A couple of years ago the main mantra from the content marketing gurus was that brands will become publishers. This has materialised and little wonder that large corporations with the budgets to match have taken hold of this mantle. Take Proctor & Gamble’s “Being Girl” community microsite. This is a great example of how a manufacturing business took on the publishing role and gave teen magazines a run for their money. The magazine-style site is free to access and covers all the topics (body changes, relationship problems and self-esteem issues) that any teenage-glossy would publish. But it has the added bonus for P&G for being four times more effective than a traditional marketing campaign at engaging with the teenage girl audience.
Tip: For examples of brands publishing great content check out some of Flockler’s most recent case studies such as The Happy Foodie (for Random House) or Inside Mayfair (for Grosvenor House Apartments by Jumeirah Living). Also check our interview with Custom Sounds on how SMEs can be successful at content marketing too for inspiration.
Create useful content
Content without a purpose is pointless. Your content should be designed with your customer’s needs in mind. It should make their lives better, easier or happier and should be delivered in a format best suited to the platform they engage with you most on. Forget promoting your products or your brand and concentrate on creating content that is informative, entertaining or engaging.
Clever content draws customers in and serves their needs whilst at the same time leaving you with a rich digital footprint to analyse, monitor, measure and use to inform new products launches or deliver better customer service.
Tip: Content marketing guru, Jay Baer, gives his views on how to measure the success of your content by monitoring metrics.
Use different types of content
Content can take on many forms - be it a blog, a mini explainer video or a well stocked up Instagram account. Perhaps it’s a useful app – as in the case of one South African insurance company, Discovery. Its Vitality app has been embraced and adapted by its customers, taking on rival sporting apps from larger brands, because it’s a really useful tool. It’s a health loyalty scheme that rewards people the healthier they are. If users reach their target weight they’re given extra credits, rewarded for good behaviour with money off deals, cash back as well as fitness and nutrition support. This app has been invented to make Discovery’s customer’s lives better while at the same time serving up great content marketing and user insights (it tracks and generates measurable stats and gives the brand something genuine to talk about too).
Tip: The more useful your content, the greater levels of engagement you’ll have. Check out these 15 different types of content ideas from QuickSprout.com.
Use Vine and Instagram to create engaging visual content
In a time-precious mobile-world – where attention spans at an all time low – the six second easily sharable videos, created on the likes of Vine, are now being harnessed by major brands. The engaging, fun or even quirky videos on loop have caught the consumer’s imagination and are readily sharing them on their twitter feeds.
Tip: This is a great example of how smaller brands can create great visual content. Check out Mashable’s tips on how you can create your own Vine clip.
Optimise for mobile
Customer behaviours and patterns have changed radically due to the proliferation of the smartphone. Almost everyone has one and they are always on. Internet access is no longer predominantly a desktop experience – it’s the mobile devices that are driving traffic to sites – and at new times of the day. Content marketing is adapting and changing as fast as the technology and social landscape is. This means content is taking on a new form. People want short, relevant, personalised and location-based content served up in real time on whatever device they’re on.
Tip: How to create content for mobile – check out this whitepaper from ORM London that gives insight and tips on how.
Distribute and promote your content:
It could be the greatest piece of prose or the most creative of Instagram images – but if no one sees it or reads it – it’s a waste of your time, energy and money. Socialising your content on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or other social sites is the organic way of reaching out to your fans and followers.
Tip: Opting to pay companies like Outbrain – that post links to your headlines on relevant blog sites or national news sites - is a faster way to achieve greater coverage.
Don’t forget to engage with the social influencers
Gone are the days when companies concentrated their efforts on wooing traditional influencers, like journalists or spent vast sums entirely on advertising. The smart money goes on creating original content that captures the eye of the new influencers – bloggers and those working the social channels. These individuals have large sways of followers that listen to their tweets, click on the links they suggest and regularly read their blog. Social monitoring sites like Klout or Peer Index rank these individuals according to how much influence they’ve got (number of followers, engagement with them etc) and these are the ones you need to find and target.
Tip: A free site like Topsy helps you to find who’s got the greatest influence and who’s talking the most about any given topic on social media.