Content marketing is the process of marketing a business, product, service or message with something that is much more than a slogan or motto. Content marketing uses video and print to tell a story that becomes part of the message of the business. Therefore, the message becomes something people want to share. While people might get hungry, they are not going to share every video they see for a fast food chain. People may want to be safe or look good, but videos of traditional commercials do not necessarily move the meter in the marketing world. This is why content marketing is so important. The use of the right content can turn a simple advertisement into a marketing phenomenon that may never stop being so.
When the Victoria, Australia rail system wanted to promote safety on the tracks, they had to come up with something that was much more compelling than simply telling people to be safe when they were near the trains or the tracks. Therefore, they came up with the campaign called "Dumb Ways To Die". In the end, everyone agrees that getting hit by a train they could have avoided is dumber. What is even dumber is not taking basic safety precautions in and around the trains. When the rail system opened up the "Dumb Ways To Die" campaign, they gave everyone a reason to laugh rather than to be afraid. Certainly, people are afraid to die, but they don't need to be scared. Giving everyone a chance to laugh at the "Dumb Ways To Die" campaign made the campaign so popular that the campaign videos have gotten over 75 million views on YouTube and has been given several awards. The point behind the campaign was to make people think about what happens when they do not follow the safety precautions laid down by the transit authority. However, the campaign lets people think and laugh at the same time. Instead of making the customer think of how it could be them getting run over by a train, the campaign lets the consumer laugh at the dumb ways to die and agree at the same time. The message of rail safety is still being conveyed to everyone who watches the videos, but these people are not scared when they watch these videos. This is much the same reason why the Truth campaign worked against the tobacco industry. The commercials were outrageous, but they did not scare people. People wanted to watch those commercials to see what outlandish things were being done. In the same way, people want to watch the "Dumb Ways To Die" campaign because they find it funny. While they are laughing, they are learning the safety code for the rail system without even realising it. This style of content marketing takes a scary subject and makes it into something that people can feel comfortable with. Giving them the chance to laugh makes this content marketing effective because it's funny even when the content is a little bit frightening.
With the help of social media, Dollar Shave Club took off, but it was not just because of the cheapness of its products. Yes, getting quality razors for a dollar is a very nice thing for guys, but it is the odd sense of humor the company has about itself that makes it appealing. While the traditional razor brands on the market take themselves very seriously and come at the consumer with all of these amazing graphics and statistics about their products, people get bored. The traditional way to market a razor is to show how good the shave is. The unfortunate reality is that most razors are about the same. Therefore, guys are going to be much more interested in a company that is charging much less for its product and is funny in the process. People are watching the ads for Dollar Shave Club because they find them funny. They want to see things like this because the ads are far more compelling than the same old graphics that razor companies have used in the past. When Dollar Shave Club bucked the trend, they got so much play on social media that they had 12,000 customers in two days. This is an example of content marketing going against how all of the other competition in the industry is marketing. When this happens, it becomes much easier for a company to stand out and make their product more visible than everyone else's products. It also doesn't hurt that Dollar Shave Club really only costs a dollar for every razor.
Chipotle is an American fast food chain that markets responsibly-grown and environmentally-friendly products to their customers. However, people are not always interested in hearing about things that are environmentally-friendly. What Chipotle did was make an emotional connection with the customer through their ad campaign to highlight how different their production process is from the rest of the industry. Rather than being funny, Chipotle used a content marketing approach that makes customers think about how much more responsible they are than the competition. The music and story in their ads is so vivid and stark that people have to ask themselves questions about where they get their food and how they feed their family on the whole. In this type of content marketing, the consumer is not being guilted into buying Chipotle's products, but the consumer is being asked questions that they have to answer for themselves. When people are put on the spot, they are much more likely to make a change and shop with the company that is more responsible than the rest. In the end, using content marketing is a bit like taking the best idea at the company and turning it into a sensation. Content marketing works because the internet and social media allow it to work. The content will become immensely popular when it hits the internet. When a few million people have viewed a campaign video, it is almost assured that a few million more people will be viewing the content, as well. Making viral videos is not a process by which the company sets out to make a viral video. The company must set out to produce content that is different, asks the consumer questions, and causes the consumer to ask themselves tough questions. These kinds of ads are more popular because they do not insult the intelligence of the consumer. When the consumer has a chance to laugh, cry and think, they are more likely to make purchases with the company that makes them laugh, cry and think.