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Content Marketing for Businesses

Every business has a story to tell, but not anyone is a great storyteller. Bolt’s software platform bridges the content gap, by connecting businesses with experienced writers that best represents their brands. Essentially, Bolt helps businesses execute on content marketing.

content-marketing

Telling great stories helps businesses connect with customers by getting them to buy into the companies’ vision and ideals, not just the products on display on shelves (or the web/mobile pages).

Gone are the days of the used car salesmen’s tricks.

Today’s consumers are well-informed and most are wise to hard-sell hype, much less scams. They’re incredibly wary. At the first sign of a sales pitch, they’re sprinting out the back door before you can say: “… but you’d better hurry! Because when they’re gone, they’re gone!”

Enter content marketing, and its cousin brand journalism. Businesses today are aggressively ramping up efforts into content marketing, which is one of the most effective and economical ways to raise brand awareness today.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable and relevant content about a product or service to attract consumers, earn their loyalty, and ultimately drive demand, according to the Content Marketing Institute.

Brand journalism, meanwhile, involves freelance reporters or in-house writers finding and telling stories about the brand to build awareness and foster an affinity with the brand.

starbucks green balloon
“When I showed the mug to my son he knew instantly ‘That’s me, that’s Flynn,’” said Esther Asuncion, a visual communications designer for Starbucks. “It means so much to me that I was able to contribute to this collection.”

Marketing veteran Sarah Skerik pointed out in her blog Starbucks’ effective use of brand stories to “masterfully create affinity and position the brand”. One example is a feature story on the in-house designer who came up with the “Boy with a Green Balloon” mug. The story didn’t push coffee or hard-sell the Starbucks brand, but rather told a heart-warming story intended to deepen customers’ affinity with the brand.

Whatever the form (blog posts, e-books, infographics, videos, etc), content marketing and brand journalism aim to educate and/or entertain. As a marketer, you publish content that offers your customers something valuable.

Bloomberg
Bloomberg’s news offerings — including BusinessWeek and the company’s website — generate less than 4 percent of the company’s revenue and cost more than they earn, according to Burton-Taylor Consulting. The terminals generate 75 percent of Bloomberg’s revenue. (The New York Times, September 10, 2015)

Another example would be Jell-O, which got a headstart in 1904 when salesmen went door to door distributing cookbooks for free. This initiative saw the company’s sales rise to over US$1 million over the next two years.

Jell-O Recipe Books

Fast forward to 2015, Jell-O is still sustaining its content marketing efforts, albeit having transited online.

Jell-O Recipes Center

Today, businesses are catching on. This year, 77% of marketers are set to increase content production, according to LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community.

Content is not king — it’s the kingdom. In the 21st century, it’s quintessential to produce compelling content to keep up. So what’s your brand story?