Marketing is forever changing and with the growing channels available, it’s hard to know which route to take, especially when customer relationships and trust in advertisers have never been so stretched.
To stay effective and ahead of the curve, you need to keep your strategy and tools current.
And with the vaults of data available on the ads we run, from user behaviour to click-throughs, it’s easy to get distracted by fine-tuning and perfectionism.
For sure, ‘data has become the new oil’ and the Googles and Facebooks of the world are scrambling to know everything about your life, mixing their learning from your online habits, purchases, voice searches and location mapping.
69% no longer trust advertising
In a data-driven world, it’s an alarming stat. This is even more ammunition for marketeers to use when firing their adverts, but what brands also need to be thinking about is the 69% of us who declared they no longer trust in advertising they see.
When we look further into the professions that people trust, it’s clear there is a lot of work to be done to build trust, rather than just to be noticed.
Keith Weed, CMO UnileverTrust, has already warned industries that now is a time for ‘trust or bust’ as Britons feel they are facing a daily bombardment of ads they either don’t believe or don’t want to see.
In recent years, the lack of trust in advertising has been further propelled by things like Brexit campaigns, which promised us £350 million a week back to the NHS, and the ‘fake news’ headlines that embroiled Facebook.
It’s no wonder that consumers now want to make more informed decisions.
So, what should organisations be doing to build trust?
First, let’s be real. Traditional advertising is now a no or ‘low-growth’ industry, which has had a knock-on effect on traditional sales models.
In today’s world, customers need to go through your defined acquisition journey.
Just look at Gillette’s recent viral advert about masculinity. It didn’t have a single razor in sight, instead focusing on something relevant and relatable in entertainment form, leading to an ad that generated worldwide discussion.
It’s all about the content that is produced.
By creating content that entertains and educates, you can inspire and convince consumers to buy.
It’s about re-connecting with customers in a meaningful way based on shared values, which ultimately strengthens long-term customer relationships.
Content marketing services are therefore becoming a valuable tool for improving these customer relationships and rebuilding trust in advertisers.
Dr Pippa Malmgrem spoke at the recent LEAD advertising conference about how advertising shouldn’t just be analytical, but parenthetical as well.
This is about sensing the moods of your audience and incorporating it in, rather than just giving face value of your products.
There is a lot that marketeers can learn from this, especially in today’s environment where consumers react better to ‘healthy’ advertising of products and don’t want intrusive messages that may have used suspicious techniques.
Is content marketing really that important?
Content Marketing is about creating industry content and pushing it out to your chosen demographics, so you’re probably doing this in some form already.
The question is how good is it? The best content that converts is relevant and useful to your audience, whilst maintaining consumable, shareable value.
Once you’ve got great content and a message, you can repurpose it for all your channels and micro-streams, like cutting a podcast into a 30 second Instagram video.
This makes your content even more shareable and engaging, and consumers will have a longer-term affiliation with your brand as you build up credibility. After more interactions, they’ll be more likely to compare, consider and convert.
This isn’t for quick wins but it’s a long-term strategy that will eventually bring down marketing costs and get your organisation into better shape for the future.
It can take time for your content to purpose and even then, some online-based tool platforms report users typically engage 7 times with content before even downloading a free trial. But the results over time are worth it.
Traditional marketing is becoming less effective with more adverts running than there is space for – and consumers are fed up with the bombardment of endless messaging.
Content Marketing breaks this cycle and gives consumers the chance to educate and interact before finding out more about you, which helps you to build trust in your brand and develop strong customer relationships.
Just make sure that you’re producing the right content and add some fun pieces in there too.
Also, stay away from cheap writers, they won’t do justice to your proposition or carry out the research that’s needed to showcase what’s great about you.
Make sure to read my practical 10-step guide to Content Marketing, which goes on to explain our content matrix diagram above and the incredible value this will add to any organisation.