Marketing Tips: The Magic of Content for Your Business
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When it comes to content here’s what it can do for your brand– established or startup.
Content is not just what you have on your website. What the startup tips mean when they advise you to invest in content is not something newfangled that someone cooked up and everyone else snapped up.
Content is old. Look back on your childhood, name a favorite cereal or soft drink, and you can probably hum a tune and recite a jingle.
THAT is content. It’s only a bit different these days.
Radio and television advertisements were catchy and witty. Today, with everyone glued to their mobiles, tablets, and laptops, content for businesses has evolved beyond audio and visuals into something interactive.
82% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing. It is used by leading brands across the world including Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Spotify, LinkedIn, and Canva.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 60% of marketers report that content marketing generates demand. 70% of marketers say that content marketing helps educate the audience, and 60% say it helps build loyalty with existing customers.
Social media and the internet have completely redefined marketing. People are not just spoon-fed content now–they can actually turn away and dismiss the spoon.
So if you want to be heard and read, your website content, email content, and social media content should give your target market something attractive they can play with. That’s what you want them to do: React to it, Share it, Make reels out of it.
But they only React, Share and Make reels out of great content. If you want your brand to rise, you want great content. Successful content marketing generates brand awareness, builds credibility and trust, and educates audiences.
Macro-content and micro-content
Both macro-content and micro-content establish your online presence. Online presence leads to more sales, and over 60% of marketers measure the success of their content marketing through sales. .
Identifying what type of content best suits your brand and your target audience helps in content creation, long-term or short-term.
Macro-content: blog posts, articles, product descriptions, buying guides, press releases, emails, newsletters, etc. They are published on different channels like websites (yours and third party sites where you’re a guest), podcasts, or even by going live on social media.
Micro-content: very short copy (social media content), images, short videos or infographics that accomplishes in 20 words or fewer what a whole piece of content hopes to accomplish: online presence and brand establishment. The general consensus is that it’s consumable under 10-30 seconds, whether reading or watching.
Historically and to this day, products and services needed to become household names through word of mouth–hence the jingles and tunes. Today, what used to be called “household name” is “trending” instead.
What’s new is that you no longer have to pay bucketloads of money to trend. The power of macro-content and micro-content is simple yet astonishing: make a page, post something, and if what you posted is good (or bad!), people will spread it everywhere for you.
What is good content?
Creative. Witty. It goes where not many others have gone before. Visual and language puns. Classic jokes reworked and used to your advantage. In today’s saturated market, someone else probably already thought of the same ideas you have. It’s pointless to aim for original. Creativity makes you original.
While audience’s attention spans continue to shrink, this tiny attention span demands stories. This is why clickbait titles had a foot-, hand- and full on choke-hold on people, even the ones who hate clickbait titles can’t help but click because the title tells an unfinished story.
People want to know the story!
Engaging. Your audience is one swipe or flick away from passing through your social media content without reading it.
But good content has the power of figurative brakes by asking a question, making your audience pause, think and react. All it takes is a second–not even that! This reaction can be an answer (“YES! Same!), something sombre (“It is what it is”) or even indignant, or simply a braying HAHAHAHAHAHA on their status when they share your post.
Intelligent and relevant. Beyond advice and expertise in your website content where you provide information and value to your audience, the focus is no longer on the product but on your customers. Think of your target market. What would appeal to them and make them market your brand for you? What things in the abstract and in the here and now would they get behind on?
Look at the big brands:
Dove’s Reverse Selfie ad portrays how retouching apps distort beauty, and social media users started posting unedited photos of themselves with the hashtag #NoDigitalDistortion.
Heineken launched The Closer ad, featuring a high-tech, Bluetooth-enabled bottle opener that shuts down work applications when someone opens a beer. Heineken reiterates the importance of work-life balance and sets the boundary between social life and work life.
Socially responsible. An ethical balance between making money and contributing to society captivates audiences that strive to make a difference. They want to know what positive impact would it make if they support your brand. They like to see your efforts in addressing social issues, and how your brand values social responsibility– evident on your products/services and with your work culture as well.
One good example is The Humane Society of the United States’ short film entitled Save Ralph, which revealed the terrible reality of animal tests legally done for cosmetic products. Cosmetic users started researching on makeup brands they use, looking for cruelty-free declaration forms and when there’s none, they switch to other cruelty-free brands.
Coming up with original content from time to time may drain your creative juices, and who said you have to do all the content creation by yourself?
Customer reviews, testimonials, social media posts– these are all User Generated Content or UGC. Any brand-specific content created by your audiences is also your content. Share them. Respond to them.
Customers. TikTok videos, Instagram posts, unboxing videos– your customers share their thoughts and experiences with your brand, whether you have encouraged them through a compelling post, or they naturally decided to share content.
Brand loyalists. Your dedicated followers. They are most likely to review your newest product/service in detail as they love your brand. And their opinion is highly regarded by first-time customers who rely on product reviews before purchasing.
Employees. Employee-generated content (EGC) shows audiences what’s happening behind the scene– a behind-the-scene content. It tells the value and story behind your brand. Whether photos of company meetings or pack-with-me videos, EGC helps build brand identity while showing authenticity.
Entertain and/or inspire rather than advertise
Do the former, and your audience doesn’t realize you’re also doing the latter.
Some product/business pages even gain followers just because of their content.
LinkedIn maximizes UGC and encourages its members to publish original, well-researched long-form content. The platform is now a library of educational presentations, webcasts and ebooks with various industry advice and tips.
Duolingo’s TikTok content is mostly not about their brand– it’s not connected to learning a new language– it’s more on TikTok trends and funny entries. From Duo (the bird logo) having a crush on Dua Lipa to relatable real-life mishaps, their content marketing strategy is successful: from 50,000 followers in September 2021 to 2.9 million followers in February 2022.
Go beyond your niche–you can’t always write about pet care or bespoke furniture or debt service!–and entertain your audience through your website content and social media content.
If you’re too close to the business to see the whole landscape around it, this is where your skilled virtual assistants come in. They can see it all better: including those seemingly far-fetched but still charmingly related that would tickle your target market.
People like an image of intelligence and charisma (sympathetic, sarcastic, sassy, zany) for themselves. So give them intelligent and charismatic content they can use.
It’s like giving them free coffee, tea and cookies.