Back in May, we wrote about content marketing: what it is and why it was important. Nothing has changed. Content marketing is still important. And maybe since May, you have gotten started on your content marketing strategy, so we would like to give you a few more tips.
But first, we need to start with the idea of your brand; I know, another thing we discussed back a few months back.
Content marketing and your brand are closely related. You cannot have good engaging content if you do not have a strong brand. Engaging with a brand’s content only happens when people feel a connection to that brand. This means your content has to be more than perfunctory. Often times, businesses want to embrace and reach everyone. This is usually not practical. And this is ok. Most products are not for everyone, so what trying to reach everyone does is water down your marketing making it harder to connect with.
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “… a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
A great way to think about content marketing is to consider it as storytelling. Humans love stories. They have been around forever. Stories give us characters and emotions to relate to. What is the story your audience wants to hear?
One of the most obvious pieces of content marketing was not obvious to anyone: The Lego Movie. Here is a toy that has been around for decades. And what do they do, make their toys come alive, add a powerful story, market the movie to your children, ask you to pay to see this long commercial and then sell you more stuff.
It is pure brilliance. And what happened after this movie? Lego became the largest seller of toys in the world taking over Mattel
And I get it; not all businesses can do that. So consider Lego the gold standard.
But what all businesses can do is tell a story. But storytelling is personal, and many businesses stay away from the personal. It is intimidating and possibly isolating.
Some great content marketing ideas are blogs, videos and podcasts, but no one is going to listen to something that is dry and emotionless. Humans connect through feelings.
Now, this of course, does not mean that you have to open up your heart and tell incredibly personal stories about your childhood. In fact, please don’t, unless it relates to your product.
If you are stuck trying to figure out what the story or connection your buyers want to hear, why not ask them!
Most people want to get to know your business and your values, so if you are unclear of your company’s values and mission, start there. If you are clear on them, show them.
Showing them is easier than you think. Here are a few possible company values and how you can tell a story around them.
“We value our employees and are dedicated to their professional development”
Instagram story/Tik Tok or video of employees doing team building
Facebook post series highlighting employee success stories
Day and the life of a new employee.
Think of the old Men’s Hair Club commercials: “I am not just the president of the company, I am a client too.” If you have a running shoe store or sell surfers their boards and products, do you or your employees also use them?
Follow me on my training day posts
Bloopers as I try a new roller skate move
These build a story. They show the people behind the company. There is emotion: triumph, challenge, laughter, failure. People can relate to that.