experience.
Fast forward to 2014. DVRs record your favourite show so you can fast forward through commercials, and satellite radio eliminates those pesky ads for health products or car dealers that you don’t want to listen to. People now have the power to pick and choose what they want to see or listen to. This power has greatly affected the traditional world of marketing. Brands need to be creative in how they target their audiences because the traditional methods no longer work. The online channel has seen significant growth as a result, but even here users have become more savvy and have the ability to tune messages out as they see fit.
There has been a lot of buzz about content marketing but what exactly is it?
“Content Marketing is a marketing technique of 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.” – CMI
Put simply, content marketing’s main purpose is to attract and retain customers by changing consumer behaviour. This is a not a process that occurs overnight, but one that is constantly changing and evolving to meet audience expectations and needs. Traditional brand spots or radio ads might try to sell you through product placement or messaging. Content marketing creates a communication channel between the brand and the audience without the hard sell. With content marketing, it is less about the product or service and more about providing your audiences with content that allows them to make informed decisions. The payoff for a brand occurs when all this great information is rewarded with business and customer loyalty.
The Power of Story
Content marketing is being used by big brands like Apple, Coca-Cola and P&G. Coca Cola is a leader in this area. They are leveraging content marketing to meet their business objectives though stories that make people stop, think, discuss and share. Their goal is to grab a greater share of popular culture.
Casinos have jumped into the mix as well, using it for both acquisition and retention purposes. For example, the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas redesigned their website in a responsive design format to improve the customer experience. (Responsive design optimizes content for smartphones and tablets.) This is critical as mobile and tablet usage continues to increase. The site offers different experiences and caters to a person looking at the casino property for the first time versus someone who has been there before and wants to book a room right away. This is a good example of understanding the customer journey and creating content to support their overall experience.
Key to Marketing Mix
Creating and distributing great content should be part of your overall marketing mix. We see this theory put into practice when companies develop a content marketing strategy before launching their Facebook page, LinkedIn company profile or Twitter handle. From an organic search perspective Google has shown us that they reward businesses that publish consistent content using natural language. Any pay-per-click campaign requires quality content to work effectively and create conversions. Engaging content is also necessary for inbound traffic and lead generation. The key to all of this is developing a content marketing strategy that supports all of these channels.
Content marketing will become increasingly more important for businesses. Casino marketers need to embrace this fact and understand that good content marketing can make a person behave differently. If you can change a person’s behaviour, meet their needs and provide value at every turn along their journey you have a great chance of earning their loyalty and their business.
How do you see content marketing benefiting your brand?