When someone talks about content, they typically mean something that is online. Rest assured, what wins the day is original content. Posting something everyone else already has posted (or something close to what everyone else has posted) virtually guarantees, that your post will just blend into the background. Said simply: original content matters.
It is important not to get overwhelmed with the massive number of choices. Rather, you should start with one or two platforms and methods, see how those choices go, and then build upon or make changes to your content based on your results.
Drama and flair are not necessary to be successful online. Typically, merely being creative is enough. One thing that you have to remember is that social media is by definition social. Further, not every post can be about selling a product or service.
Content marketing is a means of using online posts to discuss your particular product or service. Broad pleas to have folks look at your product and buy it tend to fall on deaf ears. Rather, focusing on the nuances that make your good or service unique can be very impactful. For instance, for authors, there are fans of all kinds of books, and they are all online. Finding a way to market your books other than just getting on amazon can be a difficult task. Utilizing social media, blogs and videos to discuss the motivation behind the book, the birth of the storyline (if it is fiction), or some other way that the book might interest or help someone are great ways to engage with potential readers using social media.
Content marketing serves many purposes. The end goal is to at some point turn traffic into sales. Typically, consumers prefer to do business with companies they know and trust. Part of getting consumers to trust you is establishing you and your company as being knowledgeable in the industry in which you operate. Relevant content will go a long way in establishing that trust. Also, if your content marketing demonstrates you and your company as being thought leaders it will be shared not just on your social media feeds but on many others as well. It makes the marketing budget go further! Again, original content is king!
Here are some things content marketing can do for you and your company:
- It gives your company a presence or voice online;
- It increases the visibility of your company and its products/services;
- It can be relatively inexpensive;
- It can turn a local company into a global one with a presence everywhere;
- It is available to businesses of all sizes;
- Good content allows consumers to make informed decisions without needing to talk to a human operator; and
- Content can be used on multiple platforms with small changes based on the preferences of that platform.
Where to load your content can be difficult to determine. It can depend on multiple factors. For example, why are you creating the content? What are the goals? Is it to increase your Search Engine Optimization results? Is it to establish yourself as a thought leader? Please note that sales are not mentioned. Being that thought leader will result in sales, but first you have to be recognized as a leader in the area.
If you content has a purpose, for example how to teach people something or merely to entertain someone, you still need to establish yourself as a leader in that industry. If you have read an author before, and liked them, it is easier to commit to reading their new book. If you have driven a particular car before, and had a great experience, you are more prone to drive another from the same manufacturer. Or, if you have read/seen enough about authors or car brands it increases the likelihood of becoming a customer.
Content marketing is a challenge in that someone has to create it. Do you have writers or staff handy to work to create the marketing assets? Do you have to hire a third party? Do you know exactly how to market your good or service? These are important questions, but authentic content matters. Having editors is helpful, but each situation is unique. When it comes to marketing, and specifically content marketing, there is no “one size fits all” approach. One For All Social can help make connections to the right content developers if desired.
What are the key things about making your brand the “go-to” and transitioning to sale?
- Sharing relevant information about your product or service;
- Answering questions when they are asked;
- Linking to your products/services on an intermittent basis, in an effort to make them easy to find;
- Addressing any known issues publicly, and quickly;
- Telling the story of the product, service or company and the people behind them; and
- Keeping open lines of communications with your clients and customers.
In a world where content is developed faster than ever in history, what makes content stand out? Here is a list of things to consider, think of it as our little checklist to you:
- The content must have a purpose, content for the sake of content does no one any good;
- It must provide some form of value, such as education;
- It should answer a question;
- It should be unique, never be a “me too”;
- The content should be easy to relate to. It should not be full of industry jargon, or something that people have to have to research to understand, as that will limit your audience;
- It should be visually appealing; have some pictures if possible, or at very least be formatted well. If it included photos or videos they should be of decent quality.
- It should have variety; it’s important not to fall in the trap of constantly just posting one type of content, or nothing but spam;
- It is very important your content be entertaining, because, as we all know, the most entertaining content always climbs to the top as the most popular content. (For example, consider all the Super Bowl ads you’ve seen over the years – we frequently remember the funny aspects of the ad more than the product it’s marketing);
- It should inspire people to take action. That could be to engage or to buy a product, but it should direct readers to take some form of action;
- Your content should be easy to share; and
- Finally, it is important to publish new content with regularity, to avoid getting stale.
Be sure to share content that is meaningful and accurate. Don’t publish fluff. If you publish too much meaningless spam, you’ll become known for that and people will not tune in when you have something to say that matters. Cut the clutter, and stay trusted!
If you have questions, reach out to us at One For All Social, or at Basal Smart Solutions and we’ll either help, or make a connection to someone who can.