Mad Men Guide To Content Marketing

Matt Fenn on Content marketing,


"There are those that will tell you advertising is dead."

(Decants brandy into cut glass tumbler.)

"Well. I'm here to let you know that reports of our demise are exaggerated."

The truth is we've all become publishers, commentators, opinion leaders. We all have our own networks each with a quantifiable degree of marketing reach. These days success goes to those who are having the most interesting conversations, not those with the largest wallets.

I believe that there's actually a lot of value in what advertising as a discipline can teach us, and that we need to recognise value and insight where it exists.

First, let's separate the delivery mechanism from the craft.

The traditional delivery mechanism for advertising built upon interrupting people with unsolicited marketing messages is fundamentally broken, true.

However the craft, and the lessons learned by the advertising industry to guide effective communication and to connect with our needs and desires as consumers is alive and well.

Start having better conversations.

You already know that the use of the internet as a research tool has fundamentally changed the way that we make decisions about the products and services that we choose. Yes?

And that the people and organisations which communicate their ability to solve customers problems and hook into their online research process are the ones that gain visibility, build relationships and win sales. Of course you do.

(Smiles, pouring more brandy)

As we rely more heavily upon the content that we create for the people researching our marketplaces, we can learn lessons from the best communicators to ensure we are as effective and as persuasive as possible; from getting found via search engines and social media to generating sales leads for your business.

In the past it was advertising agencies who developed and applied an understanding of effective communication practices. I believe that these principles are more valid than ever and can be applied to the creation and curation of a range of content across the web and social media networks.

In order to demonstrate the relevance of the craft of advertising for us as content creators, I've taken 20 quotes on advertising by the original Mad Man, David "The Father of Advertising" Ogilvy.

Use the power of the headline

This is truer today than it's ever been. These days your customers are browsing Google results pages, RSS feeds, Twitter feeds and status updates. You have to make the titles for your content short powerful and intriguing.

David Ogilvy could easily be talking about the Title tag of your web pages with regards to search engines, and self selection based long tail content. The title tags of your web pages should be informative, optimised and a call to action.

It's all about content.

A great example of this would be a white paper or ebook. Long form informational literature that gives an objective viewpoint of the marketplace, but subtly shares your preferred viewpoint, communicating the importance of your product or service's unique selling points.

This is content marketing. Pure and simple.

Given our technical ability to now filter out the advertisements that keep us from the content we want. The challenge is to create desirable content that also sells.

Maintaining a consistent brand identity is essential when orchestrating a range of communications, where each communication needs to support the others and guide content consumers in a sales process. This is true whether we are considering an advertising campaign or a content marketing strategy designed to move customers down a sales funnel through multiple content touch points.

As people experience brands more and more through a fragmented range of online content, curating a brand's communications becomes ever more important.

Errr, like I was saying. The importance of content.

(Whistles.. And refills brandy)

Exactly. Thank you David.

Ok I think we're all clear. So we need to..

Create the best Content.

It's very unlikely that you'll be able to generate the volume and quality of content to meet the exacting criteria of your content marketing strategy in house. So work with the best, and let them take you to new places. Work with bloggers and writers that understand your marketplace and have strong networks, their connections will benefit you and give you extra marketing reach.

Anyways, I think we get the importance of the content, which is a very strong parallel between advertising and today's world of content marketing. But what of some of the other key features of Internet based marketing.

Understand metrics and measurability.

With web analytics and campaign tracking, it's easier than ever to find out which activity is performing and which isn't, you've also got Split and A/B Testing to compare options directly.

John Wanamaker famously said "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." Today he'd just check his analytics to clear up any uncertainty. You've got it easy.

Leverage word of mouth with shareability.

Big idea's are remarkable. Make content that people will want to talk about and share. The barrier of entry for generating content is so low as to be non existent. The difficulty now is not having the budget to interrupt enough people with your marketing message. It's creating a message with a strong enough idea to be remarkable enough for people to want to share it.

(I'll drink to that! Bottoms up!)

Word of mouth on the internet now has no friction at all. Plus each person can instantly share your ideas and messages with thousands of others, you just need to be having the right conversations with the right people and authoring content people want to share.

Now is the time for compelling communication. You don't need to have paid for media to create things that people love and want to share.

Address real needs with authenticity.

The most compelling writing comes from personal experience, write about what you know and demonstrate your unique views, you can't expect people to agree with you all the time. But your viewpoint is real and people will respond to that. You get the opportunity to engage potential customers with your perspective and build trust. That's more valuable than a poster.

Hey, I know that I've got a tendency to start paragraphs with "And" or "Hey" just because it feels right. Like a conversation. I guess that's what David's talking about.

(Decants more brandy. Spilling some.)

Anyway, here's my favourite:

Cheers!

I believe that these insights into what made great advertising also stands us in good stead for creating great online content. Content that both connects us with our audience and sells.

