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Marketers are always looking at ways to engage with people; to get the attention of potential customers and to retain the interest of loyal ones. This content comes in various forms and across multiple platforms – be it on social media (facebook, pinterest, twitter, youtube, etc.), or e-mailers or website articles, so on. The need for marketers and brands to connect with the audience is pertinent given the sheer number of brands that operate in the market. Everyone is fighting to get the attention of their TG and to ensure that their brand stays on top of recall list. One way to capture mind-space is to of course offer an awesome product/service. Another way is to generate content that the audience can connect to.

A US survey conducted by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs clearly underlines the importance of content and its goals. The survey that was sponsored by PACE, categorically says that 86% marketers are turning to content to bridge the gap between the customer and the brand. The survey puts forth the top three platforms so used, which are social media (84%), website articles (84%), and e-Newsletters (78%).

Other popular methods include, annual reports, games/gamification, branded content tools, case studies, in-person events, articles on other websites, mobile content, mobile apps and so on. The survey also stated that marketers don’t use just one method/platform but a heady mix of these to get their message/brand value/preposition across. The survey highlighted certain problems like budget constraints (52%) and the lack of relevant and good content (51%) that hinders the content creating and sharing process.

CMI founder Joe Pulizzi, sums up the overall sentiment, in a statement, “As we anticipated, B2C content marketing is continuing to grow at a fast pace; content is now central to consumer marketing programs. And the good news is that we’ve just scratched the surface on the movement into original content creation for brands.”

The survey covers the US market but it provides insights into how even Indian companies should focus on quality content creation and content marketing to make sure that their audience engage with them

Example:

Let’s take the example of Zomato.com. Zomato offers restaurant listings, food reviews on its website, which is its main offering. It also has iOS and Android apps which are easy to use and good to look at. The brand is active on Twitter and Facebook where it has amassed a large number of followers and likes respectively.

The brand is constantly engaging with customers on these platforms, urging them to appreciate and love food. The brand stays clear of praising or constantly promoting itself. This strategy that has a broader outlook and steers clear of pushing the brand on the customer is good and one that must be adopted by other brands. In a bid to be more ‘visible’ among the target audience, Zomato recently launched a Food Porn site – one where people can gaze and ogle at pictures of really sumptuous, delicious looking food. Also, Zomato features regularly on blogs and sites (like ours), thereby increasing its reach and visibility.

So, you see how one brand is constantly innovating and updating its content and offerings to connect with the customers. Also, the platforms used are varied and used in a manner to make the brand look good. These efforts clearly suggest that content is king and that it is served up to the audience in a number of ways and in multiple varieties.

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