Around ten years ago, it seemed like content marketing really exploded in the online world. Businesses were starting Facebook pages with complete abandon, shouting headlines at customers in email, stuffing webpages with duplicate content to improve website rankings and using all kinds of other tactics to get customers to take notice.
And in the main, a lot of it worked. It was still novel to interact with brands in such an intimate and responsive way online, and since not every brand was onboard, the market wasn’t saturated.
Things are different now. Content marketing has reached a maturity which demands a new approach. It’s no longer enough for businesses to merely create content – it needs to be valuable to prospective customers and targeted to meet their needs and interests. Since we now receive countless messages from companies selling their wares, you must think about how your content marketing will cut through the clutter and improve the lives of your audience.
I’ll give you a real life example…
Recently I’ve contemplated selling my old bachelor pad / turned investment property. With a growing family the timing feels right, however in today’s market, I’m not fully convinced it will fetch a price I’d feel comfortable with. After speaking to a local real estate agent, I subscribed to their e-newsletter. Every Tuesday, an update on the local market pops into my inbox. I’m provided with relevant info on factors impacting recent sales results (such as borrowing restrictions or potential legislation changes). It’s content which I’m happy to receive. More importantly, I’m gaining trust with the agent, and even though they haven’t directly advertised any of their services, I’m much more likely to engage them when I’m ready to go.
Luke Scicluna, Kick&Co copywriter and digital marketing expert, has already covered why (and how) good content marketing plans work. So, let’s shift our focus to three executions that every business should consider:
Website (& blog)
Content on the McDonald’s Australia website gives visitors a tonne of information to help portray their brand as community, sustainability and even nutrition oriented.
Let’s start with your website, because it’s super important. Think of your website as your anchor – the destination where all your other efforts will lead. Get this right before you start anything else – including relevant content, functional design, and Search Engine Optimisation or ‘SEO’ (how easily you’re found in online search results) best practice to name a few.
Second to that, a company blog (like this one!) gives you an amazing platform to showcase your strengths, support prospective customers, share news and flex the personality of your brand. Blogs can also assist with improving website SEO.
You should aim to blog regularly (e.g. once or twice a month) and ensure content is created with users in mind – what does your audience care about? What would help them? What do they want to know?
At Kick, we repurpose the blog content we create for clients in a variety of ways, like sending it out as part of email marketing campaigns or sharing on social media to get maximum bang for your blogging buck.
Major e-Commerce fashion website ‘surfstitch’ send their fans a lot of sale offers. They’re also experts at selling the ‘surf lifestyle’ by providing information on surfing events, fashion trends and taking behind the scenes snapshots.
The days where marketers purchased giant lists of email addresses and sent completely irrelevant offers are over (well, they are at Kick&Co anyway). Today’s email marketing is built on a database of people who’ve opted in to receive communications because they’re interested in hearing what you have to say and receiving some perks of being ‘a part of the family’.
Email marketing is one-part attracting subscribes and the other, retaining your list and looking for opportunities to generate revenue. The best email marketing efforts involve targeting communications to different audience groups, at optimal times and with clever, well-written and engaging content.
Follow this formula and you’re bound to be successful.
If you scroll through Nike’s social media pages you won’t be bombarded with images of new shoes, clothes and sale offers. Instead, you’ll find endless amounts of content featuring athletes and ambassadors at the top of their game.
The internet has never been more interactive and leading the way is social media. Right now, millions (even billions) of conversations are taking place. The rise of social media has created opportunities for marketers to engage their brands in these conversations as well as start some of their own.
The biggest platforms in use right now are YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Each of these networks is unique and has its own best practices, style, and audience. What’s more, the rules of engagement, especially from a marketing perspective, have altered dramatically. For example, Facebook has become a ‘pay to play’ platform, meaning businesses which don’t invest in advertising are likely to see little results. This is increasingly becoming the case on other platforms, but when done right, social media still represents great ROI and can still have a profoundly positive impact on your business.
Content marketing isn’t just about selling your products, it’s about giving your audience information which they see as valuable. By doing so, you’ll become a credible, authoritative resource to potential customers, earning their loyalty and trust, which in-turn will strengthen your customer relationships and database. By following the three executions above, over time, it will also help the right audience find you by improving your SEO and brand awareness.
Essentially, it’s all about producing articles and media to drive brand awareness, inspire new customers and generate revenue. Good content is valuable to customers and appeals to their natural curiosity and desire to research before buying. With a sound strategy and great execution on the platforms above, you can use this powerful marketing tool to your advantage…
Or engage the team at Kick&Co to do it for you.