Brandscaping… a book about unleashing the power of partnerships… by content marketing expert Andrew Davis.
Digital customer acquisition channels quickly become saturated and we need to be on the constant lookout for the next frontier. Did you know that the first banner ad by AT&T had a 78% click-through rate? Now, digital advertisers consider a click-through rate of 0.02% actually pretty decent!
Brandscaping is built on the idea that paid media is unsustainable and the solution is content marketing. But content marketing is also becoming unsustainable because, given the exponential growth of content production, it requires a ton of resources, and it’s only getting worse.
Perhaps the biggest mistake content marketers make is that they put the brand first and the consumer second. So when they produce their own content, it revolves around the brand itself, instead of its target audience. The result is inauthentic content against which today’s consumer is completely immune.
Brandscaping is a set of novel ideas and rich mini-case studies that illustrate how to develop a content marketing strategy that works!
The key insight behind Brandscaping is that your brand is not a content publisher… so stop acting like one!
Instead, you should piggy-back off people who are already producing the authentic content that resonates with your target audience.
- First, observe what content your customers are already consuming.
- Then, act like a talent scout to identify upcoming, authentic content creators to partner with.
- And finally, reach out to other brands targeting the same audience as you, and join forces.
If you’re selling camera equipment for shooting action sequences, find some of the talented amateur action producers who have millions of fans on YouTube and offer them free equipment. Even better, partner with companies offering video editing software and combine resources.
Brandscaping is the formation of a landscape of brands that target the same audience and amplify each other’s message. It’s all about identifying authentic content creators and partnering with them with a long-term vision.
A great example of brandscaping was the Ford Fiesta movement. Traditionally, car companies inundate their audiences with ads that show a slick car taking sharp turns with improved safety and higher fuel efficiency.
But in 2010, Ford reached out to 100 online personalities and gave them a Ford Fiesta to drive for 6 months, in exchange for documenting their wacky experiences.
They created a ton of original, fun and engaging content that was delivered to the existing, large fan bases of these online talents. This approach was much more cost-effective, impactful, and it continued to generate interest for a long time.
What does it all mean?
Spending money to bribe consumers is a losing strategy. Instead, invest find the right partners and invest in their content… content your customers are already consuming over and over.
If you rely on discounts and offers, you’re effectively buying your customers one at a time, and for one transaction at a time. This transactional relationship is very easy to break.
But if you put the same money – probably less – towards co-producing powerful content, you engage consumers with your brand regularly. Next time you send them an email, they will open it, even if it doesn’t have a headline screaming 50% OFF! Advertising and promotions are an expense, whereas content marketing done right is an asset that keeps on giving.
Brandscaping is a very insightful step-by-step guide to develop these assets and also goes deep into the tactics on how to identify the right content partners, what makes content valuable, and how to exploit content ‘holes’. It can take your digital marketing to the next level: don’t publish, underwrite!