Content marketing is a big deal. It is one of the premier marketing methods of the digital age. Technology is adding new elements and capabilities, meaning content marketing can be pushed even further than before. The culture that comes along with the constantly advancing technology also plays a factor. Customers expect a lot from the brands in their lives, so companies need to be at their best. There are certain things that are simply expected from brands now, and these expected qualities go hand in hand with content marketing.
Content marketing is attractive for businesses, but when done wrong or for the wrong reasons, it will fail to deliver. When it comes to any kind of marketing, there are some basic qualities that must be present: authenticity, transparency, and above all else, value. Core DNA reports that 86% of customers say authenticity from a brand is a key factor when making a purchasing decision. Additionally, 73% of customers said they would pay more for a product if the company selling it is more transparent. These qualities should be hard-wired into your company’s marketing. These principles especially extend to content marketing. If your content does not match your brand’s voice, what your company stands for, and the values you are aiming to deliver to your customers, then that content is worthless.
A good example of authentic, transparent, and valuable content is TOMS Shoes Giving Report. The famous “One for One” promise, where TOMS gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased, is a great way of building a positive brand image. The Giving Report is a way of backing up their promise by showing how the initiative has panned out. This is an example of transparency and authenticity in content marketing. By sharing this report it proves to TOMS customers that the brand is fulfilling its promise and is openly sharing this information. It looks good to the customers and makes the company look better.
Content Originality and Relevance
Any content that your company puts out needs to be original. Create your own content using your own ideas. It is easier than ever to create your own content. Adobe even offers APIs specifically to make creating visual content easier. If your brand doesn’t have the capacity to create content, hire an outside consultant or agency to help out.
Do not be tempted to copy clickbait headlines in hopes of getting better traffic. Copying these trendy hype articles does not work. Customers are getting smarter and wiser to attempted tricks. Customers are looking for real content that matters to their lives. Respect the time of your customers and only show them content that is relevant, honest, and original. Your customers will thank you and you are bound to see traffic numbers improve.
Try New Formats
One of the most common formats of content marketing is blogging. It is a common entry point to content marketing, but blogging is not the end all be all; it has its place, but there are new formats that deserve attention. If your company has been blogging as the main source of content marketing, it might be time to change things up. Try video marketing. Start a podcast. If you have been running long-form content, try something shorter like stories on Instagram. Don’t be afraid to experiment with formats and mediums.
Almost everyone has heard of influencer marketing- a brand partnering with a “well known” person to promote a product. Most people think that influencer marketing means getting the most famous possible to promote a product, but that does not guarantee success. Instead of worrying about who you have promoting your product, think about how your product is being promoted. Do not fall prey to influencers that copy and paste their endorsements. It does not matter how many followers the influencer has, a copy and paste endorsement will not benefit your brand.
Influencer marketing is commonly one-sided, but it should be a partnership. Instead of letting the influencer post on their own channels exclusively, consider co-creating content. Have the influencer write content for your company platforms that has a longer shelf life. This way the promotion is assured to be higher quality and last longer than a social media post.
Content marketing is complex, but complexity is not a vice. The multifaceted nature of content marketing allows each company to create something that is entirely their own. By keeping these methods and rules in mind, you can take content marketing to the next level.