Content Marketing, Owned Media
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First came Content Shock; now comes Content Ignition. Mark Schaefer, the man responsible for coining the term that struck fear in the hearts of every content marketer last year, has promised content ignition will be the “defining trend of 2015.”

It’s clear the web has become—and will continue to become—saturated with content. In fact, Schaefer sites information from Content Marketing Institute & MarketingProfs reports, which projects that between now and 2020, the amount of information on the Internet is expected to increase by 500 percent. He states this “overload” of content is a good thing for consumers, as it will force higher quality content to be created by brands.

However, for businesses, Schaefer says, “trying to cut through this information tsunami (‘density’ – the business side of the trend) is going to be a significant challenge.”

Good, high-quality content isn’t enough anymore: “Content sitting idly on a website — even superb content — has as much value as the world’s greatest movie script locked in a cold, dark vault.”

In 2015, the question has become, “How can content marketers bust their high-quality, educational and entertaining content out of the vault and get it seen by their target audiences?” Here are a few ways to “ignite” your content:

1. Give and You Shall Receive

Reciprocity has been one of the foundations of inbound and content marketing—give your audience something useful, so much so they would have paid to get their hands on it. That way, when they are ready to make a purchase, your brand is top of mind. But how can you take this to the next level to ignite your content?

Shopify offers a chance to win business mentoring from heavy hitters including Sir Richard Branson, Daymond John, Marie Forleo and Tim Ferriss. Giving could also be of a charitable nature, allowing your brand to build a following of good will, just as TOMS shoes has done with its One for One® business model.

The takeaway: Find out what your audience cares about then give something relevant away. Create content surrounding your campaign and watch your marketing ignite.

2. Become the Go-To for Industry Information

Quick—name the authority organization in inbound marketing. Chances are many of you answered with HubSpot, and you’d be right to do so. But HubSpot didn’t even exist 10 years ago, let alone was it the expert on anything. Today, though, the brand name is synonymous with high-quality, accurate and forward-thinking information about all things inbound.

How did it get that distinction? It earned it with its HubSpot Blog of information for marketers, sales and agencies practicing inbound marketing. From how-to blogs and 101 lessons to thought leadership and path-forging posts, HubSpot covers it all.

The takeaway: Where does your industry lack high-quality, educational information? Identify your niche, then ignite your content by creating your own hub that your target audience won’t be able to resist.

3. Tell Your Story in a Way Your Buyers Will Love

This one isn’t easy; otherwise every brand would be doing it. But storytelling pays off. Chipotle took this form of content delivery to a whole new level last year with its short film, The Scarecrow. Currently the video boasts nearly 14 million views—for a video produced by a fast food restaurant!

While you may not have the budget to create such a masterpiece, you can begin telling your brand’s story in a way that will delight your target audience. Have buyers on the go? Consider a podcast. Marketing to millennials? Chances are your story should be visual and transparent. It’s all about finding your story and telling it in a fascinating way.

The takeaway: Talk to your target audience members, understand what they want and then combine that with your brand story to create content that ignites the imagination.

Nobody said igniting your content would be cheap or easy. The key is determining what your buyers want and delivering that content in a clever way.


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