Why is it that some brands are likable and fun and some are . . . not?
What separates brands people love and their counterparts who are forgettable (or even unlikeable)? A lot of things, for sure, but content marketing plays a big role.
What exactly is content marketing?
We’re glad you asked!
Content marketing is a marketing approach characterized by creating and delivering relevant content that creates an audience for your brand. This content should be informative, captivating, and stimulating. It doesn’t have to explicitly advertise your brand, but rather it creates a sphere of information related to your brand. Over time, the goal is to create brand loyalty with these consumers, who will be more likely to buy your product.
Content marketing can change the game for your brand! It can lead to:
- Customers with brand loyalty who love your company
- Increased sales
- A cheaper marketing strategy
- A more comprehensive and likable brand
Guess what? Content marketing is nothing new.
In 1895, John Deere started their own magazine called The Furrow that was meant to be a source of information for American farmers. Their goal was to bring relevant farming information to farmers across the country in an unbiased publication. The Furrow is still going strong today, as is John Deere. It’s not uncommon to see a farmer or common person wearing a John Deere hat. That kind of brand loyalty is invaluable in any industry.
So how do you make this work for your brand? Let’s review the most common types of content marketing.
Blogs are hands down, one of the best ways to kickstart your content marketing strategy. (Spoiler alert: you are reading a blog right now.) With a dedicated blog, you can write long-form content about different topics relevant to your customers.
According to StoryChief Insights, blogging increases the likelihood of being found in an organic search by 4 times, and 52% of digital marketers listed blogging as the MOST crucial marketing tool. That’s because robust, frequently updated blog content feeds the rest of your content marketing! Pull content from blogs for social posts, link back to your blog from a digital ad, or use a post to expand on an idea you present in an email. The opportunities are endless.
For instance, ZipRecruiter, the job search platform, created a podcast called Rise and Grind with Daymond John. The podcast features John, who many know from Shark Tank, and is comprised of conversations about what it takes to be a businessperson or entrepreneur. The podcast appeals to people within the business community, who will be more likely to utilize ZipRecruiter for their next job search after listening to the podcast.
Like blogs, a podcast gives you freedom to be creative and show listeners that your company is made up of creative, conversational people, not faceless robots behind screens. You can bring on guests, discuss relevant topics, offer advice — the sky’s the limit.
Social Media Content
Today, being on social media isn’t enough. You need a careful, consistent strategy behind it to help it drive your brand forward. After all, of the 3.5 billion daily social media users, 54% of them use the platforms to research products and services. Make sure your brand is visible when they do.
Whether you have 10 followers or 10 million followers, consistent posting will show that you are an active company with interesting content to post. Which social media platforms are most effective may depend on your audience, but a strong Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram presence is a good start. Once you have that figured out, you can expand to platforms like Snapchat, TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitch, and others.
Think about your audience — their demographic and interests — which social media are they most likely to use?
Social media can be a place to promote your other forms of content marketing, like blog posts and podcast episodes, while also being a place to post short-form content and graphics. But one of the best benefits of social media (though sometimes it can be a downside, too) is the ability to interact one-on-one in real-time with your customers. Answer their questions, respond to their comments, and show them that you’re tuned in to what they like (or don’t like) about your brand or industry.
Remember that your message should fit the medium.
Often, the fewer frills the better. Consumers like seeing “behind-the-scenes” content that makes them feel included in your inner circle. That’s just one reason why Instagram Stories, the video clips that last just 24 hours, are so popular and so successful for brands. Instagram reports that 50% of people have visited a website to make a purchase after seeing a product or service mentioned in Stories.
Think about sharing content that is:
- Generated by your customers or team
- Timely and relevant
- An extension of your brand’s story and values
With Bison Coolers, we put this into practice by featuring photos and videos from their elite group of field staffers as a way to showcase real ways people use Bison products outdoors.
You probably use email in some capacity to communicate with your customers. For some brands, that’s alerting them to sales, sending receipts, or just quickly communicating one-on-one with them.
Think about email content marketing as something above and beyond transactional emails.
A weekly or monthly email newsletter — one that’s specifically focused on sharing helpful, engaging content and not necessarily triggering an immediate sale — can be incredibly beneficial for you for 3 reasons:
- It shows your audience that you communicate not just to sell something but to inspire, educate, and entertain them. A newsletter can foster an image of your brand as mission-driven, not sales-driven.
- It gives you an easy and highly visible way to share brand victories and updates — as well as repurpose those blogs, podcasts, and social content.
- It keeps your brand relevant and supports customer retention. People easily abandon brands if they forget about them. Regular email communication keeps you in the running for their future business.
For all the benefits it offers, weekly or monthly emails are relatively simple to create and manage as just one part of your well-rounded content marketing strategy. Below is just one section of an email newsletter we created for the blockchain startup, Carnomaly.
Okay, but is content marketing (actually) worth the time and effort.
Yes! That’s why we’re writing about it…
According to ProfitWell, companies with blogs are able to increase their leads by 67% compared to those without a blog. More leads means more conversions and more customers! ProfitWell also says companies with content marketing grow faster than other companies by 30%.
The Content Marketing Institute lists some compelling facts that show the benefits of content marketing:
- Content marketing increases brand recognition
- Insightful posting can increase the time users spend on your website
- Content marketing costs 62% LESS than traditional marketing
- Content marketing generates three times MORE leads than traditional marketing
The fact is, content marketing is a necessary part of marketing in 2021. It’s no longer an option to not create content. Engaging with the many channels that your brand should have a presence on keeps you relevant and maintains your position as an expert in your field.
Is your brand lacking personality?
Ardent Creative offers elite content marketing strategy, production, and management. These ideas are just the beginning. Talk to us today; we can design a content marketing plan that makes your brand more personable in order to make it more profitable. Contact Ardent