Are You Telling Your Story through Content Marketing?
Standing out among the competition can be hard. For example, consider the hospitality and tourism industry – if visitors need a space to sleep, hotels lining a block in a tourist-filled city will want to set themselves apart in any way possible. While traditional marketing and advertising techniques will always hold an important spot in the marketing mix, content marketing has emerged as a proven method for creating brand trust and credibility.
The most successful content marketing campaigns take their audiences into consideration, and create a compelling storyline. Consider the following tips when undertaking your next content marketing initiatives. Harkening back to my example of the tourism industry, consider this: An article on Hotel Online notes that “hospitality providers are constantly seeking new and creative ways to reach their target audiences and distinguish their products and services.” They have found that the best way to accomplish this is through storytelling with their content marketing efforts – and this isn’t immune to a single industry.
Where to begin?
- Content marketing can refer to a variety of media, whether it be blog posts, e-newsletters, podcasts, or white papers. They are well-thought out pieces that reflect your brand’s values and knowledge of the industry.
- Don’t put all your eggs in the content marketing basket: Hotel Online cites Robert Rose, a marketing consultant in Calabasas, CA, in saying that “The main difference between content marketing and other forms of marketing, such as press releases and advertising, is that the content is valuable in and of itself. It educates, entertains or inspires.” While traditional marketing avenues pertain to radio, television, or billboard ads (“discount deluxe room sale on now!”), content marketing takes a backseat in terms of blatant selling (“5 trends impacting the local tourism scene”).
- Create an editorial calendar: You might have a lot to say, but don’t exhaust your efforts with a single blog post. Split your content into parts, tackling one topic at a time. This will keep your audience coming back for more, and the posts will tell a story over time. Overall, they will show that your brand has a well-rounded awareness of the industry matters at hand.
- Keep it brief: Attention spans are short, so readers may tune out after a few hundred words, or not want to watch a 20-minute video. This is where that editorial calendar will come in handy!
- Think about your reputation: Content marketing is all about positioning your brand as a credible and trusted industry leader.
- Share, share, share: Don’t keep your blog a secret! Digital content might be housed under a tab on your website, but how will it be found it no one knows where to look for it? Share your latest posts on all channels of social media, via email, in-store, or anywhere else you’re interacting with your audience. And encourage them to share the post too, ultimately reaching a new audience with each share.
- Optimize your posts for SEO: SEO, or search engine optimization, will help your posts rank higher in a Google search. Be sure to sprinkle several relevant industry keywords and terms throughout your posts. You might be catering to your current audience, but if your content is easy to find online, think of all the new business that will find you!
Before you start creating your content, it’s also worth ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly. SmallBizGenius reports that there are 5.11 billion unique mobile users on the planet. They go on to say that the average smartphone user checks their phone an average of 50 times a day, and that 60% of people are less likely to purchase from a brand if they have a negative mobile experience on their website. Don’t let your business fall victim to this! It will lead to less views of your content, and ultimately less conversions.
As your content marketing efforts expand over time, you will see what works, and what needs improvement. As consumers continue to invest in relationships with their favorite brands, it is of the utmost importance to provide content for them to engage with. For in the end, you’ll be the one benefiting, and they’ll feel more confident for having invested their time, interest, and money in your brand.