Content marketing is the new hype of digital branding strategies. Now that we all have assumed and internalized that good digital communication involves having a not only corporate website, syndicating our brand Bahamas Email Lists product on other sites, being on social networks, and achieving a good positioning in search engines; the question is and how do i do it? And the usual answer is: content marketing.

While in Spain we continue to witness the excessive proliferation of agencies specialized in Social Media; In the United States, which are always a few years ahead of us on these issues, they have already passed this phase, and now the trend is for Content Marketing Agencies, which even have an association: Content Marketing Institute. 

The ironic tone of this introduction is not intended to express my disagreement with this new marketing trend. Rather, quite the opposite: I subscribe 100% to the need to develop relevant actions for consumers as the only way to reach them in the new digital environment where the user decides if they want to see you or not. However, I believe that content marketing is not the only way to do it, and I also believe that it is often misunderstood. 

Alternatives to Content Marketing

Content marketing is not the only possible or always the most appropriate strategy.

As in any marketing strategy, we must define the digital actions to be carried out based on certain variables, mainly: objectives to be achieved and resources that we have at our disposal. If our objective is for example to generate brand / product notoriety; a more traditional media campaign combining on and off may be more suitable. If we have enough resources, more traditional promotional actions can remain highly relevant and effective.

Content Marketing vs. Interaction Marketing

Content marketing is usually understood as a marketing strategy focused on generating relevant information for the target as a way to connect with it. Depending on the interests of the users and the profile of the brand, main communication topics are defined (examples: recipes if the brand is from the food sector; lifestyle if the target is female, sports if it is male, or music if they are youths.)

In my opinion, the misinterpretation resides in the link that is made between content and information. The generation of information is only one of the ways to provide brands and their digital platforms with relevant content. The key lies in finding a way to interact with users in a sustainable way over time. To do this, you have to offer them a service (whether information or not) that is useful, relevant and unique compared to competitors. To break the link between content and information, we can call this strategy Utility Marketing (not too glamorous name), or Service Marketing (can lead to confusion with the service sector) or Interaction Marketing.

Good Interaction Marketing Practices

Starbucks is a great example of Interaction Marketing thanks to which it has managed to be the 2nd food brand with the highest online presence (after Coca-Cola), being a relatively small brand in terms of knowledge and sales. The key to success has been to offer relevant and different services in each of its interaction platforms with users, such as: search for premises and job offers on FB; “My starbucks idea”, website to share and develop ideas; twitter as a means of informing and customer service, etc.

Other good examples of brands that offer a useful service with which to interact with users: NIKE the famous application for running with Apple devices, Sneakerpedia (the Wikipedia of FootLocker shoes), or Knorr’s School Menu Planner (tool that facilitates make the school menu compatible with the home menu).  

Finally, I would like to emphasize once again the need to define the digital strategy before taking any type of action, as we do in traditional marketing. The digital strategy will determine if Content  Interaction Marketing is the most appropriate way, and if it is, it will surely also provide us with first ideas and areas of action that will help us generate powerful digital activation concepts

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