If content marketing seems the new buzzword these days, it’s because online social networks have renewed the cultural importance of storytelling. Superficial advertisements are passé. Exchange of ideas is crucial. Brands have discovered that donning a human face is the only way forward. While it was once acceptable to talk down to customers, it has now become critical to listen.
There’s a gold rush now for original content that resonates with customers. But there’s also too much content. Social media is now nearing maturity on the growth curve. Explosive new techniques to attract customers are scarce. For airlines that wish to stay ahead of competition, here’s a three-way roadmap to help refresh and differentiate their content marketing plans for 2016:
- In-the-moment marketing: We’ve written previously about how Snapchat is an increasingly important platform for marketers who wish to grab eyeballs, especially the youth. It’s admirable that Snapchat has been thinking out its business model carefully as well. Last year, it announced that it would be launching sponsored lenses — a brilliant idea for growing an entirely niche marketing tool.
- New video experiences: Video will continue its inexorable growth this year as well. In a study done last year, 52% marketing professionals worldwide claimed that video has the best ROI. As video content proliferates, airlines can stay ahead of the curve by tapping into new techniques such as 360-degree video on Facebook — and, even better, 360-degree immersive storytelling such as those offered under Google Spotlight Stories. “With Google Spotlight Stories, your phone becomes a window to a story happening all around you. The sensors on your phone allow the story to be interactive, so when you move your phone to various scenes, you unlock mini-stories within the story.”
- Virtual reality: Several airlines have already gone ahead and delved into virtual reality. Notable examples include Lufthansa’s VR flight on a 747; Qantas’ destination marketing VR experience of Hamilton Island; KLM’s Dreamliner VR tour. With Oculus Rift finally launched for commercial sale, and Google Cardboard already available — very cheaply — airlines should look to tinker with the format to offer experiences beyond the ordinary, even futuristic.
What else is in store this year for content marketing? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @simpliflying.