Marketing

Three Content Marketing Practices To Implement Today

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

There are two words that have been brought up a lot when it comes to marketing: Content Marketing. While it makes sense and you think, “Sure, yeah, you create content and then market it,” there is a little bit more to it than that. Rather than just putting content out there, the best of the best always do it with a purpose. It doesn’t matter if you are selling a product, providing a service, or even just thinking about starting a business, content marketing can be a fantastic way to reach a bigger audience while also helping out the community. Here are three content marketing practices that you can start implementing today:

CONTENT MARKETING PRACTICE #1: BLOGGING, BLOGGING, AND MORE BLOGGING

You have most likely heard “On my blog…” from a friend or colleague. Blogs started out as a way for people to share what was on their brain with the world. It was basically a good method for allowing people to get a peek into their lives in a truly transparent way. However, it has evolved into so much more than that. Blogging has now become a library of knowledge for companies and individuals to share some of their expertise with the community. But what is the purpose of even running a blog? Some of you may think that if people want knowledge from you, they should pay for it. While I totally agree you should get paid for your time, people expect something, even if it is small, for free. With how many sites are vying for the attention of consumers, what you have must be of value to the consumer in order to put you in front of the competition. Blogging is also a great way to get ranked higher on Google through your SEO (more about SEO in a post coming soon). So be strategic about creating a blog. Make sure that the content you are creating is for your target audience.

 

CONTENT MARKETING PRACTICE #2: CASE STUDIES

Case studies are a great way to educate potential customers to what you do in a valuable way. Content marketing is all about sharing knowledge with others in order to build trust in your brand. Case studies are often times shared in a blog, but they can also be shared as emails that go out to potential clients. Let me give you an example: a potential client may send you an email and ask to learn more about your product. You can either send them back an email that explains why you think your product is great, or share with them how somebody else thought your product was great. You can do the math but more people would respond positively to hearing a success story. This is because it gives the potential customer validation but it also shows that you don’t need to sell them the product, the product can sell itself. Case studies are a valuable tool because they are a testimonial on steroids. People are used to seeing positive reviews of products from certain people on websites. But a case study takes it further and actually shows exactly how and why your product creates an impact on the customer.

 

CONTENT MARKETING PRACTICE #3: SOCIAL MEDIA OUTREACH

Social media is the most powerful tool you can use for your marketing, whether you are paying for ads or not. This is where you can share your blog content, website, case studies, and truly connect with your digital audience. The hard part is knowing how to do it right. Some believe that they best way to get people around your brand is to constantly post all of the time while others believe that fewer, more thoughtful posts will create more impact. So which one is correct? Well, they are both right to some extent. On Twitter, the life of a tweet is about seven seconds. If you are going to catch someone who is currently looking at their feed, you have to do it quickly. If you tweet frequently, your odds go up for getting noticed. However, if you do this on Instagram, you will be considered a spammer. So your post frequency greatly depends on your audience size as well as the platform that you are marketing on. I would suggest not posting more than five original posts on Twitter per day unless you are responding to others. The good part is that your analytics will tell you a lot about what your audience wants and what type of content you should be publishing. Play around with posting articles, opinions, pictures, original content, etc. and see what the response is. Once you find your best way of connecting with your audience, stick with it and improve. Just keep in mind, quality over quantity. If you are constantly providing good quality content that is valuable to your following, they will keep coming back. Before you post, double check and think, “If I didn’t know anything about this, would I find this interesting enough to read more?” It seems like a simple thing but a lot of people overlook this and post anyway. Don’t be one of these people!

Content Marketing has been growing steadily and will continue to grow as the years progress. Try implementing one or all three of these methods into your marketing over a few months and see how it works. It does take a little bit to see the effect of good content marketing so don’t expect an immediate response in revenue. However, long term, you will definitely see a difference. Try to commit about 30 minutes to an hour per day to try out these strategies. Brick by brick, it will soon build into a large library of knowledge that you can be very proud of. Plus, it is also pretty fun to look back and see how much you have actually created.

Marketing
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Written by:
Steve Cassingham

The Power of Story for Brand Growth

Stories remain to be one of the most important pieces of society. Throughout history, stories have been a way for cultures to pass on values, ideas, and concepts. While there are many mediums to share stories in today’s culture, the principle remains the same: make it memorable. So what makes a story a memorable and why is it paramount in modern marketing?

The Hero’s Journey

Many are familiar with the hero’s journey. The idea that a protagonist must overcome an antagonist, whether it be a person, a challenge, or an internal struggle. When we feel close to the hero, we want to cheer them on to success and we feel empathy. This is extremely powerful because it means that we care about what happens to the hero, which encourages us to see the journey through to the end. Stories usually have a climax at the end which is the culmination of the buildup and ultimately the lesson learned by the hero. If you were told the result of this climax at the beginning of the story, you probably wouldn’t care as much about the story. This is because it takes time to develop a certain level of care for the story and the characters within it.

Stories in Modern Marketing

In today’s culture, we are constantly surrounded by brands, marketing, and media. More time is spent in front of a screen than ever before and most of that time is spent being exposed to brands. Traditional marketing with short one-liners and a sales pitch are not as effective as they used to be. This is because people do not care. Brands have lost touch with the consumer while chasing the bottom line. While growth and sales are important, the strategy and building a loyal audience is crucial. When a person cares about a brand and the journey that they are on, it is hard not to cheer for the success of the company. This simple concept, while more complicated to implement, is the key to driving sustained growth for years to come.

Implementing Stories Into Your Brand

To put it simply, share your story. Building a company and a brand is not always fun and games. There are struggles, challenges, deadlines, and decisions that have to be made. While it might be tempting to only share the successes, sharing the journey of the ups and downs is the game-changing strategy. This doesn’t mean that you should suddenly try to publish on every platform available (if you can, do it) but make a conscious decision to be more thoughtful in what you are creating for the current platforms you use.

Take a step back from your brand and look at the goals you are trying to accomplish, the mission of the company, and where you visualize the company in the years to come. Take that vision and craft a story around it. Who are the characters? What is the big challenge that you are trying to overcome? What lessons can be learned along the way?

Take these answers and implement it into everything that you share. Before posting, writing, or recording, think about if what you are doing will help push that story along. Then take that content and integrate that thinking into everything you design, write, and say. Over time, you may find that you are now the protagonist that everybody is rooting for to win.

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