Content Marketing Is Just Marketing Done Well (The Story Of Crapford Park FC)
Content marketing is nothing new, it just hasn’t had the opportunity to be used properly, until now.
Lets look it at another way, marketing is being remarketed. A bit like when Marathon became Snickers or Opal Fruits became Starburst. It’s still the same inside, it’s just on the outside it’s evolving.
The reason why content marketing has become such a focus for marketers in the past 18 months is that media models have progressed considerably in the past five years than at any time in the world of marketing communications.
Content marketing now works because of the many platforms that are available to deliver our message and engage with an audience whenever we want, whereas a few years ago, we all neglected our own content that represented what we truly believed in and relied on traditional media to broadcast our product offerings.
The Story Of Crapford Park FC
This is a bit like a local football team, in Poole, that I played for when I was a teenager, it was a team made up of those who couldn’t get picked anywhere else, so one of the dad’s started up a team where those kids who for want of a better word were ‘neglected’ had something they could feel part of and play more than a ‘cack handed’ gesture of two minutes at the end of a game for someone else. We were called ‘Canford Park FC’ and during our first season, we were known more locally throughout the local schools as ‘Crapford Park’ and had to swallow heavy defeats week in, week out, where losing 0-6 was seen as a morale boost.
However, the point I’m making here is that we were a team that decided to pick ourselves because no one else wanted us. The following season we managed to hold our own and the season after that our friends (and perhaps better players) started to join the team (our network became stronger) and we could go head to head with the more established teams of the league (and win). The moral of this little story is that all of the 14-16 year old footballers within the local borough were at different levels of ability (some way ahead of others), but when a group decided to stand for something and get better at what they enjoyed, over time they could stand shoulder to shoulder with the better teams and other people wanted to become part of what we stood for, which was basically to have fun.
Putting Crapford Park FC In Today’s Context
This is exactly what is going on in the world at the moment, where small businesses are now able to have a voice and be regarded as credible alongside more established companies. All that is going on in the world at the moment is that we are still Canford/Crapford Park in its early seasons. We are moving away from a traditional media model to a digital model, but still trying to find our feet and get comfortable with it. By this I mean many companies are dabbling with the ‘download our FREE white paper on this subject, in return for your email address,’ whilst not necessarily understanding the overall strategic objective.
We’re Now Building Our Own Audiences
We now don’t feel the bind of thinking advertising is the route for others to recognise our message as we can now build our own audiences and bring them to the platforms that we own (our websites, our blogs, our emails). This is what picking yourself is all about. We can now use technology to our own advantage and look to get comfortable with it, by being consistent, no matter how many knock backs you may get ie. a few subscribers to your blog during the first committed year to not many conversations happening over on Twitter during the first few committed months.
As a kid, Canford Park FC represented the hopes and aspirations of a group of people who wanted to be accepted rather than feel neglected. Over time and a commitment to keep ‘at it’ things changed for the better where the people were the same, they just became a bit more skilled at what they loved.
Starting To Sum Up
This is what’s happening in the world of content marketing at this very moment. It’s something that has been around for many years but has been neglected while everyone else chose traditional media. Now we are starting to see the merits and capabilities that it presents our businesses and the ability to grow a conversation and to build an audience, we’re starting to see it play more of a prominent role where in the next few years content marketing will just be known as ‘marketing.’
Be interesting to hear how things are working with you, persevering with a new way of thinking and the in-roads that you are making.
P.S. You may be wondering what happened to Canford Park FC…after four seasons we disbanded but obviously made it’s mark if I’m writing about it over 20 years later and our goalkeeper ended up playing in the first team for Yeovil Town (how’s that for the heady heights of professional football!).
Image courtesy of Flickr via fchmksfkcb