Content Marketing is more than just Hype

Case study: Commonwealth Bank

Although some forms of content marketing have been around for quite some time, it is only the last decade that has marked an unprecedented evolution of the domain and the crystallisation of content marketing as a standalone and well-defined area of expertise. It is impossible to access some content marketing-related learning resources and not run into the “Content is king” famous phrase. It was created by Bill Gates, who used in a speech in 1996. What the founder of Microsoft foresaw was content becoming significant source of profit on the Internet and he was absolutely right. But, really, what is content marketing?

Definition

Content marketing is a marketing technique which attracts a well-defined audience by distributing relevant and valuable content, either original or curated, with the intention of enhancing profit by shaping customer behaviour. This is one of the many possible definitions of this phenomenon with huge growth potential.

Why is it so popular? “Because the benefits of content marketing are extremely consistent”

Content marketing attracts only people interested in your brand

The main advantage of content marketing is that it has produced a mutation in the marketing paradigm. Audiences are no longer subjected forcefully to a message they are not interested in or reject. Instead, potential customers are encouraged to enjoy the participatory nature of content marketing and even create their own contents. Using social media channels, you even end up with customers producing content for you! You will notice this by accessing the social network profile of any business applying a successful content strategy. A good example is Commonwealth Bank from Australia. Take a look at its complex strategy and you’ll really understand what content marketing is about.

Both the expert and a friend

Unlike other similar institutions, which are barely trying content marketing, Commonwealth Bank is genuinely committed to offering its customers high-quality content without fearing they won’t preserve the sober image a financial institution is expected to have. On the contrary, they have understood that one of the benefits of content marketing is establishing yourself as an authority in the industry, while preserving a friendly, approachable image.

Commonwealth bank managed to fulfil two different objectives at the same time. One is positioning themselves as experts. In order to achieve this, they started a blog, where multiple authors write on all kind of banking subjects. This is also improving their credibility and reputation, and people are more likely to call to the services of a good content communicator. The other main objective was giving a humane and friendly face to the organisation, so this is why they distribute more light-hearted content, too, which deals with serious issues though, such as teaching kids financial literacy.

Boosting customer engagement

One of the most important benefits of content marketing is the fact that you have customers reinforcing your image and adding extra information to the content you have already provided. This is only possible due to social media channels; Commonwealth Bank is on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn. It is not uncommon to see customers commenting publicly on the services provided by the bank and whenever you take a look at their Facebook page, you’ll find within seconds a positive comment from a satisfied customer. Content marketing creates an amazing level of commitment among customers and potential customers, and this is possible at extremely low costs and without bothering people who are not part of the audience.

Take the initiative

Furthermore, content marketing provides the substance for various initiatives, including corporate social responsibility campaigns. High-quality content serves as a backbone for actions which help you get closer to the audience and add value to people’s lives. For instance, Commonwealth Bank has an amazing initiative called “Women in Focus”, which is described as “a community of women who are doing extraordinary things”. It consists of a forum, event listings, videos, blogs, publications and various social media channels. Using this platform, you have access to resources on subjects such as the gap between men and women wages, but you can also join a conversation on inquiries such as “Do you take a lunch break?”

Content marketing and SEO go hand in hand

Short version of the story: algorithms of search engines have changed in a way which favors websites distributing valuable content, relevant to human readers. Thus, good content marketing improves your SEO ranking.

Content marketing is such a diverse area that you’d need to read thousands of pages on what content marketing is in order to understand all its facets. On the other hand, it is already part of our lives, and every time you are looking at a great content marketing initiative, such as the campaign run by Commonwealth bank, you get a good glimpse on the benefits of content marketing for your business.