Imagine you manufacture a product that you want to sell but are not allowed to advertise. ‘What??!’, you might exclaim, ‘Not allowed to advertise? How are we to let people know about our product and it’s benefits?’
The India office of a leading, global health-care company approached us with exactly the same problem. They manufacture intraocular lenses that are surgically implanted, which they were not allowed to advertise — Medical Council of India disallows advertising of non-OTC products. The company wanted us to help them find a way to reach the customers and tell them about their product, without infringing upon on the local laws.
The big idea
To reach customers we decided to take the patient-education route. We suggested they have an an online eye-care community with a knowledge base on cataract — its treatment, the latest technological breakthroughs in cataract surgery. A panel of doctors representing leading super specialty eye care hospitals of the country were partnered.
The idea was to educate patients that big incision-eye surgery was a thing of the past and the latest technique was just a 15 minute, out-patient, micro-incision procedure. The name of the intraocular lens was subtly introduced in the content, while describing the procedure. There was no hard-sell at all!
‘Freedom from cataract’, a full page newspaper advertorial was published where doctors answered queries generated from teaser ads on radio and print that preceded. These answers to the queries were also posted on the Internet community, CataractCare.in, informing visitors to the website about the choices they have before undergoing surgery for cataract.
People love making informed purchase decisions
This campaign turned out to be hugely successful, with the company getting more than 2000 leads. There was a bonus benefit too – the sale of the MICS machines skyrocketed as more and more patients demanded the micro-incision procedure! The success of this campaign was due to the fact that people love making informed purchase decisions. They feel they are in control of the situation when they decide to buy after studying the choices they have.
Content marketing – communicating without selling
This is what content marketing is all about! It is about communicating with your customers without selling. Instead of pitching your products or hard selling your services, you focus on creating and delivering valuable information that educates your prospective buyers. Remember, if you consistently give them something of value without selling it to them, you will definitely earn not only their trust and loyalty, but their business too! If people are satisfied with their purchase, they are more likely to refer your product to friends. And as I said before, making an informed purchase satisfies most people – they love it!
Traditional marketing is becoming increasingly ineffective
People are getting smarter and do not care as much about advertisements, which after all is intrusive marketing. They switch channels during commercial breaks on television, and have become experts at ignoring pop ups and banner ads while surfing for information. So as a marketer, you have to remember that traditional marketing is becoming increasingly ineffective.
According to Roper Public Affairs, 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. 70% say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company, while 60% say that company content helps them make better product decisions.
Good content marketing creates a demand for whatever you sell
So there you have it! With content marketing, you can create a marketing atmosphere where people actually look forward to receiving your information. Your content becomes synonymous with your brand, and if people find it good enough to share, you can have a whole lot of brand ambassadors endorsing you – for free! To sum up, your content, if marketed correctly, can build a valuable audience and create a demand for whatever you sell.
Sadhana Karnad is a research writer at Abhiyan, where she develops engaging content that builds thought leadership and revenue opportunities for clients. A website critic, she reviews Internet properties in terms of design and content. Reach Sadhana via LinkedIn.