A few years back, you were easily considered a woolly sock or floaty type. But now tell people you are going on a week-long retreat, and everyone is hanging on your lip. 'Nothing for a while' is in. And so, we increasingly consciously seek silence. Not surprising, when you see what non-stop information, especially digital, rushes past us.
What does this have to do with content marketing? Quite a lot.
Because as a brand, you want to be anything but the umpteenth 'screamer' in this daily receptacle of input.
And so, you don't make more of the same. But make the difference. With content your audience is waiting for. To be consumed in peace, with full focus. Not as a reaction to the umpteenth stimulus, but from a genuine interest and conscious choice: that too is stillness.
Let that be the very essence of our profession: creating quality stories that want to be read, seen, and heard. Because what's the point of shoving your success stories down your audience's throat? Nobody feels like that or has time for it. So, we immerse ourselves in what they would like to hear and see from you. And not the other way around. Thinking from the demand, then. Instead of from the product. That is always the basis.
By 'the demand', we mean mainly the needs. Might still sound a bit vague. But if you ask yourself: what do I really need? Wouldn't you then immediately start looking for what is still missing, frustrating or maybe even hurting a little?
This is exactly where your challenge as a brand lies: how can your product or service help to fill that void? Remove the frustration, ease the pain?
And not with a quick sticking plaster on the chin, but as a guiding light. One that prevents you from falling flat on your face again.
This brings us to a second content marketing pillar. Because, and this is sometimes hard for salespeople to swallow, our profession is first and foremost about bonding. Buying' comes after that.
If you know how to use your content in this way, it is the way to bind an audience to you. And that will ultimately do wonders for your reputation and sales figures. Head and shoulders above that overpriced ground level. Because we still have to struggle through that all too often. Strongly longing for a weekend of silence in an Achterhoek monastery.
Curious how we do that, make stories that connect?
For example, by letting the audience determine the topic. Like in this blog that influencer Elsbeth Teeling made with dietician Brenda Funt. Both are partners with gr8 client John West. But that is anything but the focus here. So, what is? The question "What would you ask a nutritionist?". A story by and for the audience, powered by John West.
The mini-documentary 'Pushing dreams', which we made for Sanidirect, is another example of a connecting story. Sanidirect is a sponsor of the Dutch women's cycling team, which takes center stage in the video. This sponsorship and the making of the film are so significant for the brand that no further mention is necessary. Indeed: that would only weaken it. The result is 'just' a cool and inspiring story.