Contributed by Bryce Ward
The term “marketing” still brings to many people’s minds things like door-to-door sales, billboard advertisements, and high-school students spinning cardboard arrows in the general direction of some pizza shop, but these traditional marketing strategies have been becoming increasingly less relevant in recent years as companies are stampeding towards digital content marketing. A main reason why: content marketing can be personalized to a degree that traditional marketing cannot always match. For example, instead of hiring a teenager to spin a cardboard sign on the side of a busy road in hopes of attracting a hungry customer on their way home from work, pizza shops now purchase and run saliva-inducing social media ads of a close-up shot of a pizza. With the former strategy, the most a pizza shop can do to personalize their marketing approach is to have someone stand outside during peak hours when drivers are most likely to stop by. With the latter, however, the pizza shop can have their ads appear on the pages of specific demographics most likely to buy a pizza, and they can strategically run these ads during optimal times, such as an hour or two before a big game.
I say all this to emphasize the importance of personalization in all types of marketing. Although companies are rightfully sprinting towards content marketing for its unique advantages, traditional mediums of marketing can still be just as if not more effective at personalized marketing. And although content marketing has amazing advantages, it is quickly becoming overcrowded for this very reason. However, a new spin on content marketing, which we have barely scratched the surface on, is interactive content marketing. Think: pizza ads on your Twitter feed that allow a user to add their favorite toppings onto a digital pizza without being redirected to an external site, or an interactive gif of a 3D high-school student with the company’s pizza sign that the user can fling around in circles for fun. Think: media companies allowing users to pick a topic they’re most interested in and having relevant articles and blogs appear. The possibilities of interactive content marketing are as expansive as the imagination, and the technology needed to keep up with the imagination will surface sooner rather than later. One day, current content marketing as we know it may very well become the “traditional” marketing. One thing is certain, though: marketing will always trend towards the personal. The more personalized your marketing is, the greater the chance it has of succeeding.