Do we all recall ‘Share A Coke’ content marketing campaign that went viral? Coke brilliantly executed one of the finest techniques of content marketing by offering personalised drinks. With 150 popular American names written on the bottle, it connected emotionally & made people feel special. One could not help but share it with people who had the same names.
Personlisation, one of the finest examples of Content Marketing shot up the sales for Coke.
Content Marketing is the ability to attract potential buyers and convert them into repeat customers through engaging and valuable content. In today’s time, it has become a crucial aspect of devising any marketing campaign. The power of a few words can either make or break brand’s reputation. Let’s try to understand the art of content marketing in more detail.
Here, in our guide to content marketing, we are going to cover the following topics:
- What is Content Marketing
- Importance, Definitions & Relevance
- Strategies and Techniques
- Video Marketing
- Social Media Buzz
DIGGING THE BASICS OF CONTENT MARKETING
Content Marketing is common, but Effective Content Marketing is not…
It takes under its umbrella the podcasts, blogs, articles, social media and more. It has to be crafted and weaved like a story to build a powerful connection with the audience. The essence of it lies in creating relevant and compelling content in alignment with your brand’s storyline and it’s a win-win! It is a great fit for every type and size of business – here is how!
Why more and more businesses are investing in Content Marketing? The reason is simple: it helps in saving costs. It also enhances brand communication and has the ability to reach more and more people both online and offline. This ultimately helps the brand to increase sales.
AT THE HEART OF CONTENT MARKETING IS A SIMPLE MANTRA : WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND.
The best-selling author, Nir Eyal from his book “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products: “If you are willing to help your target market, say by producing free and helpful content, they will reciprocate by engaging with you, spreading your message, and probably even buying products or services from you.”
So to summarise it all, it’s a two-way street. Let’s look through the specifics of Content Marketing and how it can help your brand reach heights and help your business grow.
WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING?
The foremost step before you begin to draft content for your target audience is to thoroughly know your audience. What is that they like? What kind of content are they most likely to consume? The key here is to share valuable information in return for building a community of loyal audiences. It has to be something that has the potential to make a difference in any manner whatsoever in the lives of those to whom you are communicating.
It has to be closely related to what you want to sell. Remember the word ‘closely’. It should sell the product and service of your company, but it does not have to look forceful. The need is to educate people, and spread information about the product or service in a stand-out manner, through content. Informational articles and right keywords (SEO) to ace the digital platforms are some examples of leveraging content across all mediums. Let’s find out more!
GREAT CONTENT. THAT IS IT…
People should be willing to give a chance to your latest post or a new video without feeling bored. It is not just a brand communication that happens, but you are demanding the time and undivided attention of the user. With attention span of humans being less than 10 seconds, eight seconds to be precise, it is less likely for people to fully consume all content.
So, how to reach the masses, let alone leave impact on them?
The essence of your content should last even when they are done with reading or watching it. It should fill them up with something. That something is what will make a difference. Do we know the famous Gary Vaynerchuk? His videos on YouTube will make for a good example. We will look at other formats of content marketing later in the upcoming sections.
TACTICS TO CREATE GOOD CONTENT
Humans have been conditioned to live with stories. The art of storytelling can work wonders if executed and implemented with smart work. It’s a strategy aiming to form a strong relationship with the audience through content. It has to be of supreme quality, consistent and relevant. It should have the ability to connect. This connection is what becomes the driving factor leading to purchase decisions and helps build a resonance with the brand.
The fast-food burger chain, McDonald’s developed trust with their customers by answering all of their questions; more than 10, 0000. The relationship that you share with your brand has to be real. It has be to conversational, it has to be of value.
DEFINITIONS OF CONTENT MARKETING
Various institutes and organisations will give you a complicated definition of content marketing. However, it can be summarised as:
- A Long Term Strategy
- Strengthening The Relationship With The Consumer
- By Providing Content which is
b) High Quality
Devising a well-planned strategy which entails the type and form of content to be used, targeting the right audience, how will it help meet the long-term business objectives etc etc. is a must. It all will come in handy to fight the competition and to understand one’s own brand better. Focus has to be on curating content addressing the needs of the audience as top priority.
SO WHAT COMES UNDER CONTENT MARKETING?
Content marketing is not limited to just writing blogs or articles, as many of you may perceive, but is a broader category which involves not just the videos on your social media or YouTube, but includes the pages of magazines or your favourite Marvel comics or that free booklet that was offered to you at a trade fair. Yes! Content Marketing is all around us.
With this perspective, you’ll realise that it is not something which started with the dawn of Internet age but has been present for centuries, from the very first version of Benjamin Franklin’s annual Poor Richard’s Almanack in 1732, which was almost 300 years ago to “The Furrow”, a lifestyle magazine for farmers produced by John Deere, tractor company in 1895.
So it’s not new! But is it right for your business? If yes, how many content formats are there and which one should you use? What kind is more effective? Let’s find out!
Listing down the top 10 High Performing types of content marketing:
- Case Studies
- White Papers
- Social Media Posts
- GIFs and Memes
WHY CONTENT MARKETING?
Why do you need to go for content marketing? After all, this doesn’t really involve selling your product. However, it builds your audience by capturing the attention of all those people who care about your product and are willing to buy it. This, my friends, is gold for anyone looking forward to spreading brand awareness. Once people are aware of your product, the chances of them turning into a potential customer increases.
