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Advertisements are everywhere. Television, radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, you can’t escape ads in today’s society. Marketing through traditional advertising has become a shouting match where brands and products try to out-flash, out-weird, and (most importantly) outsell their competitors. But in the midst of this corporate yelling match customers have become desensitized to traditional ads. What used to be the dominate form of creating customers connections, and spurring brand interest has now become nothing more than white noise that irritates its target audience. Businesses are making money by helping consumers avoid these ads that irritate them so much with things like DVR, Ad Blocker, and premium (ad-less) accounts. When the people you are trying to reach with your message are going out of there way to avoid it, it’s time to reevaluate your course of action.
The salvation of marketing and advertising comes in the form of content marketing. Consumers don’t want to be advertised to. They’re fed up with the constant stream of irritating white noise. Consumers want to be entertained, and informed. So why not change how we tell our brand’s story? The goal now is to not let the audience know that they are being marketed to, to become a more integral part of their lives by providing content that they find valuable and relevant. One of the most successful and viral examples of content marketing success is BuzzFeed. They create fun and relevant content that indirectly features different brands and products.
A great example is this video.
The video is a parody of the main character from the Netflix series House of Cards. While House of Cards is never directly mentioned in the video, aside from a credit in the title of the video, this is undoubtedly meant to create buzz for the show. The video was posted on March 5th, and on March 8th it had over 300,000 You Tube views. The best part is that the people who viewed this content chose to view it, some probably searched to find it. It is also safe to assume that quite a few people shared this video on social media. Suddenly, we have transitioned from customers running from our marketing techniques, to them actively searching for the creative content that we are putting out.
Another great example of content marketing comes from Corning Incorporated, with their “The Glass Age” campaign. This campaign highlights the impact, and ingenuity that the glass industry has had on modern society. While it was created by Corning (a glass industry superpower), it spends more time highlighting the ingenuous and revolutionary developments being made in the world of glass and how it impacts everyone.
It’s time for our brands to tell a story instead of our products. It’s time to engage with customers, and have a greater impact than just selling something. It’s time for a more creative way of marketing.