THE ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE SLOVAKIAN CONTENT MARKETING CHAPTER OF THE CANNUAL REPORT 2017
The undeniable advantage of content marketing is that your campaign never ends. At the times of adblockers and the reduced efficiency of traditional promotional media, content marketing and marketing associated with people having social impact provide an excellent way to create long-term and strong relationships with clients and potential customers. This approach shifts the role of brands and their communication from the sole purpose of sales to concern. Content marketing enables clients to show themselves in a better light, as entities caring for the common good, looking for long-term solutions that benefit everyone. Adequate content marketing combines stories and brand activity, and it presents how the given market player stands out from the rest of the competitors. Customers can also benefit from it as they get to be in touch with the brand before, during and after the purchase.
Internet marketing “authority” Sean McPheat divides marketing into old and new marketing. According to him, “old marketing” is aimed to deliver a one-way message from the brand to the customer. However, when it comes to “new marketing”, the more appealing and creative your marketing campaign is, the more customers you can appeal to. Nowadays target groups are better informed and they prefer the truth to deception; they demand value in exchange for the time and money invested and they can get it online. Consequently, your campaign never ends since it does not vanish from the Internet. With that in mind, content marketing demands an enormous commitment from the company that opts for it. The new positioning of content marketing is represented by a number of agencies in the Slovak Republic already, and it appears in online and offline solutions as well. Content marketing is given an increasing role in strategies and it has also an effect on customer service, let it be online or offline support.
Creativity as such is essential to content marketing; one has to come up with diverse topics and concepts and it is also important to refrain from inflicting products on customers. Prior to turning to content marketing, a company should consider three things: their purpose, the potential target audience and the tools that can measure the effectiveness of their campaign. Customer segmentation is necessary – including interests and problems specific to the given group – as it supports the realization of a better, tailor-made communication strategy. A baker can write about the quality of the grain and the preparation of the bread dough, a car mechanic about how to change a tire and the foreign language teacher about tips on learning vocabulary quickly.
The star of online marketing – founder of KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg –, Neil Patel started his speech at the Marketing Festival in 2013 with the following lines: “Content marketing is good for everyone. Even a pizzeria can write recipes or tell how many degrees the oven is set to. Start with at least one post a week and gradually increase the frequency.” Katerina Borovanska – the Managing Director of FREYA, a Czech content marketing agency – has the following advice to marketers: “Generate high-quality, original and authentic content, strong as a ballast. Only such content can deliver the results you promise.”
Recommendations for the use of B2B content marketing might prove to be a challenge for marketing managers and their agencies, as abandoning traditional channels and investing in content marketing can come across as a risk. However, it is undeniable that traditional channels can also convey messages to the customers. I believe that B2B managers assess the classical B2C advertising in their private lives and that has an effect on their professional approach. Nevertheless, the art of content marketing – which involves the profound knowledge of the products and the ability to portray them in the form of superb content – provides a better opportunity for effective communication than conventional advertising.
You need to scrutinize whether your product is credible enough and it is, examine whether content marketing is the best tool for your campaign. And you need a comprehensive campaign. If the basics of marketing do not apply – e.g. the product does not meet the customer’s needs or the pricing is inadequate –, even the best content marketing campaign won’t help. The same goes for classical marketing communications. However, the above-mentioned examples show that if the given product or service is relevant to the target group, the right content marketing tools can elevate them to a next level. Creatives and marketers should not forget about credibility though. Compiling interesting content is not as complicated as it sounds, but realizing the ideas and – at the same time – supporting certain product featurescan be demanding. Customers might not pay such close attention to all of this, but one should not tempt fate.
Influencers in Slovakia
We also have influences in Slovakia who gained success and glory thanks to the Internet. The king of the Slovak Internet is YouTuber Gogo, who mainly dominates YouTube (with 1.4 million followers), but is also active on Instagram (482,000 followers) and Facebook (186,000 followers just from Slovakia). For now, he has the greatest influencing power over the most online generations. In addition, there are 7 other young vloggers with more than 100,000 subscribers.
Taking a look at the Slovak situation on Socialbakers, it turns out that Facebook is rather about classical celebrities. The rappers Rytmus and Majk Spirit both have more than 265,000 followers, the TV and radio moderator duo Junior and Marcel has 261,000, while another duo – Adela and Sajfa – has 206,000 followers. To mention the sport section, the cyclist Sagan has 196,000 followers and the tennis player Cibulková has 194,000 subscribers. A pop singer also has a big fan club (197,000 people), and it is worth mentioning the stand-up comedian called Evelyn, whose fan base is about 125,000 people. Adela Banasova – a TV presenter and radio host – is famous for getting involved in social matters and her articles on the news site called HN are also very popular.