We are way past the age of advertising for the sake of self-promotion. This craft we call marketing is now far more nuanced, subtle and oftentimes, thoughtful.
Modern-day marketing is about compelling the audience to become part of a community by providing content that is tailored to their interests, highly accessible (usually free), and makes them feel valued.
This is what we call ✨content marketing ✨
Once a brand has reciprocated the audience’s values, only then can they push for the conversion and improve the likelihood of retaining loyal customers.
At OtherBirds our team considers each of these parts of the marketing funnel and offers your KPIs to you on a silver platter. But it all starts with content marketing. Content marketing is pertinent across multiple formats and must be kept in mind no matter if you are producing social media marketing, seo copywriting or video content creation. so let’s discuss the importance of strategy, storytelling, thought leadership, and organic interaction in this pursuit of brand awareness and customer engagement.
What is content marketing, really?
This buzzword goes beyond traditional advertising in the sense that it’s not explicitly selling at the audience. The days of “buy, buy, BUY!” are long gone, and marketing teams have recognised that customers respond far better to more empathetic and nuanced brands.
In practice, content marketing encompasses a host of functions of your average marketing agency. These include blogs, vlogs, organic social media, whitepapers, reports, thought leadership articles, and EDMs. You may notice that in most cases, these resources are all free.
That’s right, content marketing is a show of generosity and expertise for the world to see. It may not seem so generous now that everyone is doing it, but creating these assets and providing free public access is far better than not throwing your hat in the ring at all.
Why have a content marketing strategy?
There is one catch that must tie all of these elements together to make them function as content marketing, per se. That catch is consistent messaging.
In isolation, publishing blogs, social media and the odd EDM won’t be enough to entice your average customer. It’s only when such content is delivered with consistent messaging that customers can begin to rely on you for such a niche.
This is what we could simply call a ✨content marketing strategy ✨
Strategy should be at the heart of all your marketing endeavours, not least of all your content marketing.
A content marketing strategy should gather data on how each deliverable is performing, and which platforms are receiving the most interaction, before using this to tailor the schedule going forward.
Not every deliverable will require as much content as often, nor will it have the exact tone of voice or depth of information. After all, those on Instagram aren’t hunting the same kind of information as those on your website. It’s all about how you balance your resources and the impact of each platform — a fickle game indeed but one that can maximise your brand awareness when perfected.
The greater benefit of posting regularly across platforms is the higher likelihood of reaching your target audience and fostering greater brand awareness.
Your entire audience won’t live on just one platform, and reaching them on just one will have a far weaker impact than if you appear everywhere they go.
We are constantly stressing to “meet your audience where they are,” which is the essence of an effective content marketing strategy.
Once your audience starts to recognise your brand around the platforms, it will position you as a voice of influence and thought leadership. From here, you have the power to direct consumer’s opinions and trends within your industry.
We recently published an article about the power of storytelling which can be reaped once your brand is positioned as a trustworthy voice.
How to position your business as a thought leader
If your business is only starting out, you may not know it yet but thought leadership is the ultimate goal. This is when your brand becomes the go-to source of information for a given audience.
When they have a question, they turn to Google and in turn, Google turns to you. (That is assuming your search engine optimisation is up to scratch.)
Once you’ve established your brand in the minds of the audience and they turn to you for information, you’ll be given a free hit to channel them towards your product or service.
The hardest part is getting these prospects to your website or point of sale and thought leadership guides them straight to you.
So how do we develop thought leadership? Would you be surprised if we said… free content? We sure hope not because it’s time to get to work.
We’re talking LinkedIn articles, eNewsletters, blogs, podcasts, and any other platform you can convey new and exciting ideas.
So long as you’re feeding a need in your audience for specific information and you solve their pain points with new concepts (yes, that’s easier said than done) then you’re on your way to becoming an established thought leader.
Capitalise on engagement
Now that you’ve planned out the content, executed it, analysed the data, handed out free information and gathered a loyal audience, it’s important to capitalise on your position.
Part of this involves nurturing the customers who take the time to interact with your brand. Whether this is through likes, comments, shares, subscriptions, purchases or referrals, customers appreciate the gratitude of their brands.
Plain and simple: these customers could easily have chosen one of your competitors over you. But the fact they chose you and remain loyal to your brand deserves recognition. That’s just the expectation and the climate of today’s society.
Brands that go out of their way to recognise and reward their customers are simply taking advantage of another opportunity to interact with their audience. This point of contact afforded by modern marketing platforms like social media and even email is not something to be taken for granted.
Customers appreciate regular interaction in a way that humanises the brand and creates a more intimate company-customer relationship. In the digital age, you can make a person feel incredibly validated with a simple Love reaction. So why not do it?
Okay, you got us. This blog is just one example of content marketing and we’re proud to present it to you. We can only hope this has answered the questions that you had when you clicked on that link, but if not we would love to hear it!
Get in touch to learn more and fill in the blanks in your content marketing strategy.