Instead of just a product, offer your customers a lifestyle
What is content marketing?
James O’Brien, writer for The Content Strategist, says, ‘When we talk about “content marketing,” we mean the creation of storytelling material that attracts readers, viewers and listeners to a brand.’
Customers are bombarded by marketing material everywhere they go. They’ve learned to ignore, skip and block this material. One way to win their attention back is to draw them in using content marketing. This marketing strategy wins customers over by selling them an idea before a product, which will make them eager to engage with your brand. Draw new customers in through relevant material that stimulates their desire to be part of the world your brand has created, then retain those customers by offering them new, exciting content on a regular basis.
O’Brien says, ‘Instead of being the commercial, be the show. Instead of being the banner ad, be the feature story.’
Why do it?
You can create new content and this will be an excellent way to achieve conversions by utilising existing customers. But content marketing reaches beyond this – beyond the social media platforms that are regularly updated, beyond the newsletters and VIP customer events.
Content marketing creates interest for customers that you have and customers that are soon to be yours. Pitch your brand to be a lifestyle rather than a product, and you’ll have more customers than you can poke a stick at.
Red Bull is a prime example of a brand that has effectively utilised the concept of content marketing, going above and beyond the basic marketing strategies. Celeste Thorson, a reader of Red Bull’s magazine, says, ‘I’m a bigger fan of the Bulletin [magazine] and event sponsorships than the beverage. I think of Red Bull as more than just an energy drink maker. To me, it’s about having an energetic lifestyle.’
After several instances of controversy over the years, Red Bull has been able to bounce back by diverting the focus from the product to the lifestyle the product supports, encourages and promotes.
How do you do it effectively?
Red Bull provides some excellent examples of ways in which the brand has built a lifestyle around their energy drink:
- Their website features audio content, games, and a section labelled JUST EPIC, with a focus on extreme sports and an adrenaline-fueled lifestyle. They know their target audience, and construct for them a story of the life they might want to lead.
- The brand’s Red Bulletin magazine has a distribution of about 5 million, with similar extreme sports material to their website content.
- Their bricks-and-mortar location reflects their over-the-top image. O’Brien says, ‘Red Bull North America’s Manhattan office … looks like a castle.’
- The brand has its own in-house record label.
The verdict: Rebecca Lieb, independent research and strategy consultant for Altimeter Group, says ‘One measure of success is are they selling more Red Bull this year than last year? Another might be brand awareness. Another might be purchase intent. I think Red Bull’s brand awareness accomplishment is through the roof … Ten years ago, nobody knew what Red Bull was. Now … you could say they’re on a par with Starbucks.’
If new content is King, content marketing is the creation of an entire realm
Need a content marketing strategy? Get in touch with Claridge & Co. today.