One of the best things about my profession is how it ties into my own personal brand. Because I technically build and maintain brands for a living, it makes it easy to tie what I learn in a corporate environment into what I’m establishing for myself.
The most effective thing I’ve been having to incorporate into our ongoing public relations efforts is content marketing. Content marketing isn’t what we’re used to. It has nothing to do with printed mail-outs, or even promotional emails. It’s a strategic marketing approach that focuses on creating valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and keep a clearly defined audience. If you have a brand, this pertains to you – even if you’re not necessarily selling a product.
Marketing your brand will require you to be where the right people are looking at the right times, as well as communicating and engaging with what I call your “tribe” or your consumer. I’ve learned that content marketing costs much less than traditional marketing thanks to many free social media channels, but it will cost you time. Here are some key things to focus on when delivering content to your audience –
Deliver the right message, to the right audience, at the right time
Take time out to really brainstorm who your audience is and cater to them directly. You’ll find that it’s so much more effective to satisfy your definitive tribe as opposed to trying to spread yourself thin by creating content you think everyone might enjoy. Everyone doesn’t matter. You want to build a community based specifically on people who need what you have and need not to waste time worry about the “others”.
Talk about what people care about, not just your business
Engagement will rise when we touch on hot topics. Whether it’s presidential debates, celebrity news, or natural disasters – there’s always a way to incorporate current news. I work in the engineering industry, so I’m constantly have to make engineering relevant to what’s going on right now. “There was a flood? Well here’s how this new engineering technology that we used in this master-planned community could’ve prevented that.” Catch my drift? That’s not only quality, but relevant content as well.
Keep in touch and nurture relationships by engaging with your “tribe” in their communities
You’re not ever too good or too busy to reply to those who take the time out to engage with you. Make it a point to reply to messages, respond to tweets and interact with others. No matter how many followers you gain, you will see consistency in those who always like, share and comment on your posts. Be sure to support what they do too by clicking links they ask you to, sharing their messages, or taking a little time out to comment on what they’re doing.
Develop an online presence that’s as good as the information or product you’re offering
Get out there! Show your face, your products, your brand on more places than just your website. A vibrant, engaging website will never be enough if no one is visiting it. Make sure that you’re using the appropriate platforms to bring people back to what you want them to grasp.
Think about the end goal of the content you want to create before creating it
A lot of brands mess up by saying things just to say them, often watering down the prospective effect their posts can have on consumers. Yes, consistency is important – but not as important as good quality content. If you’re stuck in a creative slump but want consumers to remember you exist, try reposting something old that’s worth being revisited.
Get comfortable with a high level of personalization
It isn’t enough for you to create email blasts anymore or do mailouts with stickers in place of where someones name should be. People expect real one-on-one engagement. Try your best to personalize messages, newsletters, and replies even it takes a little more time than usual.
What are the best channels to distribute your content?
Men are more likely to use LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+; while women are more active on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. Who are you marketing to and are you using the appropriate channels to reach your audience? For example, an engineering firm wouldn’t do well on Pinterest because we’re structured and not creative. Meanwhile, a DIY business wouldn’t get much engagement on Google+ because it caters to businesses close to whoever is doing the search. You only want to play where your content isn’t being shared in vain.
Market your content and extend its social life
The average social life of content lasts up to 3 hours on most social media platforms, but only 18 minutes on Twitter. Don’t be afraid to highlight your sale, your product, or event multiple times throughout a span of a few days. There’s a good chance a large percentage of your tribe missed it. What’s the worst that can happen? An unfollow? Well bye then! LOL
What content marketing rules do you all live by with your brands?