As content marketers, when we talk about storytelling, we frame it like we invented it. We say to ourselves “storytelling, yeah this is new, we need to tell stories. This is content marketing. Content marketing is the new way.”
Of course content marketing isn’t new. Content marketing has existed forever. It’s just marketing and it’s just advertising. We’re just dealing in new channels. Not too long ago, it was just advertising and outside door-to-door sales was the norm. A salesman would walk your neighborhood and talk to you about your needs. Sears was incredible at this. They weren’t out there shouting at people to buy things. They weren’t just banging on doors. It was intrigue. It was almost like you have to catch them to get on their route.
Door-to-door sales doesn’t exist today. Some people think that sounds alien. But people used to like to buy things way. Now, the whole markets flipped. Today we’re genuinely in what we call the age of empowerment, which means you don’t need to grab this guy on the street because you feel empowered. What’s the first thing you do before you buy something? You Google it.
How many of you check IMDB before deciding to see a movie? Chances are, if it’s less than a 7 you’re not going to watch it. Does it have a bad rating on Rotten Tomatoes? Forget it! This same mindset is carrying over into everything consumers do. Now people ask themselves “is it cheaper on Amazon?” because they get free delivery, they can get it tomorrow, and it’s saves them from carrying it.
The point is, people like this method because they feel empowered. Every time you save a few bucks, you feel informed, you feel good.
What’s happened is that people don’t want to be sold to. People don’t want to be marketed to. They want to find things. They want to search. They want to discover. They want to go on a journey of content that helps them make an informed buying decision.
Do they want to talk to sales people? They don’t. Do you want to be sold to? Consumers now just want to make a decision. They’re saying to themselves “give me the information and tell me why everybody’s moving in this way.”
People used to rely on marketers for information because there wasn’t any other way to get it. Web 2.0 and the freedom of information has completely destroyed this. Now nobody asks marketers. They’re searching for information and asking each other. They don’t even talk to us.
So what’s a marketer to do? We create content journeys. We provide relevant information to the right people and guide them towards an informed decision. Why? Because in this day and age that’s what buyers want. To make a decision on their own using information they believe applies most to their situation. Do this well and you’ll see immense success in your content marketing campaigns.
Bradley Yeater is the former Marketing Manager at GaggleAMP.
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