Last week when we talked about creating more engaging banner ads, I mentioned taking a client situation (like a store closure event) and turning it into content.  If you have an active news section on your station website, this is something that you can start doing right now to generate revenue.  This is called “content marketing”.  Most companies do it for themselves.  In fact, you’re actually reading a bit of content marketing right now.

Here’s how the Content Marketing Institute defines it: “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Sometimes it’s hard to draw a line between native advertising and content marketing.  The main distinction is that native advertising is usually designed to sell something before the consumer gets the content he or she seeks; while content marketing gives away that content, and over time, the consumer builds a relationship with the brand.  The disadvantage of native advertising is that some consumers perceive it as a gimmick.  The downside of content marketing is that warm and fuzzy relationships don’t always turn into sales, especially if your competition is warmer and fuzzier.

If you’ve never considered content marketing, then you should be doing it for your station(s) in the way of a cluster or corporate website.  Don’t be “in your face” about radio being where clients need to put their advertising dollars.  Offer overall marketing tips that clients can use regardless if they choose your station.  This information will position your station(s) as the most knowledgeable and trustworthy around.  If you don’t have market or corporate site then check out our “Market” product.

Content marketing isn’t something new.  Check out this video…

Content marketing can also be done for your clients.  You just have to be careful that the content information you provide to your audience IS NOT a commercial.

Take for instance, the local used car dealership.  You can create a “news” story about their involvement in a local charity.  Inside the story you interview the owner and employees and go much deeper than their “low low prices”.  In fact, don’t even mention prices in the piece.  With your story, build a rapport between the client and your listeners so that they trust them the next time they are looking for a used vehicle.  At that point, prices become irrelevant because the client will have a better understanding of the people they will be dealing with.

Here are some differences between the native advertising we’re used to and content marketing…

Native Advertising Vs Content Marketing

 

When was the last time you saw a banner ad being shared online?  If you can deliver an emotional piece about your clients, you can count on it being shared.  That will result in higher numbers for your website.  So, shareable client content will benefit them and your station.