Plump’s content strategist Jacey Lamerton explains why she wants you to spark a communication revolution.
Whatever business you’re in, you’re in the publishing business.
The internet and social media have made publishers of us all. When it comes to finding your tribe - those customers who just ‘get’ you and love what you do - you don’t need the glamour of Vogue, the heft of the Economist or the sheer numbers of the Sun. You just need a website, social media accounts and a clear idea of what floats your audience’s boat.
With 25 years’ experience in digital, print and TV under my belt, I’m genuinely excited that imaginative businesses are upending the old ways and leading a revolution.
For years, the main way of talking to your ideal customers was to discover some piece of content they love - magazine articles, TV shows, films, music - and interrupt them with advertising.
Big publishers, broadcasters and distributors held all the cards and the only businesses who could afford to buy their way to a slot buffered by the best content were the budgetarily well-endowed.
The democracy of digital has changed all that.
Free distribution channels, a video camera in every pocket and the public’s relentless march away from spoon-fed content has opened up publishing and broadcasting to everyone.
Reports of advertising’s death are premature - it’s still worth more than £20 billion in the UK alone. But people are bombarded with seductive distractions and sneaky ways to skip and swipe away - not to mention their increasing cynicism about sales messages.
Plus there’s a new attitude in the air. Smart businesses are looking for more than just lots of eyeballs clocking their logo during the Coronation Street ad-break.
Forward-thinking leaders want to find their tribe - the people who really love what they do. And if years on the editorial bench have taught me anything, it’s that the key to building loyalty is finding your tribe, working out what they find valuable, useful and entertaining - and giving it to them.
Because these are the people who will love your content, relish its arrival, tell their friends about it and share it.
Now everyone is a publisher/broadcaster, everyone has the wiggle room to show potential customers your genuine point of difference. Content marketing is where you stamp your authority and prove that you’re the expert. It’s how you paint an irresistible personality around your brand. It’s the best way of winning trust and proving you’ll go the extra mile - while having a bit of fun in the process.
In my career, I’ve worked with big businesses (BBC, Channel 4, Guardian Media Group), heritage businesses (Wedgwood, Waterford Crystal), challenger businesses (Maude & Tommy, Arden University, Nordica Photography) and businesses who at first thought they were boring (mention no names but think finance and public sector).
Big or small, every one of these clients cared about their customers and wanted to talk to them in ways that made them feel valued and engaged. They also understood the importance of creating worthwhile assets that they owned and could adapt and use again and again.
Every business wants something meaningful to post on social media and something interesting to put in that black hole on their website marked ‘blog’. If you can make that something not just meaningful and interesting but also a business development tool, that’s the cherry on top of the icing on top of the cake.
Discover more about how content marketing can help your business. Here’s our six quick reasons you need a content strategy.