Manifesto for Content Marketing

Updated: 6 days ago

Moving Audiences from Awareness to Decision.

We live in a consumer-led, instantly gratified celebrity culture that fuels the world. Everyone looks the same, and everything is for sale.

Social media, mobility, and the internet dominate life, where people have an insatiable appetite to be engaged by a curiosity for authentic experiences and content. We have become increasingly driven by our primal need to be social and gain social recognition and celebration. Western society, in particular, has become more augmented by interactive digital content and information. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tik Tok, and LinkedIn have become the fabric of our lives and part of our social routine.

How can you best cut through the noise and communicate with our audience when they're being besieged with content?

1. Build audience-specific narratives and purposeful storytelling themes.

Know your audience by determining what they are most likely to need from your product or service, such as the forces at work that are driving change in their industry and business, the problem they are looking to solve, business performance target they are looking to achieve, or gaining demographic insights about their personas, such as; gender, income, interests, and location.

Position your product or service with your target audience and address the market need by providing the narrative to guide the messaging, ensuring all communication across all touchpoints is consistent.

Ensure your value proposition answers "why?" people need it, that it convinces them why your product or service will be of more value to them than similar offerings from competitors by showing how it solves problems or improves their situation. Define the key benefits and reasons for your target audience to believe by gaining a unique position in their hearts and minds.

Establish your brand identity through your purpose and values, personality, attributes, benefits, supported by proof that you are who you say you are, such as; achievements, awards, events, history, rankings — confirm your product or service truths.

Volkswagen's "Think small" campaign reacted to the overstated designs and ostentatious features of 1950s consumerism by taking a more skeptical and self-deprecating approach by expressing their individuality and difference as a sales tool.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "War is over if you want it" campaign was designed to provoke action to change minds by seeking world peace and bringing the end to war, in the spirit of; if enough people really want something to happen, then it will.

Nike's simplistic "Just do it" message is beyond explanation and coined a phrase in culture for people who wanted to push themselves to new heights, convincing people that they, too, can be athletes if they choose to. All they need is a pair of running shoes and "just do it."

Orange was a mobile network operator and internet service provider in the United Kingdom that coined "the future's bright, the future's Orange." Its advertising campaign began with a simple teaser that focused on the name and color to build a brand before people knew what the product was.

Apple's slogan, "Think Different." was a reaction to IBMs "Think IBM" and their monopolistic dominance of the computer industry. Positioning Apple as the difference, by pairing them with 20th-century pioneers who moved the world forward, like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Muhammed Ali, and Bob Dylan; "Because the people who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world are the ones who actually do."

The "3As" Content Marketing Approach

Focus on creating, publishing, and distributing purposeful content through your audience journey from when they first encounter your brand to when they make a purchase. It means targeting your audience and grabbing their attention with engaging content that wins mindshare and builds brand advocacy, and more willing to purchase products and services from you now and in the future. The approach is grounded in researching and understanding the market and industry forces driving change from an economic, political, sociocultural, and technological perspective.

Identify patterns, standards, and proven practices, and synthesize these insights to set future trends and scenarios that anticipate market shifts by identifying changes in tastes and preferences.

Develop and communicate strategic direction by driving cohesion and brand experience and flow across all touchpoints.

Formulate creative direction detailing aesthetic principles and brand identity, informed by market and audience research, to guide decisions differentiating from your competition.

Design and direct the aesthetic approach by creating assets that foster an emotional connection through purposeful storytelling and influential thought leadership that drives audience engagement and advocacy by proving business insights and establishing credibility and trust.

Prioritize and activate the proper distribution channels that bring content to target audiences effectively.

Activate communication vehicles, such as public relations and digital media, across owned, earned, and paid marketing channels.

Measure commercial impact and infuse insights into learnings that drive continuous improvement and innovation.

2. Show up where your audience are and make the difference.

The audience journey is the route your audience takes from discovering you, to consuming, then advocating your product or service.

Mapping the "3As" to the Audience Journey

The "Attract" stage is where your audience discovers a need and becomes aware of you through a search engine, word-of-mouth, website, testimonial, social, podcast, or blog post.

In the "Adopt" stage, your audience investigates further and conducts research by absorbing content, such as; product or service descriptions, reviews, Q&As, and then consuming the product or service. After purchase, the next step is to keep your brand top-of-mind and continue to get your audience to interact with you, such as; like or comment on your social pages, post, and make repeat purchases.

The "Advocate" stage is about nurturing and growing your existing audience by providing service after the sale, such as in-depth product and service insights, discounts, and loyalty programs to cultivate brand advocates.

Example 1: Video

Content published on YouTube to build brand presence and optimize SEO by providing target content to your target audience that's easy for them to consume, like, comment, and share.

Video A: Brand positioning

Video B: Topical point of view

Example 2: Documentary movie to inform and educate.

Example 3: These trailers consist of a series of selected shots from the documentary being advertised. Attracting the audience to the documentary where the excerpts are drawn from the most noteworthy parts of the documentary in abbreviated form.

Trailer A

Trailer B