Whether you have a B2B model or a B2C model, two things that stand above online noise are:
- Engaging Content
- Effective Content
The next in line is to understand how your content marketing campaign has performed. A thorough analysis of existing content is of utmost importance to comprehend its strengths, gaps, opportunities etc. Did you choose the right type of content marketing? Did you pick the right social media platform? A Content Audit is surely a must after each & every campaign.
CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGIES & TECHNIQUES
Relevance adds value to the content. It has to offer something to the audience as per their likes and dislikes. Distribution is another crucial factor that plays quite a significant role in Content Marketing. Retainment of customers is also what one expects. So let’s look at some of the content marketing strategies and techniques.
If you are wondering how it works, it works in the following steps:
Step 1: Trigger: Attracts potential customers through engaging content
The 1st stage of the buying cycle is awareness. You can create brand awareness through the content you create. This way, people get to know your brand and you are no longer a complete stranger. To ensure you have great content for the readers, you can try looking at some of the best-doing posts (to know why they are doing best) and the worst (to watch out for the potholes). Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one way. What’s the other? Our very own social networks which people use regularly can help you target audience.
Step 2: Action: Gather their contact information (say, through a subscription)
Once you have their attention, you need to ensure that this becomes regular. For this, a consistent newsletter can be an option. This is also known as the ‘Consideration Phase’. If you can stay in contact with prospects during this phase, then the chance of you converting these people increases.
Step 3: Variable Rewards
You can further maintain contact by producing quality content consistently, say in the form of blog posts or video content, and informing them of it (say, through emails). That way, your business is on top-of-their-mind whenever they are ready to buy.
Step 4: Investment
By this time, they’ve already become aware of your brand and are familiar with it. This is the conversion optimisation time. By now, you would want to target even longer keywords. As a thumb rule, the longer the keyword, the more interested the person is in buying from you. This is the phase during which you can make use of Call To Action (CTAs) to convince people into buying your product.
Thus, it’s all about the impact you create.
WHAT IS VIDEO MARKETING?
As explained above, ‘content’ is a broad term and can be everything from blog posts to images to video content. In simple terms, any video content, whether it is a YouTube video or an Instagram video or an online video on any other platform which communicates to your audience is Video Marketing.
It would not be wrong to say that video format is all over the place and has quite seamlessly dominated the social front. For brands, video is by far the most preferred Content Platform. The data suggests that it has been used more for entertainment purposes and has given a good number of conversion rates. It’s a great driving force to influence buying decisions.
There can be 12 types of videos to add fuel to your content strategy:
- Demo videos
- Brand videos
- Event videos
- Expert Interviews
- Educational and How-To Videos Explainers
- Case study and Customer Testimonial video
- Live Videos
- 360 Degree and Virtual Reality Videos
- Augmented Reality Videos
- Personalised messages
Why Video Marketing?
As per a report by Hubspot, a staggering 100% rise in mobile video consumption is reported by YouTube every year. Not just this, 90% of the people who watch product videos believe that it helps them in making better decisions. With the feature of live video added by Facebook and Instagram, the importance of videos, especially live videos, can be easily understood. Live videos are fast catching up with pre-recorded videos and are starting to become the talk of the day. Also, people tend to retain video content more than text.
What is the right Video Marketing Strategy?
In case you are wondering what are the tips for successful video marketing strategy, here it comes. As a business, you need to realise the fact that people no longer like the same old format of information-focussed content to push the sales.
First and foremost, you need to have an engaging video which resonates with the consumer’s psyche.
A one size fits all approach wouldn’t really work here. Different channels and different viewership demands different video content.
Lastly, no matter how great your video is, if people can’t see it, it’s nothing more than a great video. The ultimate aim of any kind of online marketing is to drive traffic and conversions. For this, you need to see that the target audience watch your video. You can promote your video on different channels and platforms to increase the reach.
SOCIAL MEDIA BUZZ
In the fast-expanding digital world, social media is the go-to place for businesses to grow exponentially. If you are thinking of starting a Content Marketing campaign here, you’ll be far from alone. Social media is filled with examples of businesses which add a touch of humour to their posts and ads, and try to build their brand image in ways more than one.
For this, you can add posts which contain texts, images or even a video. It has been observed that video content resonates more and is retained longer in memory of people. This is the reason why the majority of marketers named video content as the category of content with the best ROI.
In case you are a budding business with a relatively small audience, you can boost the audience growth by running advertisements to some of your great content. These ads could be anywhere, from social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram to Google AdWords. Paid advertisements are a great way to drive traffic to your content.
If you do not wish to wait to grow an audience organically, then driving traffic to your content with paid advertisements is a likely option.
Hence, we can say that Social Content Marketing is gaining ground quickly and is undoubtedly one of the fastest, easiest and cost-efficient ways of reaching the masses.
This was all you needed to know about the basics of Content Marketing. As said earlier, no one can take away the beauty of the right words said at the right time on the right channels and to the right people. With each day that passes, the world of the Internet gets noisier and competitive, upholding the relevance of an old saying:
Don’t Raise Your Voice. Improve Your Argument.
Thus, focus on creating relevant, engaging and effective content and you’ll be the winners in the long run. And a thing to always remember: it’s a two-way street.