Over the last five to seven years, brands have hopped aboard the social media train. With hopes of gaining fans and followers, they jumped right in with little information about the measurements that truly mattered and the right approach for using it. I mean, look at this tweet from Whole Foods, (a brand that has evolved significantly on Twitter since). Clearly, no one really knew what they were doing at the beginning; they just recognized that they needed to be doing it. But now that most major brands are active or at least present in the social sphere, it’s time for brands to refresh their approach and embrace another way to expose their message: content marketing.
Content marketing is not a substitution for social, but it’s definitely a compliment to it; something like a partnership. So to baseline, what is content marketing? One of the best definitions for it comes from the Content Marketing Institute! It’s described as a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. It’s pertinent that I remind you, content marketing is nothing new; brands have been doing it for years. Here are a few examples, a Michelin Tires maintenance guide, a Jell-O cookbook—the list continues. But the difference between classic content marketing and how we use it today is the number of platforms we have to reach targets. Brands are able to take this “old school” content and repurpose it on a variety of channels to provide utility for their audiences.
So where do you start and how do you do it? We recommend beginning with the data. As an analytically-driven agency, we recognize the power of insights through analytics and how they can help drive your strategy. Our post here covers a variety of great tools to identify key findings on what your audience is interested in and how to shift your focus to reach them.
Next, dig into those insights and do some additional research on your competitors. They can offer some inspiration for creating good content. Learn from what they are doing well, what they aren’t doing well, and what they aren’t doing at all that could benefit the consumers you are both trying to reach. Set up Google Alerts on them, or perform a website audit to assess what types of content they offer. Here are a few tips from Hubspot to get you started on your competitive analysis.
After you’ve done your research, you’ll be ready to form a plan of action to create useful content for your audience and execute it. This is where the partnership between social and content marketing comes to action. Promoting your message through various social media platforms is one of the most effective ways to deliver your content. Check out this chart of how marketers in various industries and geographies use social media to distribute content to help you decide what platforms you can potentially use for your brand.
For more information regarding content marketing, check out these tips from senior marketing leaders on producing content that converts. If you’re ready to get started on your content marketing strategy, contact our Digital Strategy team to find out how Rise can help.