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Digital marketing is racing ahead at such a pace that it isn’t easy to create content marketing strategies that are completely reliable. These are some of the best marketing strategies that have worked for other marketers and brands and could inspire your team’s brainstorming.
There are numerous brands that have adopted diverse content marketing strategies to their benefit. How and why were these brands successful and how can you adopt their content marketing strategies?
We look at seven content marketing strategies you can try, along with examples of brands that successfully executed those strategies.
1. Personalize your content marketing
This is a particularly difficult pill to swallow, but brands need to accept that internet users are tired of being sold to. People are using the internet to be educated, entertained, and to read the news.
When they are scrolling through their social media feeds, they do not want to see posts announcing the latest product from your company.
But you have products and services to sell. If people don’t want to be sold to, how are you meant to sell your stock?
According to tech trends in 2019, customer loyalty is a driving force for businesses, more so than obtaining new customers.
Your content marketing strategies need to go beyond selling your product. Instead, you should endeavor to place your product or service as something that adds value to your customer’s life.
You can do this by personalizing the way users experience your marketing. Offer tips, tricks, how-to guides, and DIY tutorials that would benefit your target audience.
And don’t include vague salutations in your brand emails—address your emails to your customers by name.
Personalizing your content marketing allows you to actively create a connection between your brand and your customers.
Netflix is all about personalization—the streaming service studies its customers and caters to their every need.
The site is extremely data-driven, and it has greatly benefited the way that they can personalize the user experience.
Every time a user watches something, or stops watching it, adds something to their Watchlist, likes or dislikes a product, and even when they pause their viewing activity, Netflix takes note.
Of course, the Netflix engine is huge and has been fine-tuned over the years, but their system is nothing if not aspirational.
To make your content marketing stand out from the crowd, you need to actively mine the data you collect from your customers to ensure that you give them the most personalized experience possible.
2. Guest blogging
Most brands host a blog on their website—blogs are great for SEO and to generate traffic to your website.
Creating content for these blogs usually falls in the purview of content marketers within the team. But their expertise is often limited to the realm of their specific workplace.
This is why guest blogging is now becoming a popular aspect of content marketing.
Brands are reaching out to influencers, experts, and writing professionals for their advice, tips, and experiences in a chosen field.
On the flip side, brands are also asking their own marketers to guest blog for other sites.
Not only is this a great way to build connections between like-minded brands, but brands get to refresh the perspective on their blog, and place themselves as thought-leaders online.
One of the foremost voices in digital marketing, Moz, the SEO software website, has built its brand with the help of guest blogging.
Moz’s blog is regularly updated with posts from its in-house experts as well as digital marketing experts from fellow marketing companies and experts.
Take a leaf out of Moz’s guest posting handbook and open your blog to guest posters who can write how-to guides and case studies.
And offer your marketers’ services for the same to spread your brand name and value across the digital realm.
3. Show products and services in use
We have already established that people on the internet do not want to be sold to. While personalizing your content for them is one way to reach the most stubborn of users, there is also another method.
Tailor your content marketing strategy towards showing potential customers what they are missing out on by not purchasing your product or service.
The best way to do this is by showing your products in use—on your website, social media, and email marketing.
When you create landing pages and product pages, don’t use passive images of your products on their own—show how a person would use that product.
This is a tricky proposition for services—there is nothing concrete to show. What you can do is show happy customers after they have used your service.
Include a testimonial or two, alongside a picture of the customer to make the endeavor more personable.
Nike is an internationally-renowned sportswear brand and they have had years to perfect their content marketing devices.
This is exactly why marketers should be studying Nike’s content marketing strategies to see what works—chiefly how they show their products in use.
Nike leverages the storytelling aspect of its brand, going beyond what its products can do for their customers.
In essence, Nike doesn’t just show its products in use—it shows how aspirational its products and lifestyle can be for customers.
4. Get behind a social cause
Championing a social cause, or fighting against social evil, are daunting prospects for brands, which is why so many avoid dabbling in this area. Everyone remembers Pepsi’s debacle from 2017, after all.
