1. Own your own media
There has been a growing trend in 2015 for companies to own their own media and Flockler has helped hundreds of brands to create their own hub in this year alone. The one thing all the diverse brands we’ve worked with have in common is that they understand that content marketing works. That content marketing is one of the most effective things they can do to engage with their customers as well as increase their brand presence and ultimately generate higher revenues. The brands we’ve worked with use their media hub to control their own branding as well to bring their audiences, their customers closer to them. This has enabled many to convert their audiences into advocates or customers.
2. Listen more
Before typing another word or commissioning another piece of content, stop! Listen. Learn. Social channels are full of your customers telling each other what they want and what they dislike. Take note. And create content that responds to their needs. Each piece of content that you create should serve a function – whether it is to entertain (to raise profile), to educate (to build trust) or to serve as a utility (which may lead to a sale). Content should not be about you, your latest hires, company mergers or include any corporate speak. It should be about your customers and your audience and what they want from you. Make your content interesting and relevant to your target audience for better engagement and use it to answer the questions your target audience is asking.
3. Harness the power of your employees
Don’t create content in a marketing silo. Use the great people around you to help build a variety of content for your platform. Some of the best ideas for content come from the sales team out in the field, the customer service person on the phone or the people in the back office dealing with similar issues. Your strength will come from these colleagues’ daily insights. If you work in a large organisation, and can persuade around just 1% of the people you work with (this figure needs to be much higher in a small company!) to contribute to your thought leadership programme or content marketing efforts it could have a big impact. Take the way B2B expert Michael Brenner harnessed the power of his colleagues when he was VP of marketing and content at the American computer software company SAP as an example. He asked 12 colleagues who were blogging as a sideline, and producing really valuable content, if SAP could repurpose and reuse some of the content they’d created to help build the company’s reputation. 100% of them agreed which created a ripple effect - where other colleagues wanted to contribute too. In the end he built a volunteer army of contributors all of which boosted the company’s visibility in Google’s ranking, for free.
4. Hire storytellers, not marketers
Some of the best content marketing is coming from companies who have hired storytellers and journalists to create their content. Take Cisco, the American IT company, it has raised its profile massively since recruiting comedian Tim Washer to create all its video for them. Companies like this are brave, they employ non traditional hires and understand that they need storytellers and writers to create the best kind of stand-out-from-the-crowd content. You only have to look at RedBull to see that this kind of strategy works. The reason why journalists and storytellers are creating better content is because they’ve been trained to find the story, seek out an interesting angle and are used to understanding and meeting the needs of their audience. The problem with recruiting pure marketers is that they know nothing else and are perhaps a bit too corporate or too well versed in copywriting mode to think outside of the box.
5. Use data to make content decisions
There’s no good hiding in the cupboard and being frightened of data. In our digital age there’s no escaping it. Data trails are being left by customers every time they land on your site, engage with you on social or slag you off on forums. Web designer and interactive marketing specialist Andy Crestodina has likened the use of data in marketing to that of a driver checking the dashboard of his car. He says both drivers and marketers can’t live without the information on their dashboards. He believes good decisions can only be made if you are paying attention to the data. If you’re not using data to make content decisions, you’re relying on opinion or gut feeling – neither of which are very reliable. We believe data-informed-content plays a key role in successful content strategies that’s why we’ve created a single-view dashboard that enables you to see which piece of content has been most read/viewed/shared/commented on.