Content marketing is necessary for any company to see long-term success. However, content marketing comprises many things: social media, video, and blogs among them. This makes building a successful strategy complicated, which is why you should turn to other content marketers in your field for inspiration and ideas.
This doesn’t mean you have to copy other brands out there; often times, once you see the sort of topics that thought leaders are covering, it’ll help get the creative juices flowing on your own. Eric Sachs, the CEO of Sachs Marketing Group, an SEO company out of LA, encourages content marketers to use the Web to their advantage.
“There’s nothing wrong with covering the same topics as your competition, f you have something different to add to it,” says Sachs. “Where possible, look for a unique approach to the same information that everyone else is sharing, so you stand out. This approach will build trust and credibility with your audience, too.”
By researching thoroughly enough to learn from the best and avoid the worst content mistakes around, you’re on the path to developing a highly effective content marketing strategy. Here are a few good things you can learn from brands, as well as a few tips on what to avoid:
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Bad Content Moves
Check Your Grammar
Sounds simple, right? You’d be surprised at how often content gets pushed without a thorough grammar check. And consumers are not afraid to publicly spell-check a business, which can be embarrassing and diminishes your credibility. And yes, people pay attention: one analysis found that Pepsi made four times more writing mistakes in its LinkedIn posts than Coca-Cola.
And then there’s the countless social media mistakes that many companies — from small businesses to corporate giants — continue to make every day. Let your grammar and syntax be a representation of your expertise and professionalism. If you aren’t a writer, hire a freelancer or agency to do the work for you.
Make Sure The Audience Is There
With every bit of content, you push, you need to ensure there’s an audience for it. Whether you’re writing a blog post, ebook, or social media campaign, if you don’t research properly, you could mistakenly assume people will read your content and engage in your campaign.
This is exactly what happened to Nesquik in 2013, when they worked for several months to create the “National Bunny Ears” holiday and invited consumers to download an app that would give them virtual bunny ears. After all of the company’s hard work, the hashtag received just two mentions on Instagram and nine on Twitter. No one seemed to care about the made-up holiday, and this is largely because Nesquik assumed people would, with no evidence to the contrary.
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Good Content Moves
Create Valuable Content
When it comes to creating content that’s useful and evergreen, Airbnb is one company that sets a high standard. While they don’t supply the end product, they’ve done a phenomenal job of creating an experience and using content to deliver it. One way they achieved this was by creating a magazine that utilizes data from their home-sharing site. They took data search points and used it as a springboard for deciding which countries were worth writing about.
“Airbnb Neighborhoods” was another major selling point for users. The company commissioned writers, photographers, and hosts to contribute to neighborhood guides that detailed exactly what neighborhoods around the world were like. This gives potential travelers an in-depth understanding of what it would be like to live like a local.
Integrate Videos Into Your Marketing Campaign
Video marketing is a big deal these days, and every company should have a place for it in their marketing campaign. Videos are more likely to have a higher engagement rate than other forms of content, and as time progresses, more consumers are expecting brands to publish video content.
Reebok is a great example of how to use video to deliver a powerful message with a product at the forefront. Their “Honor Your Days” campaign was based on this premise: the average human has 25,915 days to live, and you should make the most of each day by honoring the body you were given. Their goal was to change the way people perceive health and fitness at any age, and the message was well-received.
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With the right message, you can publish a great video of any kind — it doesn’t have to be a multi-million dollar campaign. Even simple videos that demonstrate how to use a product can be light-hearted, funny, sincere, and powerful. Put in the work to understand the audience, and use it as a steering guide.
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