However, choosing a social cause to get behind can have significant benefits for brands.
The most vocal generations on social media—millennials and Generation Z—are socially and politically active.
They are more likely to align themselves with a brand that stands against a social evil, and they won’t hesitate to call out brands that fail to react appropriately to social issues.
If you want to tap into the younger generations of customers, taking a strong stand against a political issue can expand your customer base, and help you lobby to create real change.
Early in 2019, Gillette made waves with a powerful ad calling out toxic masculinity. Not only did the YouTube video receive over 32 million views (to date) but they were loudly praised by activists and customers alike.
The ad was timely, following in the wake of the worldwide #MeToo revolution. It could not have been an easy choice—a small group of men declared the ad, and the brand, ‘anti-men’, but for the most part, the reactions were positive.
Choosing a social issue to get behind won’t be easy—you don’t want to end up on the wrong side of history.
Study your audience and your contemporaries to decide which is the best choice for your content marketing strategy, and then stick by your decision.
5. Try new technologies
Marketing technologies are changing constantly. Your content marketing strategies need to acknowledge these changes and adapt accordingly.
Not so long ago, content marketing lived within the domain of blogging and social media. Now it’s moved into podcasts, vlogs, AI, VR, and AR.
Even within the social media spectrum, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are only some of the channels being used by brands. Snapchat and TikTok are fast catching up.
Your content marketing strategy needs to encompass these new technologies. This doesn’t mean you join the latest fad—it could die down before your campaign has taken off.
Assess the situation around you and examine your competitors to see what they are doing. Then think of ways to adopt the new technologies in ways that would benefit your customers.
In 2019, Toyota unveiled an app that allowed users to better understand their hybrid engine.
The AR app worked by overlaying images of the car’s interiors on the product—the user could tap on an area to ‘see’ what the part looked like and how it worked.
This experience benefited customers who were unaccustomed to the hybrid model Toyota was displaying. Any questions were answered through the interactive experience.
Using new technologies can help you enhance the user experience and allay any concerns they may have about a new product or service.
6. User-generated content
Creating content on the go is no longer the best way to capitalize on digital marketing. If you want to produce a steady stream of high-quality content, you need to get creative and thrifty.
A number of brands have found the perfect alternative to creating steady content—leveraging user-generated content (UGC).
Not only does UGC save content marketers the hassle of creating reams of content every day, but it also adds interactivity and personability to a brand’s content marketing strategy.
Often conducted as an Instagram or Facebook contest, UGC has shown excellent results for marketers.
People love seeing other people on social media—it humanizes a brand and provides evidence of how well-loved a brand is. It also makes for great shareable content.
Leveraging UGC will save your marketing team time and will help you expand your reach.
Example: Warby Parker
Warby Parker is a brand that sells glasses. One would assume their content wouldn’t be exciting but they have leveraged UGC to showcase their products and their customers.
They frequently repost videos and photos sent to them by happy customers. Their content acts as social proof for other customers and makes their social feed more diverse.
Involve your followers in your content by requesting pictures or videos of them using or unboxing your products, and using your services.
We have spoken about how UGC helps marketers save time and energy. And that isn’t the only method marketers can adopt—repurposing content has the same effect on marketers.
Instead of creating new kinds of content on a regular basis, examine your existing content and see how you can update or use it in another form—JumpFactor have a great article on optimizing old and new blog posts here.
There are numerous ways to repurpose content—for instance, you can turn a single blog into an infographic, several social media posts, vlogs, or a podcast.
Repurposing content is as limitless as your imagination, and will not only save you a great deal of time, but will boost your content’s reach beyond its original scope.
Buzzfeed’s Nifty repurposes articles as 10-12 minute videos. The site also creates shorter videos for its Instagram account and makes GIFs to share on its other social media.
For viewers who don’t regularly visit Nifty’s website, they can still come across their content on social media and YouTube. Their brand is ever-present on all channels because of the way it repurposes its content.
These seven content marketing strategies and examples will help marketers be more creative and efficient in the way they create their content and reach clients.
Ronita Mohan is a content marketer at the online infographic and design platform, Venngage.
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