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Stop Pushing Selfish Marketing Content

WRITTEN by: Laura Jackson |
categories: Content Marketing

Oct 2013


Various guesstimations have been made throughout the years on the magical number of advertisements consumers are bombarded with in a day. This number can be tens of thousands based the millions of emails, mailers, fliers and billboards we ignore and are exposed to, or it could be a couple hundred based on the brands and messages you acknowledge and recognize. Regardless, consumers in the United States are constantly flashed pieces of self-promoted content.

We get it! You sell the best thingamajig and whatchamacallit in the industry. Stop beating us with your “inconspicuously placed” branded phrases, buzz words and taglines. We know what you are doing, so start admitting ongoing advertisements are only one form of communicating your message to consumers. Constantly pushing selfish marketing content needs to stop because there is another approach that can increase brand awareness, sales, customer loyalty and conversation – lending a hand with useful, unbranded and helpful content.

One of the leading content marketing influencers, Lowes-300x225Jay Baer, has described this selfless act of marketing as YOUtility. One great example of companies being helpful via social media was exhibited from the folks at Lowe’s. Lowe’s is a home improvement store assisting families with desired enhancements on their home. Their whole philosophy is to lend support through inspiration, appliances, tools, and tutorials, and to never stop improving. Lowe’s created a series of six Vine videos with lifehacks that can be applied around the home. Lifehacks are easy tips anyone can apply to simplify their day-to-day activities, and this message embodies the core of what Lowe’s represents. The videos brought brand awareness without having to speak about the brand.

Another way to unbrand your content is through brand journalism. I recently received a full download on this topic from Lisa Arledge Powell, president of 2013’s Best Health Care PR/Marketing Agency – MediaSource. This technique takes marketers back to some of the basics that we often overlook. The first step is to focus on the audience. Find out your customer’s needs through search patterns, conversations via social media platforms, focus groups and surveys, and other insights. Find the voice your brand wants to practice, but be credible and keep the message simple. For the final adornment, think visual and most importantly, completely strip your content from branding. Any well-written article you read has all of these elements, and the package it is presented in allows readers to maintain interest and find us­e from it.

By all means, I am not saying that marketing content with ­zero branding is the way to go, but there needs to be a balance of branded and unbranded, truly useful content. If you are stumped on how to tackle a new piece of content, think about the Youtility process and review this six step checklist to creating helpful and not hyped content or talk to one of Upward’s content marketing specialists.

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