Content marketing, it seems like a broad topic right? Well, that’s because it definitely is. Content is everything you think it means and more: it’s a blog post, an Instagram story, an email, a podcast, a TikTok – the list goes on. Whether the goal is to initiate brand awareness, gain reach, create advocates, or all of the above, content marketing is an effective strategy at any and all stages of the marketing funnel.
This content, whatever it may be, needs to provide some type of value to your viewer, listener, etc. The end goal is customer acquisition, and a brand’s content marketing strategy is an important component of building sustainable growth. Content marketing can feel overwhelming – it’s a beast – but hopefully with these tips, your brand can take its content strategy to the next level.
Content Marketing Tips:
- Know who your audience is
- Create a targeted strategy that hits every stage of the marketing funnel
- Find your voice
- Optimize based on content that is ranking first in your topic – have a general understanding of SEO
- Be authentic
- Remain timely
- Trust the data
- Demonstrate brand consistency
- Reuse your content across multiple channels
Know Who Your Audience Is
Understand who your audience is. Are readers or viewers in your industry? Are they already experts? Should you be using acronyms or be more explanatory?
The last thing you want to do is write a blog piece or create a social post that goes over your reader’s head with ultra industry-specific jargon. In contrast, you also want to ensure you are remaining expertly on your product, service, or topic of expertise in order to maintain thought leadership.
You want to mold your content around what your ideal customer would want to see. It’s extremely important when starting to build out a content strategy that you know who this ideal customer is – demographics, social platforms they are most likely on, etc.
Ultimately, curating content that aligns with the knowledge and interests of your ideal customer and audience is the sweet spot for your content strategy and ultimately to drive the most conversions.
Create a Targeted Strategy at Every Stage of the Marketing Funnel
The marketing funnel is a visualization of all stages in a customer’s journey with your brand. The 5 stages are as listed top to bottom: awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty, and advocacy.
It’s important for your content strategy to cover each different stage of the funnel, leveraging different platforms and strategies in order to do so. Customers in any stage of the funnel all have different needs and expectations of the content from your brand.
For example, for a customer in the awareness stage of the funnel, content should be information-driven about the brand — assume they know nothing about your value proposition or brand at all. This, for example, can come in the form of a TikTok, the interest-based nature of the platform gives the brand’s the ability of wide reach while putting out content that is widely relatable, yet can tie back to your brand.
If the customer is at the advocacy stage, the last piece of the funnel, content should greatly differ for this group. The content you put out should foster a community with those who have purchased your products, and in turn, encourage them to make content of their own about your brand. This content could come in the form of posts in a Facebook group for brand advocates or resharing content posted by customers.
If these advocates go on to make a TikTok or Instagram video praising your products, this is the best kind of material to reshare onto your channels. This promotes greater social proof and retention.
Find Your Voice
Don’t sound like you’re writing a college essay or leading a lecture because let’s be honest, no one wants to read a term paper in their spare time or fall asleep while watching your content. Crack a joke, show your personality, and give your commentary while remaining expertly.
Video content has especially taken favor of a hot take or a comedic spin of an educational topic. The new way to communicate information is as if you are on FaceTime to your audience – relatability and honesty is key. Customers, at any stage of their journey with your brand want to feel as if they could be friends with whoever is in your content or writing it.
Optimize Content & Have a General Understanding of SEO
In order to generate greater reach and exposure, it is important to master your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy.
SEO is all about doing whatever is needed to rank higher on search engines. Whether that be using strategic keywords in your blog posts, researching what websites rank the highest depending on what keywords are in your search, and more. In recent months it has also come to light that SEO tactics can be applied to social platforms such as TikTok.
Creating an SEO strategy for the utmost reach for your content starts with a general understanding of SEO and the ways you can actually implement it.
Authenticity is vital for the success of your content strategy. Before the rise of social media and widespread access via the internet, we were used to seeing glossy, curated ads in magazines and expertly lit displays in department stores as a means to sell products and a brand image. Now, consumers want more authenticity and transparency.
Take a beauty brand, for example, a more successful content strategy than using runway models wearing their makeup would be to repurpose content customers and advocates made by applying the makeup, and wearing it in their everyday routines. This way, potential customers and those who are consuming the content can visualize what the products would look like, how they are actually applied, and look without heavy filters.
Relevant content is more likely to perform well across social channels, and in turn, provide greater exposure and reach for your brand’s content. When we say “relevant”, we mean information that is current and timely, or hopping on the latest social media trends.
Trends on social media, especially TikTok come and go, whether it’s the latest silly filter or lip-syncing a popular new sound bite from a reality TV show, it’s important to put in the time to perform research on various platforms to understand what is current, and then form content around that in a timely manner. The key here is to take these trending sounds and filters and gear them around what your brand is and what your message is. Below are some examples of Chipotle utilizing trending sounds and filters to form their content around TikTok.
Remaining timely isn’t just about TikTok trends though, this can also be applied to blog content, emails, or other types of long-form content. Your brand and its content should always be commenting on the latest topics that everyone is talking about within your vertical, whether that be a new Netflix release or a new electric car- whatever people are talking about is relevant to your industry and something you could comment on, do it.
Trust the Data
Use analytics and data to track the performance of content and alter your strategy based on the results. Based on engagement rates, and click-through rates.. the list goes on…you should evaluate why certain content achieved the numbers it did, whether that be underperformed or otherwise, and shape your content strategy around those learnings.
On Instagram and TikTok for example, both platforms make viewing your analytics a very streamlined process, and easily done directly on the platform. If a certain TikTok video had a high engagement rate, it’s important to evaluate all the reasons why. Going further, you can A/B test the components of that specific TikTok whether that be using the same song, the same filter, the same hashtag, etc.
Think of this as listening to your audience, and using the data essentially as their live feedback. Rely on the numbers to form your content around what your target customer wants to see and hear.
- Understand your audience
- Gear your content towards that audience
Demonstrate Brand Consistency
Your content strategy must be consistent in relation to who your brand is, and how that is conveyed across channels. While the content you create and the post will differ from channel to channel based on their nature and demographics (the content you post on your blog will differ from the trending videos you post on TikTok) there should still be a sense of cohesion throughout.
Take Duolingo for example, they are known for their mascot on TikTok, and that really has been the root of their virality on that platform. With that said, TikTok isn’t the only channel that uses a mascot in its content which is important for its overall brand image. Duolingo’s mascot can be seen on Instagram, and of course, in their logo.
Beyond this, your brand fonts, colors, and overall branding should be consistent across channels for overall greater recognition on the viewers behalf and cross-channel content strategy cohesion.
Reuse Content Across Social Channels
The more the merrier when it comes to content. Many brands find content marketing strategies overwhelming due to the sheer amount of social platforms a brand is expected to be on and engage with. And we admit, it definitely is daunting. But, content doesn’t need to remain on a singular channel- it can be reused and repurposed.
Take TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube for example. These platforms all have space and highlight short-form video content. So, as a brand it is not uncommon or looked down upon to use the same video and repost to all three or more of these platforms. Each platform has varying audiences depending on age, geographical location, interests, etc, so your audience isn’t always going to overlap.
One Last Tip
Building the perfect content marketing strategy can be daunting, we know. Content marketing is ever-evolving, and is definitely not going anywhere anytime soon, so there’s no time like the present to build the perfect strategy for your brand.
It all starts with understanding who your ultimate consumer and viewer is and going from there. In order to turn discovery into advocacy, there needs to be content set in place for each stage of the marketing funnel. Done right, you’ll have users across various platforms making content for you, advocating for your brand, and contributing to your social proof and ultimate reach.