To Market To Market

Photo of Anne Marie Purdy

BY Anne Marie Purdy

October 18, 2019

Creative

Content marketing has been around for years, and as it becomes harder to capture people’s attention, it has emerged as a popular and pervasive strategy for many brands. Unfamiliar with its full scope? Read on.

The Content Marketing Institute gives this definition:

“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

The key word here is “valuable.” You can tell that a piece of content could be used as content marketing if people seek it out, if people want to consume it, rather than avoiding it, like they avoid many ads or marketing pieces. The goal is to provide as much value from your content marketing to as much of your target audience as possible.

If you’re thinking about building or amplifying your branded content, here are a few examples that might inspire you.

Video Content

Food lifestyle brand Bon Appétit developed a recipe for viral, long-form videos on YouTube, with its Test Kitchen editors starring as hosts. In 2018, the Condé Nast publication tripled its YouTube subscribers to more than 3 million, a number that has since grown to more than 3.9 million. The brand’s YouTube success – and its audience’s viewing habits – led Condé Nast Entertainment to launch a free Bon Appétit app this February. Last month, Bon Appétit saw an average view duration of more than 11 minutes on YouTube.

Editorial Content

King Arthur Flour needed to reach a new generation of bakers. They wanted to develop content that would inspire and invite a broad audience to share in the joy of the craft, while speaking with a level of expertise that would not alienate lifelong bakers. They decided to create a totally new magazine. Printed publications, like baking, require great precision—even the finest details needed to be perfect. After months exploring different titles, dozens of cover iterations, font and design treatments, and they launched Sift. In its first year, 75% of the magazine’s sales were through Whole Foods, and it became a top-three publication selling at Costco.

Newsletter Content

Can a newsletter launch a multi-million-dollar business? According to Gwyneth Paltrow, it sure can. Paltrow sent her first goop newsletter from her kitchen 11 years ago. To this day, goop.com is very much a curation, driven by her and her creative direction. In 2008 the term “content marketing” was not yet in our lexicon. But there was clearly a lot of content around products and commerce, so there was a behavior-driven strategy. Now goop is a consumer brand that creates contextual commerce. The brand sells a curated list of products while creating a lot of content related to issues relevant to a female audience.

Content marketing is a popular and effective strategy. Sometimes, when everyone is doing something, it loses some effectiveness. As long as the content is strong and the methods brands use to deliver it make sense for target audiences, I think this is a strategy with staying power.

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Photo of Anne Marie Purdy

BY Anne Marie Purdy

October 18, 2019

Creative