Content is never a goal in itself, but a means to achieve business success. But to get there, your content needs to spark interest. In this blog post, we will look at how you attract a loyal following and create engagement around your brand.
An increasing number of companies are discovering that content marketing is one of the best ways to create brand awareness.
Compared to traditional marketing methods, content marketing is far more cost-effective and offers far greater opportunities to tailor your content after your target audience and quickly build an engaged following. On average, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing while generating three times as many leads.
Investing in content marketing also gives you a completely new way to interact with your audience and a better understanding of what sparks their interest – allowing you to optimize your output to create even more engaging content. Strong content production builds your brand, creates awareness and drives sales. In other words, taking the time to develop a strategy and implement it pays off.
Here are our top five tips to get started or improve your content marketing.
1. Produce for the target audience
It’s so obvious, yet so easy to forget. Always start by asking the question: Who am I talking to? Identify and map your target audience: what interests them? What do they already know a lot about?
Let this analysis inform your strategy and how you produce your content. Express yourself in a way that your target audience will understand – neither too sophisticated nor too simple. It can be difficult to find the right level straight away. It might be worth setting the bar a little lower than you think; if the language is too advanced, many people will be put off – no one wants to feel stupid. On the other hand, we are often more forgiving when it is a bit too simple, as long as there are elements of the content that spark our interest. It takes some time, but you’ll find the balance.
Also, adapt the tone to the target audience and, to some extent, the subject. Lofty and dry sentences appeal to few, but at the same time there is a downside to expressing yourself too cheerfully – especially if the topic is serious or important. Worst case scenario, you risk coming across as both ignorant and insensitive. We have seen countless examples over the years and where brands have been badly damaged by intemperate statements; a recent example of this was when Burger King tried to shock by tweeting “Women belong in the kitchen” on the occasion of International Women’s Day. The statement was followed up by another tweet stating that they meant women belong in the kitchen only if they want to, but the damage was already done. Many perceived the first post so insensitive and ill-timed that Burger King was forced to issue a public apology.
2. Use visuals – all the time
In the world of PR, it has long been a truth that you only have eight seconds to pique the interest of the recipient or they will lose focus. In recent years the rule has been debated, but everyone agrees that the quicker you can create engagement the better. This means that the first thing the recipient sees must be interesting: the image, the headline and, to a certain extent, the preamble.
There are plenty of studies that show that imagery is a priority in order to quickly evoke emotion in the recipient. Images engage and well-produced videos usually engage even more. In fact, we are more than six times more likely to remember information if we see images when we receive it. Several charities and animal rights organisations are great examples of companies that use strong images to provoke sympathy from their audiences.
A few decades ago, it took a big budget to produce professional visual content. Today, technology is so accessible and cheap that it no longer requires a gigantic wallet. Often you can get very far with just a newer model iPhone and an external microphone. In addition, Youtube offers an incredible library of tutorials for those who want to learn how to operate a camera, lighting and post-production.
A smart first step is to enlist the help of an agency that specialises in motion content production to get started with corporate videos. In addition to creating an initial interest in your brand and setting a good level for your future productions, an agency can give you an insight into the craft and act as a sounding board.
3. Exemplify – easier to understand
Sometimes it is not entirely obvious to everyone how your product or service can help them in particular. To make it easier for them to understand, an example can do the trick – a customer case, for example, is a great way to show how your company can solve a problem. The more common the problem, the more likely it is that people will see the value of your product or service.
Take advantage of your employee’s different skills to prepare tips on how your company can solve problems. If the employee does well in front of the camera, the person should present the solutions to the audience themselves. In addition to proving that you actually know what you are talking about, it is a natural way to combine content marketing with employer branding.
4. Divide and segment
Even if you have a clearly defined target audience, not all of your content will interest everyone. To reduce the risk of scaring off someone who doesn’t care about a particular topic, categorize your content as clearly as possible. By allowing the recipient to choose what they are interested in at the time, you increase the chances that they will associate your company with something positive. In addition, clearly segmenting your content will create space for someone outside your target audience to find something of interest.
5. Call to action
No matter how inspiring your production or text is, there is a risk that the recipient took note of the material at the wrong time. At best, the person will make a note and remember you when they need your company’s help, but unfortunately, many rely on Google to find a product or service that can solve a problem once it arises.
To avoid missing out on potential customers or partners, it is important to get the recipient to take action when they are engaged by your content. Use a clear CTA (Call to Action) to “catch” your audience and increase the chances that your content marketing will lead to actual business value. A good CTA could be offering the recipient to sign up for your company’s newsletter, an upcoming lecture or download a document.
Extra tip – Proofread!
Errors make you look sloppy and that is not something you want your brand to be associated with. The risk is that the recipient will think your product or service is as sloppy as your marketing. Our final tip is therefore to carefully review your text or production one last time before publishing to detect any sloppy errors. It can feel like a chore to spend another half hour on something that feels finished, but those final tweaks do more than you think and can elevate your material from good to great.
Download our PR-plan and get a head start with your content production.