Why Purpose-Driven Content Marketing Is Big in 2017 and Beyond
What’s your “why”? Brands that can clearly answer this question are more likely to appeal to today’s searchers. What we’re talking about here is purpose-driven content marketing. And it does matter today’s consumers. In fact, nearly half of all global consumers prefer brands that stand for or support something. Specially, aspirational content appeals to about half of all millennials, nearly 35 percent of gen-Xers, and about 30 percent of the general population, according to various surveys and estimates. Brands not making purposeful content part of their sales and marketing machine are missing a golden opportunity to stand out from the crowd in a good way. Read on to learn why purpose-driven content is a content marketing trend that’s going to stick around in 2017 and beyond.
Standing for Something Matters to Customers
At one time, cause-related marketing was seen as a novelty. Today, there are numerous surveys that clearly indicate consumers expect brands to reflect today’s common societal concerns. More than 90 percent of millennials surveyed would switch brands to one associated with a cause they supported. A Nielsen survey found that nearly 70 percent of consumers, regardless of specific age group, will actually pay more for products or services from brands committed to making a positive social impact. So, it clearly makes good marketing sense for any brand, whether big or small, to connect with consumers on a personal level by marketing with a purpose.
Relevant Purpose Has a Lot of Marketing Potential
If you take a look at brands already doing purpose-driven marketing right, you’ll notice that they make it relevant to their brand. Dove, for example, produces content encouraging and celebrating the self-esteem and confidence of women by stressing that beauty is skin deep. Doing so makes the brand more appealing to women, the company’s primary target demographic. Whatever your brand’s purpose is, it has to be more than just relevant to be effective. Customers can see through efforts that appear forced or phony. Something as simple as supporting a local or favorite charity can show consumers a brand cares about more than making profits. In his book “Start With Why,” motivational speaker and marketing consultant Simon Sinek sums it up best by observing, “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” Marketing with a purpose can lead to the following results for a brand that does it well:
- Increased brand awareness: Brand awareness increases as content is shared and passed along to others from customers in agreement with what a brand is doing.
- More productive customer interactions: Customers connected with a brand’s purpose are more likely to check into social pages and participate in discussions, read blog posts, and subscribe to email newsletters.
- Improved customer loyalty: Customers who emotionally connect with a brand’s purpose are more likely to feel good about making purchases from that brand, which ultimately leads to a much-appreciated revenue boost, even when this isn’t the primary goal.
It Provides a Clearer Direction with SEO
One of the surprising benefits of purpose-driven marketing is how it can create a clearer direction with SEO efforts. It’s not unusual for people to purposely seek out brands doing something good for the environment or ones that are actively involved in local charities. If your online content referencing all of this good stuff isn’t properly optimized, it’s not going to show up in search results for your business. What marketing with a purpose does is give you a more specific focus with your SEO efforts beyond the products and services you offer.
Start by defining your brand’s purpose and selecting purpose-driven keywords related to it. Make a list of purpose-driven keywords relevant to your brand based on online trends related to your cause, especially if it’s something with broad appeal like the environment. Use those keywords naturally within the content you create to promote your particular “why” to your intended audience. What you’ll end up with is optimized content that accurately reflects your brand’s purpose.
Whatever your “purpose” happens to be, make sure it’s consistent with your brand’s messaging across all platforms and channels. In other words, the message you present with your social media content needs to be reinforced by what’s on your website and in your blog posts, since people typically access brands from different content sources. Maintaining consistency with your brand’s content ultimately encourages interaction and builds brand loyalty. And in today’s competitive environment, customer loyalty is pretty much a priceless asset to any brand, given the potential benefits of ongoing engagement.