There’s no denying the fact that the way brands, businesses, and causes work to earn the attention of their audience has changed. No longer does the guy with the loudest megaphone win. Television ads and billboards don’t garner attention like they did 30 years ago.
The evolution of content marketing
Last week I ran across an interesting comic in a post by Valeria Maltoni that illustrated the way marketing has changed over the past century:
As you can see, the overall fundamentals of marketing haven’t changed. It’s always been about delivering value, creating a presence, and developing trust with your audience. However, the way you develop that trust has changed.
In this new digital age of influence, effective marketing has changed from who can shout the loudest to who can be the kind of person your audience wants to invite over for dinner. It’s no longer about who can provide the most entertainment, but who can provide the most assurance.
This evolution has created new challenges
Earning trust in the new age of influence has requires brands to come alongside their audience, rather than shout down at them. It requires brands to identify with the challenges of the audience and connecting those pain points to the solutions they offer on a consistent basis.
But as we all know, that seems to be easier said than done. The challenge, as pointed out in the article, is that most brands do not have yet the internal structure and resources to support this introduction of direct-to-customer social interaction at the level where it becomes effective.
The reason most brands find content marketing so ineffective is because they don’t have the bandwidth to overcome the complexity. It’s challenging to find the proper balance between creating helpful content for your audience and listening to the new challenges they’re facing. Overcoming the temptation to believe others care as much about your brand as you do is difficult.
Stop trying to earn the attention of your audience by shouting the loudest. Your audience won’t do anything but cover its ears.
Are you ready to “stand up” and “stand out” in this new age of influence?
The reason this comic is so effective is because we can all identify how it relates to the traditional evolution depictions. The ape “evolves” from a hunched over monkey to an upright human being. In the same way, now is the time for your brand to “stand up” so that it can “stand out” and rise above the competition.
The only way to overcome the new marketing challenges created by this evolution is by creating a systematic process for your content. Without a system, your brand will never be able to focus its energy and resources to overcome the challenge of earning attention in the new age of influence.
If you’re ready to figure out how to earn attention in this new digital age, there are a few resources you might find helpful. “An Introduction to Content Marketing” and “An Introduction to Brand Journalism” are two great resources to help you understand the fundamental principles of earning attention in today’s age of influence.
What are some ways your brand, business, or cause is working to earn the attention of its audience by being an advocate for your consumers?