Six Ways to Unleash Your Brand’s Potential with Content
Once you’ve started down the path to building a successful business, it can be tempting to put things in cruise control and keep riding the wave. But you’re not complacent! You want to keep grinding and keep building. Consider these six ways to take your business to the next level using content.
Move from building a following to converting your following
When you’re first starting a business it’s all about building your presence online. You create a Twitter, an Instagram, a Facebook, a Pinterest, a Snapchat…a Twitch?! Whatever it is, you’ve probably made it in an effort to build a following. You’ve probably even been successful in building that following. In my experience working with influencers, a following of more than 10K is usually what it takes to get brands to be interested in working with you. If your brand is at that level, you’ve reached the target metric for influence! But unless your goal is to be that travel or fitness influencer who secures a brand sponsorship, you’ll have to take it a step further to actually convert those followers and fans into customers.
By putting together a content marketing strategy, you can bring your following into your sales funnel and continue to target them with informative content that moves them through the buyer journey. There are several types of content you can create based on your goals. For example, you can start with a free webinar, requiring attendees to provide an email address. Then once you’ve got emails, you can deploy an email marketing newsletter in which you can share additional content to help sell in a service that is complementary to the one addressed in the webinar. You can even use the traits and personas of those webinar attendees to develop a profile that can inform social media marketing like paid targeting on Facebook. By creating effective content, you can do more than simply build a following online, you can turn those followers into customers.
Focus on building loyalty
You may look at the previous point and say amazing, I already have customers. That’s great! But are they all first-timers? Creating the right content not only helps attract customers, it can help keep them. Content can turn followers into customers and customers into loyal evangelists. You may consider highlighting loyal customers on your website or social media platforms. You can create videos or podcasts only available for customers who have reached a certain level. You should be sure you’re tuned into your analytics in order to monitor what’s working well and continue to grow a larger portfolio of those types of content. If you find that your customers engage more heavily with your videos than your podcasts, for example, consider leaning into more video content, and perhaps reducing the number of podcasts. Special and exclusive content that feels personalized to your customers’ preferences can work wonders to keep them engaged and excited to support your brand.
Go beyond word of mouth
Word of mouth is often regarded as one of the best ways to grow a business, and that’s absolutely true. If your current customers trust you enough to recommend you to someone else, that’s gold! But while word of mouth is an amazing lead generator, you’re missing out on a great deal of potential business if it’s all you’re thinking about. By creating and optimizing content that educates and speaks to your target customer, you can bring in leads through search engine optimization (SEO).
Next time you write a blog post for your site, look into the keywords your customers might be using when they search for that topic online, and incorporate those keywords into your post. That’s one small but effective SEO tactic. Since search engines are constantly tweaking algorithms, it’s a good investment to bring in someone who stays on top of those changes and can help manage content to ensure it is constantly optimized and organically visible in search results. Using the right keywords also extends to social media posts. Tweets and Facebook pages often show up in search results!
Make your content work harder for you
At this point you might be saying this is all very nice but I already have plenty of content. You may have lots of blog posts, social media posts and email newsletters under your belt, but are you sure they’re all working as hard as possible for you? You’re running a business, your time is incredibly precious — what’s the point of creating content if the right people aren’t seeing it in the right place at the right time? Your brand is a living, breathing being that your customers and potential customers need to interact with in order to be excited to work with you. As such, consistently creating content is a key to success. The following factors can ensure your content is working as hard as it can for you.
- Consider bringing in someone to audit your content. Are your headlines, titles, and body copy optimized? Do you have outdated content that could turn off potential customers by making you appear to be behind the times? Are you over-indexing on one type of content when others could be more effective? Pausing to audit all the content you’ve created thus far can help steer what you create moving forward.
- You may have lots of content on your site or in your email newsletters and social media timelines, but it may feel haphazard and unrelated. By starting with a content editorial calendar, you can plan your content in a way that is more cohesive and thoughtful, ultimately leading to better engagement. While quantity is helpful, quality of content is equally if not more important, and can be better achieved with a smart editorial calendar.
- In addition to an editorial calendar to maintain consistency and cohesiveness, a clear voice and message are also vital to engaging your audience. Spending some time on message development can help make sure all of your content conveys one clear, well-defined message.
- As many of us are aware, social media algorithms are constantly changing, and lately the changes have been trending toward reducing the reach of organic content in favor of paid content. As such, your social media marketing strategy is more important than ever. Depending on your goals, you’ll most likely have to put at least a small amount of paid support behind your posts in order to reach your target customers. This allows you to make sure the right people — based on location, education, age, hobbies, etc. — are seeing your content. You can also run a paid campaign for a specific period of time to drive to time-sensitive calls-to-action like a live event or special product sale. Your strategy can also help determine the platforms in which you should invest. If your product is extremely visual, Instagram and Pinterest are better choices than Twitter. If your brand is more focused on advocacy and activism, Twitter and Facebook will be better bets. No matter which platform you choose, paid targeting can also be enhanced with tried-and-true organic visibility methods such as post timing and hashtag usage.
Make sure you’re analyzing the right metrics
We all know measurement and analytics are vital, but you have to be measuring the correct metrics to get the most value out of the content you’re posting. You may be measuring your social media content’s effectiveness by views, likes, and comments. You may be measuring website content or blog post effectiveness by traffic or bounce rates. While these all give surface-level insights into performance, they aren’t the best methods of truly understanding how well your content is working for you. You should be focusing on metrics that speak to conversion and advocacy. Is your content generating leads? Are others linking to it? Are your emails getting forwarded? These types of metrics and several others can better tell the true story of how your content is performing.
Invest in live events
Two of my favorite social media personalities are Desus Nice (@desusnice) and The Kid Mero (@thekidmero). If you’ve never heard those crazy names before, they are two comedians from the Bronx, New York who met on Twitter but eventually became real life friends and comedy partners. Although their individual brands were pretty well established online, the real life connection is what brought them to the next level.
Sometimes real life engagement complements online content to create even better results. Consider hosting live events that build upon your digital content strategy to engage your audience. For example, Desus and Mero have a wildly successful podcast called Bodega Boys. They would probably be just fine if they continued to produce that weekly audio comedy show, but they recently went on the road with a Bodega Boys Live Tour (full disclosure: I went to the Baltimore show and it was amazing). That live show not only drove revenue through ticket sales, it also led to even more content and fodder for the weekly podcast. It also drove user-generated content that helped engage those who may not have heard the Bodega Boys podcast before.
Obviously live events can be immensely valuable, but they require a live event content strategy as well. Even with my beloved Bodega Boys, I saw some opportunities for improvement when it came to content related to the live event. Before the event they could have sent an email on what to bring or how to get prepared for the show. During, they could have invited people to share photos with a special hashtag and provided several photo opportunities at the venue. They could have rewarded those who attended the show with a special piece of content afterward, available only to attendees. As I mentioned earlier, your brand is a living, breathing being and your content efforts can be greatly enhanced by opening up fun and engaging ways for consumers to interact with your brand live.
As you work to grow your business consider how content can play a key role in elevating your brand.
Ready to take your marketing to the next level? Visit genevasavvymedia.com to take the next step on your marketing journey.