We have far more choices and far less time today, meaning brands and businesses have to work harder than ever before to get attention of their prospects. If your marketing and advertising ‘stands out’ it is good, but not enough. The key is ‘engagement’.

So, how do you do that in marketing?

The answer is: Content Marketing.

It is no surprise that most businesses (who use content marketing effectively and consistently) are finding it to be one of the most effective tools in their marketing mix.

So, what is content marketing?

According to Content Marketing Association (CMA):

“Content marketing is the discipline of creating quality branded editorial content across all media channels and platforms to deliver engaging relationships, consumer value and measurable success for brands. “

 

So, the BIG QUESTION is how to execute an effective content marketing strategy that will deliver results for your business, help engage with your audience better, create long term relationship and profit for business.

Well that’s exactly what this article is all about. But first let’s talk about…

Why Use Content Marketing?

The key idea is to educate, inspire or even entertain your prospects in order to influence them to engage with your brand. Unlike advertising, the main purpose of content marketing is to provide helpful information to your audience. The primary goal of content marketing is never to sell, but to add value.

Here are some key benefits of Content Marketing:

  • Sustainable and long-term engagement tool: Interesting content engages us. We share and tell others about them. Once a good piece of content is created (e.g. article/video/audio/game), it is capable of bringing in targeted audience for a long period of time, reducing marketing costs and improving effectiveness.
  • More leads and sales: A good content can teach new skills, solve a problem or even change someone’s life. That creates trust. We buy from brands and businesses that we trust. And content marketing when done correctly can help you develop trust faster.
  • Increase email list: Recent research suggests that email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing tools a business can use. So every business must focus on building their own mailing list. One of the ways to do that is create great content consistently and ask for opt-ins in return for helpful information. Once you have the email addresses all you have to do is fulfill on the promises made and engage in a strategic follow-up sequence.
  • Grow social followings: Today it is all about your followings and influence on social media. Your brands equity is how many people you can reach and influence with your message.
  • Establish as industry expert: What does an expert do? They advise, recommend, educate, analyse etc. And you can do all of that through an effective content marketing strategy.
  • Search Engine visibility: Google likes great content. There has been several changes in Google’s algorithm to ensure good content shows up at the top of the search results. So there is every chance that if your content is good and people are finding it useful Google will reward your effort.

So the question is do you have a content marketing strategy in place?

Why ‘strategy’? Because just writing good content is not enough. You will find lot of good content on the internet but they do not contribute to revenue generation. What you need is well thought out , strategic approach to deliver your brands value proposition, marketing message consistently through valuable content delivery.

So to guide you in the right direction, this article will certainly help you with some great ideas.

If you need help with putting together your content marketing strategy please get in touch.

First, let’s  identify the challenge?

The biggest challenge most businesses face is how to create meaningful content that their target audience will engage with. In order to solve this problem here I present 7 ways to create engaging content with real life examples:

1. Inspire your audience with ideas on how to use your products/services

Some clients aren’t sure about how they can utilize your products or services.  They may not be able to fully understand the changes they can accomplish though your services. So what they need is some inspiration and ideas to understand how they can benefit.

As an example, Gopro does this really well. Who is Gopro? It’s a $3 Billion plus brand selling versatile cameras that you can use to video record outdoor activities, sports and much more. On their website and social media channels you will find incredible videos showing new and exciting ways to use their cameras and other accessories innovatively.

content marketing

Here is another great example:

waitrose content marketing

On the website of British supermarket chain Waitrose you will find exciting recipes that you can cook or prepare from fresh produce and ingredients they sell. This is an inspiring way to encourage shoppers to shop at Waitrose.

 

2. Tell Stories

Stories are a great way to create good and engaging content. You can tell stories about new technical breakthrough, new recruits, events, interesting team activities, your clients success stories to mention a few.

Story Telling, Content Creation

Here is an example where Cisco features its client’s success stories in an engaging manner highlighting how Cisco products have transformed their businesses. This is a great marketing piece and at the same time an interesting content. This could be used on social media, blog etc to create awareness.

 

3. Use customer generated content

One of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to generate content is to get your customers to create them for you. This idea may not seem applicable for every business or brand at the first instance, what you will require is to be a bit creative to utilize this strategy. Because this is not just content, this is social proof too.

If I may give Gopro’s example again. It is a $3 Billion plus brand selling cameras. No other camera brand has used this idea before they did and this is one of the keys to their success.  They generate a very little amount of content themselves. Most of their content is customer generated videos. They organize and distribute this content through their digital channels to bring in more customers and sales.

