MTN Nigeria’s Untapped Content Marketing Potential
One day in 1803, Napoleon pointed to a map. On China he said-
“There lies a sleeping giant. Let her sleep. For when she awakes she will shake the world”.
Sometimes, in marketing, you come across brands that, when they take certain steps, shake their industry. These steps, easily, put competition into obscurity.
In Giga Lagos Digital’s article on 2015’s weapons for effective digital marketing strategy, we wrote about three key strategies. One of them was content marketing. Content marketing is not a strategy for just this year; it’s a commitment whose relevance will remain strong in years to come.
Today I’ll take a look at one of the brands whose decision to fully step into content marketing would help shake its industry- MTN Nigeria.
Why MTN Nigeria?
Apart from having an enviable culture (they are the first company in West Africa to be formally accredited by the IIP), their marketing activities are interesting.
Truth is, they have continuously executed initiatives that have positively impacted different sectors of Nigeria’s economy. To any keen marketing eye, a pattern easily emerges. However, to the average Nigerian, each “activity” is simply seen as just another… “activity”. The next questions to ask is why is there this discrepancy and also, how can Content Marketing help MTN Nigeria do online PR and Marketing that is more “digital” and less “traditional”?
Let me start with a definition of Content Marketing
What is Content Marketing?
Joe Pullizi’s (CMI) definition comes in handy –
“Content marketing is the strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
In its simplest form, content marketing is creating useful, relevant content so customers pay attention to your products and services.
So Why Should MTN Nigeria Go Into Content Marketing?
Content Marketing Will Skyrocket the Effectiveness Of their PR And Marketing Efforts: The communication of their PR and marketing initiatives, online, still looks a lot like this-
This model is simply a duplication of the old traditional style of marketing into digital media.
Here, connection with the target audience is in the form of information pushed out at the level of mere reports on activities. These reports are then dispersed to various sites.
The average Nigerian comes in contact with the initiatives during or after they have been executed. One of the consequences is that, sometimes, they interact with these reports, other times they don’t. Another consequence is that the consumer begins to think of each contact with information in his own terms. Terms that, most times, will not align with the company’s business goals.
The possibilities of digital media are being explored at its minimal level.
The Holy Grail of Public Relations and Marketing in the digital age is not to “Inform the public” about your activities. It is to lead “Movements and build tribes”. Authority, Leadership, and Influence is the holy grail.
Once you can achieve this, then you have a better chance of getting what you want.
And these tribes are not created by slapping the term on an ad and pushing it down the consumers’ throat.
So How Does Content Marketing Solve this problem?
Let me start with a better flow of how things should be-
- Projects: Sponsorships, events etc. (embolden)
- Core Impact areas:
Your Core Impact Areas are segments according to interests.
In explaining “Core Impact Areas” let me cite a very simple example – L’Oreal’s content site www.makeup.com.
They create content that interest their target audience. The segment is young women who care about their looks. The content shared on this owned platform meets the content needs of these people.They then, within the content, strategically position their products as the ideal solutions. This leads their target audience to try out their products.Because the content is what people like, they keep coming back.
Also, because it connects with them, they trust the opinions and therefore take the steps advised.
Now the content shared is not the self-serving, typically boring type of content that usually happens when you syndicate press releases on blogs, websites, etc. These, by nature, do not connect with the audience. What connects to them is useful, truly interesting content the consumer wants.
All this is done on owned media.
Now a brand like MTN Nigeria may decide to identify more than one core impact area they want to focus on and then create content that connects with each target audience.
The Content Marketing E-book by Giga gives you comprehensive steps on how to plan your content marketing strategy, but I’ll give you a few tips on the type of content you should create;
1.) Create Content that the target audience wants or need or are interested in. (Find out what these are and give it to them better than anyone else.).
2.) Content that somehow connects to or is along your area of expertise or service offerings.
3.) Content that answers the customer’s question i.e WIIFM (What’s in it for me?)
Digital media has created a new world of requirements for effective marketing and PR. The heart of this is that, to truly win, you have to put the customer as the hero of your story. Done any other way, at best, you’ll merely have a semblance of success but not the real thing.
With digital media, amongst a flurry of opportunities, you have a chance to-
4.) Build Loyal Tribes and Movements: All along with the opportunities for broader business landscapes.
5.) Getting people connected to larger visions (as opposed to mere activities).
Once you have done this, you have effectively Earned the right to market: You ultimately have them where you want them (that is, in your palms) and finally, Activities are seen in a different light but they will see your brand in the right light.
Content Marketing Opens Up a New World of Raw Business Opportunities
In basic terms, content marketing is owning as opposed to merely renting media.
Some brands (maybe like yours) may decide to stay at the basic level of
- Create content, align it to the customer journey.
- Gear up love and brand equity.
- Watch it directly or indirectly rev up demand and sales.
This is not bad.
However, a company like MTN Nigeria can be more proactive at gleaning profit from the medium. The prospects are expanded way beyond mere brand awareness and equity.
It’s one that should not be ignored.