There’s a reason we wear jewelry, accessorize with funky hats, or pick out specific outfits before going out into our day — we’re telling the world who we are before having to say anything. In a word, it’s communication.
When your brand pushes out content, it’s not just to have something to say, it’s to communicate exactly what — or perhaps who — you’re all about.
YOUR CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY DOESN’T HAVE CHARACTER, IT IS A CHARACTER
A good content marketing strategy doesn’t just have character, it is a character. Think popular beer brand Dos Equis’ “most interesting man in the world” or Chiquita’s Carmen Miranda, known to most as the “Chiquita banana lady”.
What these characters are communicating is that their brand reflects the lifestyle of their audiences. While Dos Equis appeals to men who are both sophisticated and adventurous, Carmen Miranda appeals to those who are vivacious and lighthearted—say, someone who enjoys hosting a good party.
So when companies talk about content marketing, it’s not just about blogging, website writing, or posting on Facebook. Those are just the vessels through which your brand personality shines. Let’s get that clear. Content marketing is NOT just blogging; it’s not just a way to rank well on Google; it’s not social media marketing; and it’s not creating online marketing strategies.
CONTENT CULTIVATION IS A TWO-WAY STREET
Content marketing is driven through authenticity and a desire to communicate with the audience. We’re not just selling a product to them, but creating a lifestyle and a culture through our brand. That means we’re talking to our buyers, not at them — as many ads are wont to do.
Speaking of ads, they’re a great route to go if you’re looking for immediate sales and eyes on your company. Content marketing is quite the opposite: it delivers value to your buyers over the long-term through diligently cultivated content.
Here’s the rub: content cultivation is a two-way street. For content marketing to be successful, a company or brand has to listen to its audience as much as they want their ears in return. That means the core of creating valuable content should be deeply rooted in engagement: responding personally to messages, sharing slice-of-life moments, or creating a sentiment that would unanimously resonate with users.
Take, for example, the current craft beer boom happening in and around Vancouver. Craft breweries are not just doing well because they’re selling a product that’s easy to hawk — if just anyone wanted to fill a beer bong, they almost certainly wouldn’t be stopping by your local craft brewery.
Craft brewers such as Postmark or 33 Acres appeal to the Pacific Northwest adventurer — that’s because their brand has personified their product as such a character. The craft beer drinker of the Canadian west coast is outdoorsy, fashionable, and young. That archetype is not accidental.
Source: Postmark Brewing on Youtube
GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT
Like I said before, content marketing is all about communication. We need to think about what valuable content is from your audience’s point of view. Could you imagine your audience would talk about your content online or in person? If not, it might not be seen by anyone. The example that is easy for us to imagine is inspiring content that encourages engagement. In other words, consider why people would share your content.
It’s simple. Everyone wants to come across as being interesting, well-read, or well-informed.
Imagine a situation in which you’re catching up with an old friend at a bar. What would you want to talk about? Something new in your life? What topics would you bring up? Funny stories? Interesting anecdotes? And why? We don’t want to be seen as boring, or we want to be the first to know about the hip music, delicious food, best cat videos, etcetera.
Just like you, brands don’t want to be deemed irrelevant or uncool.
Having said that, you may have to think about how your content comes across. There’s no sense in pumping out content just for the sake of it, or you lose the identity and authenticity you’ve worked so hard to build.
No matter how funny or riveting your story is, you may not talk about your sexual failures with your friends — unless you truly have no shame. In which case, more power to you! Don’t be chasing traction in likes and shares that are easy to showcase but not relevant to your marketing strategy.
Content marketing needs to show off who your company’s character really is, and what you do and you don’t do. You have to figure out who you are to stand out in the crowd, and give that character a name. Determine how your audience stays, listens, and participates in the conversation that your company’s character is putting out.
If you liked this article, please check out some related links of ours:
– How To Build A Tribe of Brand Followers
– The Media Buyer Strategy: The World Is Your Canvas
– How-to Write a Strategic Marketing Plan That Yields ROI
– SEO Basics: Best Practices For Keywords Targeting
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