13 July 2015

How to use content marketing to advertise like David Ogilvy

Confessions of an Advertising Man
A. David Ogilvy as a content marketer

I was reading Jeffrey Fox's book, How to Become a Rainmaker: The Rules for Getting and Keeping Customers and Clients, when my eyes caught the following paragraphs:
David Ogilvy was the greatest copy writer in the history of advertising.  Ogilvy was also an awesome Rainmaker: He brought in wonderful clients to his advertising agency.  He was a master at giving and getting. One of David Ogilvy's memorable advertising campaigns was a series of ads he wrote to promote his agency, Ogilvy & Mather, in New York City.
Unlike the typical, predictable, and egotistical advertising that most agencies produce to promote themselves, Ogilvy "gave" his genius away.  Instead of telling potential clients how great O & M was, instead of writing about himself, Ogilvy gave away how to do what his agency did.
One ad, headlined "How to Write a Corporate Ad," gave an accurate, detailed road map on copy points, layout, typeface, mistakes to avoid.  Another, headlined "How to Make a Television Commercial," revealed Ogilvy's approaches and secrets
One can imagine the internal debate at O & M; "If we tell them how we do it, they won't need us!" But the sage and savvy Rainmaker knew coffee companies made coffee not ads, and that automakers made cars not commercials.  He figured potential clients would not go to his competitors and say, "Make me ads the way Ogilvy does it." (Fox, How to Become a Rainmaker, pp. 163-164)
 What Ogilvy did is simply content marketing at its finest.

B. How you can also be a content marketer like Ogilvy

What if you are not in advertising business like Ogilvy? Can you still use content marketing? Of course. Let's look at some hypothetical examples:
  • Typewriters. If your firm specialize in old typewriters, you can blog about the history of a specific typewriter: the engineering problems that the typewriter overcame, the famous people who used the typewriter, the fortunes of the company who made the typewriter, the different types of fonts available to the typewriter, the design of each part of the typewriter, the types of metals and plastics used in the typewriter, the engineers who built the typewriter, etc.
  • Flowers. If your firm sells flowers, you can blog about the different types of flowers, how a particular flower blooms, how to cultivate a flower, what soil type is good for different flowers, how to arrange flowers for different occasions, what vases go well with different flower arrangements, the farms where the flowers came from, the poems about flowers, the painters who love a particular flower, etc.
  • Bus. If you are a bus firm, you can blog about different bus models, the different types of bus engines, the interior designs of different buses, the places your bus go to, the important events that your bus may pass by, the accidents that happened along the road, the peak and off seasons of passengers, etc.
  • Farm. If you are a farmer, you can blog about your crops, the different kinds of fruits that grows in your farm, how to properly use a particular fertilizer, how to to make a compost pit, how to identify the different kinds of worms that ravage particular plants, how to irrigate the fields, how to identify different rice varieties, how to enjoy the fresh air, how to build a hut, how to milk a cow, how to keep milk fresh, how to make cheese, how to process different fruits into jams, 
By giving your readers valuable content related to your business, you establish your expertise in your field and position your firm at the top of your reader's mind in your chosen product category.