I recently had the opportunity to attend a non-credit union conference called Content Marketing World. This conference brought more than 2,600 individuals from over 50 countries to Cleveland, OH for a week. I had the opportunity to learn from great brands like Progressive, Verizon, REI, Delta Faucet, and countless others about what they are doing to make an impact in content marketing.
Many of you are probably asking yourself, “What is ‘content marketing’ anyway?” The technical definition states: content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
To me, content marketing is anything that enhances your brand to make your current or potential members/customers more likely to buy from you instead of your competitor. This can be done using social media, videos, blogs, white papers, infographics, and countless other techniques. The goal, however, remains the same: differentiate to show people why you are the right choice for them when it is time to make a buying decision.
One of the speakers made a good point about the way people buy things these days. It isn’t as cut and dry as it once was. These days people are flying a million directions at a time (I recently heard a statistic that people interrupt themselves to do other things every three minutes). The internet has changed the way people find goods and services and being top of mind is difficult. The speaker started talking about meatloaf, which took him on a long journey of finding a picture of meatloaf for his presentation on Flickr, which then went to finding a recipe at AllRecipes.com, which mentioned a “meatloaf pan” and so he went to Amazon to buy one…after many more steps, he found out that the singer, Meatloaf, was in town and he bought tickets on Ticketmaster to attend the concert. With such a confusing path to purchasing these days, how can any brand – especially a credit union – keep up?
Content marketing is a good start. You can answer the questions at the “trigger point” that get people moving along the path to a purchase. One realization I came to at this conference is that we are potentially fighting with the countless other lenders at the point of “I am ready to buy a house” (or car, or credit card, etc.) instead of being the one person that is playing in the game when that potential buyer does a Google search for “How to buy a house?” a year before.
What content can you put in place to help you be the financial institution that comes up in these searches? What are the right questions to ask and how can we provide the best answer? That is what I am focusing on in my content marketing. What about you?