Digital Content Marketing Tips
We see evidence of content marketing every day. What sets one business apart from the rest? The best content marketing practices are relevant, engaging, visual and purposeful.
This should be obvious but I am going to say it anyway: KNOW and UNDERSTAND your audience. It takes time to research and get a sense of the types of people who are interested in what your company offers. Visitors turn into leads which turn into customers. Who visits your website and social media pages? Who signs up to receive your emails and walks into your building? These are the people you need to understand.
There are many avenues available to help your business understand your audience. Research their hobbies and dreams. How do friends, family and coworkers influence your audience? Gather information about unique individuals and piece together trends that you notice that are similar between each of them.
Relevant content is also current. Make it a habit to read the news. Scale your personal Facebook feed for trending topics and watch viral videos on YouTube. Use the resources that are out there and figure out creative ways to integrate what you find into content for your business. Current content can also mean that you use “throwbacks” intentionally. Pay attention to nostalgic elements in your audience. Content marketers should always have their antennas positioned for ideas that come from everyday occurrences.
“Engaging content” is a phrase that is used often. What does it actually mean? Content should be something your customers want to share with others. When your business posts on social media, try to make the content something your followers can engage with through liking, retweeting or reposting. If content resonates with your audience, they will naturally desire to use one of these methods of engagement.
Businesses cannot get away with being sales minded all of the time. Sometimes a “salesy” approach is effective for a particular audience, but overall the goal of content is to help the customer. As a business you want to inform people in an interesting and fun way rather than hounding them with “buy our product/service!”
Another secret about engaging content on social media… It’s not necessarily about how many followers your page has. Reaching people on Facebook, for example, is about how much people who see the content interact with it. The more people that engage with a piece of content, the more people that will see it even outside of your following. This means that your business will know if the content it is creating is effective because the good stuff will be elevated and the bad stuff will be hidden on people’s feeds.
Visuals! Visuals everywhere!
I’m bombarded with visuals all day, every day and yet, I still look at visuals and think they are effective for marketing. Some of them at least. Effective visuals go back to the “know your audience” point. You cannot throw a graphic on a Facebook page and hope people start flocking to engage with it. A better perspective, rather, is thinking of how visuals can better communicate your trustworthiness as a small business. I like to stress the importance of quality design myself.
What does quality design look like in the execution stage? For one, take the extra time to make the content your company puts out there look professional. In my own personal vocation I take the extra time to get a second opinion on the work I produce. Sometimes I have been starring at the same design so long that I miss an obvious mistake. Other times, someone else in the office may have a creative idea of how I can add to/alter my work to make it better. It’s a tough design world out there. Originality is hard to do sometimes, especially when it is easy to compare work with others and think of your designs as inferior. My advice to a small business would be to know exactly WHY you created a design the way you did or WHY a visual is relatable to your audience. If someone were to directly ask you why you made the visual choices that you did in a piece of content, you should be able to clearly articulate to him the answer.
Content marketing will help increase overall traffic to your business’s social media page and website if done well. I suggest two ways to create more purposeful content:
1) Link to other content
Social media is social. It is a virtual conversation. As a business, do not be afraid to share content from customers or outside sources. Moreover, competitors’ content can yield recognition for your business too, especially if they have more followers than you. Give credit when it is due and aim to attract followers from companies that are accredited to help your Search Engine Optimization. Be purposeful in the way you interact online. Linking to content that others have created “provides Google’s search algorithm with valuable information: how one [piece of content] relates to another” (Schutten).
Look back at previous content that has come from your business. Observe what posts worked and use these same ideas to generate new content. The process could be as simple as uploading an old photo and changing its caption. As long as your content continues to be current and applicable to your audience, your old ideas can be just as good as new ones.
Here at Venture Creations, we strive to help your small business stand out. We help you create relevant, engaging, visual and purposeful content that will raise your brand awareness. Be on the lookout for our next article: 5 Best Practices for Social Content ADVERTISING.