Contextual content marketing is one of the biggest trends driving digital marketing in recent years. In fact, content marketing was voted the top marketing activity to drive commercial results in 2015, the Adweek Blog Network noted—outranking big data, marketing automation and social media marketing. Whether you’re hosting a cooking blog or a sample booth at a music festival, your content marketing strategy must contain two essential ingredients: good timing and authenticity.
Contextual marketing can strengthen brands’ relationships with consumers.
So, what’s the context?
Consumers nowadays don’t want to be sold to by some nameless brand. They respond to a context they can relate to and the voice of someone they feel they can trust. It’s the job of marketers to either cultivate that voice themselves or to pair up with someone who can.
Take J. Crew’s “Shiny Ponies” YouTube video, which had 270, 529 views as of late February. The video features the voice of shoe enthusiast Joanna, who entices viewers with her trip to Italy to demonstrate where the shoes are made. The focus isn’t her as an employee—we don’t even know her last name—but her obsession with a particular article of clothing. The brand builds trust by associating itself with someone relatable in the context of a small, shoe-making workshop abroad—the very antithesis of mass production.
Should it be measured?
Ideally, contextual content should provide some form of a framework for mapping the delivery and measurement process. The purpose for marketers is to gain knowledge of what their users want and determine how they will support that goal.
Someone who views T-shirts on Amazon and later receives ads on Facebook for similar products, or other options from the same brand, is on the receiving end of contextual marketing. How many targets click on the ad, and what percentage of those leads results in another purchase? Your challenge is to create some process for tracking each step throughout the campaign.
Don’t wait for users to visit your Twitter feed. Marketers should continue seeking new ways to target shoppers by bringing them what they want in the right moment, whether the person is close to purchase or the timing makes sense for some other reason. Take advantage of new ways to target specific groups of viewers in real time. It may require additional advertising sophistication—for instance, tweaking your email campaign according to the recipient’s location or the moment an email is opened so that viewers only get the most recent headlines, explained Business 2 Community.
Businesses aren’t just making the connection from A to B. They’re combining circumstance, technology and spontaneity to trigger the emotions and impulses that will lead to a sale.