After all...

"There are those that will tell you advertising is dead."

(Decants brandy into cut glass tumbler.)

"Well. I'm here to let you know that reports of our demise are exaggerated."

The truth is we've all become publishers, commentators, opinion leaders. We all have our own networks each with a quantifiable degree of marketing reach. These days success goes to those who are having the most interesting conversations, not those with the largest wallets.

I believe that there's actually a lot of value in what advertising as a discipline can teach us, and that we need to recognise value and insight where it exists.

First, let's separate the delivery mechanism from the craft.

The traditional delivery mechanism for advertising built upon interrupting people with unsolicited marketing messages is fundamentally broken, true.

However the craft, and the lessons learned by the advertising industry to guide effective communication and to connect with our needs and desires as consumers is alive and well.

Start having better conversations.

You already know that the use of the internet as a research tool has fundamentally changed the way that we make decisions about the products and services that we choose. Yes?

And that the people and organisations which communicate their ability to solve customers problems and hook into their online research process are the ones that gain visibility, build relationships and win sales. Of course you do.

(Smiles, pouring more brandy)

As we rely more heavily upon the content that we create for the people researching our marketplaces, we can learn lessons from the best communicators to ensure we are as effective and as persuasive as possible; from getting found via search engines and social media to generating sales leads for your business.

In the past it was advertising agencies who developed and applied an understanding of effective communication practices. I believe that these principles are more valid than ever and can be applied to the creation and curation of a range of content across the web and social media networks.

In order to demonstrate the relevance of the craft of advertising for us as content creators, I've taken 20 quotes on advertising by the original Mad Man, David "The Father of Advertising" Ogilvy.

Use the power of the headline

This is truer today than it's ever been. These days your customers are browsing Google results pages, RSS feeds, Twitter feeds and status updates. You have to make the titles for your content short powerful and intriguing.

David Ogilvy could easily be talking about the Title tag of your web pages with regards to search engines, and self selection based long tail content. The title tags of your web pages should be informative, optimised and a call to action.

It's all about content.

A great example of this would be a white paper or ebook. Long form informational literature that gives an objective viewpoint of the marketplace, but subtly shares your preferred viewpoint, communicating the importance of your product or service's unique selling points.

This is content marketing. Pure and simple.

Given our technical ability to now filter out the advertisements that keep us from the content we want. The challenge is to create desirable content that also sells.

Maintaining a consistent brand identity is essential when orchestrating a range of communications, where each communication needs to support the others and guide content consumers in a sales process. This is true whether we are considering an advertising campaign or a content marketing strategy designed to move customers down a sales funnel through multiple content touch points.

As people experience brands more and more through a fragmented range of online content, curating a brand's communications becomes ever more important.

Errr, like I was saying. The importance of content.

(Whistles.. And refills brandy)

Exactly. Thank you David.

Ok I think we're all clear. So we need to..

Create the best Content.

It's very unlikely that you'll be able to generate the volume and quality of content to meet the exacting criteria of your content marketing strategy in house. So work with the best, and let them take you to new places. Work with bloggers and writers that understand your marketplace and have strong networks, their connections will benefit you and give you extra marketing reach.

Anyways, I think we get the importance of the content, which is a very strong parallel between advertising and today's world of content marketing. But what of some of the other key features of Internet based marketing.

Understand metrics and measurability.

With web analytics and campaign tracking, it's easier than ever to find out which activity is performing and which isn't, you've also got Split and A/B Testing to compare options directly.

John Wanamaker famously said "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." Today he'd just check his analytics to clear up any uncertainty. You've got it easy.

Leverage word of mouth with shareability.

Big idea's are remarkable. Make content that people will want to talk about and share. The barrier of entry for generating content is so low as to be non existent. The difficulty now is not having the budget to interrupt enough people with your marketing message. It's creating a message with a strong enough idea to be remarkable enough for people to want to share it.

(I'll drink to that! Bottoms up!)

Word of mouth on the internet now has no friction at all. Plus each person can instantly share your ideas and messages with thousands of others, you just need to be having the right conversations with the right people and authoring content people want to share.

Now is the time for compelling communication. You don't need to have paid for media to create things that people love and want to share.

Address real needs with authenticity.

The most compelling writing comes from personal experience, write about what you know and demonstrate your unique views, you can't expect people to agree with you all the time. But your viewpoint is real and people will respond to that. You get the opportunity to engage potential customers with your perspective and build trust. That's more valuable than a poster.

Hey, I know that I've got a tendency to start paragraphs with "And" or "Hey" just because it feels right. Like a conversation. I guess that's what David's talking about.

(Decants more brandy. Spilling some.)

Anyway, here's my favourite:

Cheers!

I believe that these insights into what made great advertising also stands us in good stead for creating great online content. Content that both connects us with our audience and sells.

After all...

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