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As consumers get savvier, companies must keep up with their followers’ growing knowledge of advertising and strategic marketing. Not all companies are trying to fool the consumer—but in a world where one is stereotyped a seducer and the other the seduced, companies have to find newer, more trustworthy ways of reaching their audience. One of those ways is content marketing, a strategy that has developed over the past few years as companies have gotten more personal and detail-oriented with their advertising strategies.

Not Buying, Not Selling
It’s hard for the consumer to believe that a company is not trying to sell something. Media experts have been preaching for years that companies are nothing if not scheming, conniving thieves, and, to some degree, that has been true. This stereotype has made consumers apprehensive. However, companies that care about their consumers (yes, those do exist!) will genuinely try to win their faith by occasionally not promoting or selling products. Rather than focusing on profits, content marketing focuses on teaching the consumer about the company’s tactics, beliefs, stories and other more interesting—and more personable—aspects of company life. The goal of content marketing is to engage with the consumer on an intellectual level; it’s a process rather than a tactic with an end in mind.

Catering to Consumers’ Interests
The companies that actually care will put forth the effort necessary to cater advertising to consumer’s needs and interests. They want to get to know the customer to make the relationship between company and consumer easy and stress-free. They do this by sending personal emails that cater to the individual consumer’s personality. Content marketing is a lot of work because it sometimes involves classifying consumers into smaller, more manageable groups with similar tastes and interests. This can then lead to a more targeted advertising audience—for instance, a shoe company that keeps track of which consumers are purchasing or showing interest in running shoes can then send only that group information on maintenance and care of those particular shoes. That kind of classification takes research and time—only companies that care will be willing to put in the effort.

Content Marketing is Serious Business
Content marketing is no joke and certainly not something to throw together. While it may not directly affect profits, it does affect consumer loyalty and trust, which are two of the necessary ingredients to a healthy, consistent year of sales.

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