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Content Marketing is no Red Bull
By: Jeannine Wheeler
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Think Red Bull — a master at brand-based content production and the DIY mentality of messaging. Even if you don’t drink the drink or live the life of an extremist daredevil, you’ll still love their stories. Who didn’t enjoy Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the edge of space? Other content marketing brand all-stars include Kraft, General Mills, General Electric, Coke, and Colgate.

In fact, 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement; 70% say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company; and 60% say that company content helps them make better product decisions, according to Roper Public Affairs.

In other words: build a good story and they will come.

Content marketing is taking on more and more traction. As PR and marketing teams develop new strategies to satisfy the generation impatient with brand ads and commercials, experts work to stay ahead in the race to inspire, and ultimately to sell.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience — with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

This is owned media. Whereas you used to have to go to the editor to tell your story and hope he or she did it justice, now you can create the channels to tell your own story.

Using some good old-fashioned brand workshop strategy, first you need to find out where your target audience hangs out, largely online. To attract and retain those customers, you’ll need to consistently create and curate relevant and valuable content to change or enhance your customer’s behavior.

This is not selling; it’s educating, informing, and entertaining your customers to help them make intelligent buying decisions that will grow your brand.

“The essence of this content strategy,” says the CMI, “is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.” This is an ongoing process that must be integrated into a brand’s overall marketing strategy, incorporating brand, strategy, digital, and PR.

The synergy can’t help but bring results, which include sales, influence, and brand loyalty.

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About the Author
Jeannine Wheeler is a PR Director who has worked in three countries, including Russia, the US and the UK. She is currently Sr. Vice President of Pure Energy PR, a full-service boutique communications firm with a focus on the energy, healthcare, technology, construction, real estate & land development, tourism & hospitality and food & beverage industries. Jeannine is in the firm's Austin, Texas office.
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