Content marketing, when done right, creates crazy fans that champion your ideas. These are people that are the people that become free evangelists of your brand, spreading the world to all who listen. Content marketing creates fans when traditional advertising creates do-not-call lists. Your choice.
When I was around 12 years old and living in Dallas, the Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup. I remember screaming at the top of my lungs at every play and possibly becoming the most stressed out kid on our block during that championship series. I can still remember exactly where I was standing when they won. After the win, my Dad took me to the mall to see the Lord Stanley’s Cup. To my little kid eyes the line to see it stretched for miles, but eventually we made it to the front.
There were two guys in front of us. Friends or brothers, they were almost yelling at each other in anticipation as we neared the cup. The first went and took a typical picture with the trophy, posing with his arm around it like a prom picture. The other man went after and you could tell this guy was the more passionate one of the two. He walked up to the cup, raised it up, and kissed it. As luck would have it I went next, and no I didn’t kiss it.
I didn’t kiss the Stanley Cup that day but I did get to touch it and have my photograph with it. The thing I most remember about that little outing was the weird and strange people who were obsessed with the thing. Obsessed people go to any lengths to fulfill their obsession. They are the ultimate fans.
Crazy fans are to brands what frequent fliers are to airlines. You can still fly the plane but there’s never the promise of expected business. Fans are essential. Maybe not the extreme ones that kiss trophies, but the fans who love a brand are those that will stick with it until someone makes them stop. The brands that have these fans are the ones who share with them, who keep them updated on the day-to-day, and make them feel included. That relationship is what content marketing is at its core. Giving value before any transaction draws attention and pulls people in for what hopefully is an experience they won’t forget.