By Daniel Hindin
If a major tenet of integrated marketing communications is customer-centricity, a great way that marketers today are plying their trade is through content marketing.
Content marketing is all about sharing valuable information with potential and existing customers and clients. The information is usually shared for free, and many people take that knowledge and apply it to their lives or businesses without ever engaging in a transaction with the company offering the information.
What better way to form a bond with the public and put the customer first than giving away free, no-strings-attached information?
I’m spending my summer quarter away from Medill working at a communications agency in Chicago called Arment Dietrich, where I manage the globally respected blog Spin Sucks.
What I love about my work there is the unbelievable volume of positive interactions I have with our readers. A large portion of my job consists of procuring valuable content that I think our audience will enjoy and having fun with our readers in the comment section of our blog, through my personal Twitter account, on the company’s Facebook page and wherever else we might find each other.
As early as my first day on the job, I felt an outpouring of warmth from our community. And when I say “community,” I’m talking about both paying customers as well as readers who have never spent a dollar with our company and quite possibly never will.
It doesn’t bother us that most of our readers won’t become customers. We’re committed to providing what amounts to a free media channel focusing on marketing, social media and entrepreneurism for small- to medium-sized businesses. And that commitment will basically cost us the same amount whether 100 people are reading or 100,000 people are reading.
In July, more than 15,000 people visited Spin Sucks. If 14,900 of them never do business with us, we still end up with far more clients on our hands than an agency of our size could handle.
But beyond that, these 15,000 visitors are coming to our site because they want to be there. We’re not buying ads anywhere. We’re not bombarding them with mismatched messages as they go about their day. Our readers are self-selecting themselves as potential clients by simply being attracted by the information we’re providing.
So it’s a win-win situation. Our readers win because they benefit from our knowledge and experience from the comfort of their own home or office. We win because more people every day are learning about us and the services we provide.
By putting the customer first and not putting on the hard sell, through Spin Sucks and content marketing, Arment Dietrich is enjoying more success every day.
Daniel Hindin is Managing Director of Vitamin IMC and a student in the Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications program at Northwestern University’s Medill School. He also works as Community Manager of Arment Dietrich’s blog Spin Sucks and can be found tweeting at all hours of the day at www.twitter.com/danielhindin.