With 2 boys who love to create endlessly with Lego® blocks, I sometimes think that Legos® multiply like rabbits. The running joke in my house is, when looking into a dark corner or sofa crevice, you call out, “You’ll never guess what I found!” to which there’s always a resounding answer, “Legos®!”
Lego® has a magazine for boys my sons’ ages that anyone can sign up for, for free. About a week before it’s due to arrive, my boys start running to the mailbox when they get home, looking for the next month’s issue. When it finally arrives, they spend days combing over the pages, reading the comics, dreaming about the new sets, and enjoying the creations of their peers.
In short, it’s content marketing at its most brilliant.
You see, Lego® understands its target market perfectly. It’s not the mom or dad who make the decision to purchase a particular Lego set, typically. It’s the child who has been avidly reading the pages of the free magazine, and playing the Lego® games on its website. While other brands like American Girl® charge $25 or more for a subscription, Lego® guarantees that I’ll sign my boys up for their magazine…it’s free.
How can they afford to do it? Because it’s their catalog. American Girl® sends a catalog, filled with products and prices. My daughter looks through it, but it’s typically more of the same, and not very exciting. Lego® sends something its target market reads again and again, and looks forward to. What a brilliant way to use content marketing.
And it doesn’t cost them more than it would cost to send a catalog! So while the American Girl® catalogs get tossed each month, we have stacks and stacks of Lego® magazines that my boys read over and over. And each time they do, they’re exposed to a brand message that they carry with them in the toy aisle or when asked what they want for a gift. It’s brilliant.
And it’s something we as an industry can do too. Think about it…we all have catalogs. But how excited are your consumers to get them? How excited are they to visit your website? Do they return over and over just to enjoy the pages? Probably not.
But what if you re-imagined it?
- What if, instead of a collection of cookware and prices, you instead produced a cookbook, which highlighted products among the recipes? You could also provide an online community where cooks could share their own recipes, and get cooking advice. A home cook would return each week when planning her weekly menu.
- What if, as a jewelry company, you produced a fashion magazine? Your target market would flip through the pages when planning what she wants to wear for that special night out, or for work. Add to that daily features on the latest trends on your blog, and people interested in fashion would be constantly checking you out, to find out what they need to add to their wardrobe next.
- What if, as a home decorating company, you produced a home decorating magazine? Your market would review it when thinking about her rooms, and might even leave it on the coffee table for others to browse. Your blog could include home decorating, do it yourself type projects, before and after photos, etc. You could even create a community for consumers online where they could share photos of projects they did, and ask questions and advice of one another.
- What if, as a health and wellness company, you produced a magazine and website community devoted to healthy living, with healthy recipes, exercises to try, and more, right alongside your products. Your online site could also provide this content, healthy lifestyle quizzes, along with a chance to ask questions of trainers, registered nurses, and more.
Sure, it requires writers. But if your target market comes to your catalog or website for pleasure, because it solves a problem or just is a source of joy for them, wouldn’t that result in higher profits? Instead of just getting brand exposure when they need something, they get a brand message every time they come for content. They may find things they didn’t know they needed.
And that’s the beauty of content marketing. On your blog or your social networks, think about how you can use this idea. You can provide content that gets people excited, and that solves problems for them. Not sure how? Peruse the magazine section of your local bookstore. Find a magazine related to what you have to offer. How do they position their articles? That’s what you want to do with your content marketing. Ask yourself: What will your audience get excited about?
How do you create and share content your target market gets excited about? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.