Digital Content generation

If you are in any doubt about how effective this could be just have a look at these numbers. Gopro has more than 2 million subscribers on their YouTube channel with more than 549 million channel views.

 

4. Create Viral Content

Creating viral content that others will share is not easy, however when you achieve that it can do wonders for your business and brand. Now let me present two examples to prove that it is worth the effort trying to engage in creating  viral marketing content for your brand:

A) Dollarshaveclub.com : DOLLAR SHAVE CLUB created a highly energetic, unapologetic and fun marketing video introducing their $1 shaving blade solution.

The video costed them a few thousand dollars to make, but due to the viral nature of this video they gained 10,000 new consumers in just 2 days. Which other marketing can do that?

One important point to note here is that dollarshaveclub is not an ideal content marketing strategy example because they do not generate content consistently. Ideally any brand may expect to create a number of content (videos or otherwise) and then one may find its way to ‘viral’ status.

Poo-pourri: Another brand Poo-pourri has accomplished incredible results through their viral marketing video.

poo

Their video is seen by more than 27 million people generating over 4 million product sales.

 

5. Research Data and Industry Insights

Data is always interesting. Ebooks, whitepapers, webinars, teleseminars, videos can help educate your target audience on industry related data, statistics or beneficial insights.

Many brands take advantage of this strategy to grow their mailing list – meaning give away valuable and relevant data and insights in exchange of contact details, especially email.

Here is a good example:

Aaron Patzer launched Mint.com in 2006.  He was competing against big banks with big budgets. By focusing on great content such as articles, blog posts, videos and infographics he grew Mint.com to 2 million customers by 2009, becoming the largest player in its industry. Mint.com was sold to Intuit for $170 million.

mint

Mint was one of the first few companies to create infographics and other content to generate leads. It is a success story because their strategies generated 2 million customers in just 3 years.

 

 

6. Create Highly Engaging Content by being Responsive

Think about this, what if your customers or clients would tell you exactly what they want to hear about, would that solve your content generation problem to some extent?

Well, this strategy is very simple and it does just that.

Think about FAQs, customer queries, even complains – all of this information can be utilized to create responsive and engaging content that your prospects will consume.

Here is an example that shows how a combination of being responsive and being bold can create viral content.

Bodyform responded to a facebook post in a very dramatic fashion. This not only got viral but also got mentions in almost all major publications.  The video received more than 5 million views on YouTube.

 

7. Offline Publication

All discussions here are mainly examples of online content marketing. So, now let me give you an example that will demonstrate that this concept is equally applicable in the offline domain.

Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, a real Estate Company in the UK found it difficult during the 2008-2009 when the market was down. In order to stay in business they came up with a strategy to create a high-end magazine called The Completely London.

They used this publication to showcase houses and educated their prospects. Also they created authority in the marketplace. It worked for them. It turned around the business and The Completely London was named one of the top 10 brands in the UK.

By now you may have gathered enough information and ideas to get started on your content marketing strategy or improve it. But before you go let me share with you a few key rules to content marketing 

  • Research your audience as much as possible: what they need, their  interest and hobbies
  • Do not sell your products/services : Content marketing is not about selling, so keep away from this and be genuinely helpful
  • Use multimedia, good designs, videos etc.: The delivery of content is critical. A badly executed content is less likely to get shared, so invest time and resources in generating good content.
  • Make sharing easy: Ensure your content could be shared easily from your blogs, or other social channels to maximize its reach.
  • Keep it interesting: Needless to say, if your content is not interesting it will be less engaging.

takeaways

So here are some key takeaways:

  • Identify key problems and issues your target audience needs help with and create content that will solve their problem and add value to their lives.
  • Think about a content marketing calendar to be distributed within your marketing team and content contributors. To download a free template visit here: Click Here.
  • Think about being strategic, as to how to engage and motivate your prospects to consume, share your content and eventually buy your products or services.
  • Look at incoming enquiries, feedbacks and even complaints (if any) to identify an opportunity to create content. Interview existing clients and their success stories and share them with your audience.
  • Be brave and make efforts in creating viral content.

So in short the opportunities with content marketing are endless, make sure you take advantage of this in your marketing.

So the question is…

How effective is Your content marketing strategy?

If want to improve your marketing strategies take the first step and download a free copy of our digital marketing toolkit that includes a free template of content publishing and distribution calendar. Click Here.

 

 
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