Incase you missed it view six industry predictions for 2014.
Yet with the right know-how, any brand can use content marketing to build trust, engage customers, and grow their business.
1. Put your content first and your product last
The best content is authentic; answering readers’ questions, providing expert advice and fuelling their passions. Readers are great at figuring out what’s genuine and what isn’t, and interest is sparked by real stories about people, not products.
2. Pick a topic that fits with your company, and an angle only you can deliver
Anyone can write a blog entry, but it’s a brand’s unique expertise and outlook that makes content marketing truly successful.
3. It’s not just what you say, but how you say it
Before starting any content marketing initiative, think about the tone you’d like your brand to convey. Are you serious or light-hearted, witty or authoritative? Once you’ve identified your brand voice, make sure every piece of content reflects that tone clearly and consistently.
4. Invest in time and talent
Building an editorial calendar and sticking to it is crucial for producing consistent, high-quality content. A dedicated editorial manager or editor is one of the easiest ways to do this. It’s an investment, but one that will pay off in the end – especially in keeping the rest of your team focused and happy.
5. Find the best software for your team
There’s a large range of technologies which help you produce and track content. Yet most of them don’t help with the entire content marketing process. Take the time to identify your brand’s needs and goals so you can find a real end-to-end solution. This will keep your team sane, your strategy on course and your content on-brand.
Businesses of every size can use these tips without a huge investment upfront. For example, The Dolphin pub in East London crafted unique voice across Twitter that is sarcastic, hilarious, and only rarely promotes the pub.
Or, take the estate agents Keaton’s, who have created an online and print magazine called Access London. The glossy, well-designed publication includes articles on neighbourhood spots alongside property ads, which appear as natural breaks in the content.
Interested in content marketing but can’t afford to hire a professional or print a publication? Most blogs are free and easy to incorporate into an existing site. With some creativity, you can make your blog a destination in its own right. Bluebeard’s Revenge uses their website to discuss relevant studies (like a recent one that says men spend 45 days of their lives shaving) and helpful tips on how to do everything from shave with a straight razor to apply cologne properly.
Content like this – with a clear connection to the product but not advertising it explicitly – uses the company’s knowledge and voice to position them as trusted experts in their field, and build a relationship with their customers that goes far beyond the till.
Shafqat Islam is CEO of NewsCred, which recently launched the Content Marketing Cloud.
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