Vision Creative Group’s Approach to Content Marketing

As businesses big and small continue to convert their marketing efforts from traditional to digital, it can be easy for them to get lost. The good news is that many of the elements of traditional advertising translate well into the digital realm. Understanding what’s still relevant in traditional advertising and building upon it makes the transition much easier. I thought I would share some thoughts and examples of how VCG built upon its experience in advertising to develop and execute content marketing strategies.

Let’s get down to the basics. People aren’t interested in advertising; people want valuable information or resources —content. That’s exactly what content marketing does: provide them with something that is relevant, meaningful or useful. It tells the consumer: “Hey, here’s something we think you’ll find valuable. If you do, come check us out or spread the word. There’s more where that came from.” The relationship is predicated on value, not fluff. When consumers see value in their relationship with your business, interest is generated, customer loyalty is earned and the path to increased sales is paved.

Content marketing is a strategy developed around the realities of digital marketing. Blog posts, videos and infographics are the bread-n-butter of content marketing and social media is the primary vehicle—along with email—for delivering content to audiences. When adopting this strategy, we relied on two strengths we knew we could deliver: strong visuals and copy.

As I’m sure you’re aware, visuals are essential to content marketing. Even if your content doesn’t lend itself to visuals, adding some tasteful design to the headline can go a long way. Copywriting is the next piece of the puzzle. Effective content marketing harnesses the core strengths of copywriting: magnetic headlines, persuasive language. Take Twitter’s 140 characters as an example: the short messaging format creates a unique opportunity to narrow the focus to one line. A magnetic headline or strong piece of copy will drive people to your content; the persuasive language is what informs them of your purpose.

So what does this look like for VCG? Our blog, for example, has one idea in mind: provide value. Sometimes this takes the form of thoughts about the world around us, at other times we provide insight and tips into the world of marketing and design.

Here are a couple of examples. Earlier this year, we published a blog post that offered an informal checklist on how schools can adapt to the next generation of parents. The other example is a blog post we recently published reminding businesses to always review what they offer that their competition does not and convey that to their audiences. Both offer insight and advice, free of charge.

How do we use these skills for our clients? We recently shot a video for our client the New Jersey Youth Chorus. The visuals work together to develop a sense of what they offer and why it might interest you. It’s about more than singing; it’s about a unique place where a child can be part of a community and develop their musical self and who knows, maybe even sing the national anthem at a Jets game.

If a parent, or a friend of a parent, saw that on social media and knew of a child who loved singing, wouldn’t they want to share this video with them? They could share the video and tell them “Check it out! This looks like the perfect place for Billy to sing (instead of at the dinner table).” With social media, interests of all kinds (and formats) can be shared easily! That’s a key metric to great content marketing!

Speaking of metrics, content marketing introduces new measurements that marketers can use to optimize their efforts and better achieve business objectives. With traditional advertising, measured results are based solely on sales. With content marketing the goal is obviously still sales, but additional metrics such as consumption, lead generation and sharing provide a more detailed assessment of how people respond to your marketing efforts.

See? If you’re new to content marketing, take comfort in the fact that it’s built upon a foundation that I’m sure you’re familiar with. The execution is more involved, but, again, leveraging those elements from traditional advertising can help you start to develop and deliver great content.

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