There are a few brands that have been doing the content marketing quite well in the past year and have emerged as trendsetters. There are a lot of things that can be learnt from them and used in 2013 to move forward. Actually, these are tricky content marketing trends that can help you redefine your overall status on the internet. Let us take a look at them and understand how to apply them to your content marketing strategy.
Think Consistency Think Success
No matter what you do, consistency in efforts is the first pre-requisite. Creating valuable content only is not sufficient; maintaining consistency is what helping brands to redefine their success. Whatever medium you use to publish content and connect with your audience, you will have to keep a regular schedule to do well. This is the first thing that you should worry about. Maintain a regular supply of content across all channels that you use to establish connection.
The companies churning out content on regular basis have conditioned information seekers to expect several new posts, tweets, comments or articles every day. However, it may not be possible, but you can still decide a minimum number of posts that you think you can publish on regular basis. In short, have an editorial calendar and try to stick to it. IBM and Adobe have set good examples in churning out valuable content consistently through Midsize Insider and CMO.com respectively.
Keep It Readable and Shareable
Not everyone has a diet for long and detailed content. So, why not keep it to a readable length. Most of us want to churn out lengthy content with an aim to impress the readers and establish connection with them.
No doubt that quality and presentation of the content are two important aspects that can make browsers read even lengthier content. But then, you will have to increase their diet gradually. Initially, you can publish ultra readable and shareable content and then think of the longer stories with a mix of information, argument, validation and contradiction, depending upon what your readers like to consume.
Whole Foods is the #1 brand on Twitter with a very specific content strategy. They believe in shorter posts or snippets that are quickly readable and easily sharable. With around 3000 recipes shared already, they keep on sharing with their audience on regular basis. Starbucks ranks second on Twitter, doing incredibly well to keep the coffee passion alive. Again, the strategy is to keep it short and precise.
Form Partnerships to Expand Your Customer Base
The partnership between Converse and the Guitar Center has taken both the businesses to new heights. Although none of them created ads or content for promoting rubber tracks but together they built a high quality recording studio with a complete range of musical instruments that can be used by artists for free. The best part is that all recordings and videos are available on Rubber Tracks website as well as on social networking sites.
It was really difficult to understand for brands why actually these two came together and formed a partnership to push their boundaries. The strategy, as we all know, has proved remarkably well. Similarly, Boston based venture capitalist Open View Partners believes in infusing partnerships as a part of their content marketing strategy. They have partnered with Salesforce to develop and conduct sales and operations best practices workshop. Now you must be wondering why exactly they partnered with Salesforce and what purpose does it solve? The partnership is established to extend the reach of the Boston based venture capitalists to a wider audience and improve the brand image among the established customers.
The trick is to find the companies with common target audience but you will have to refresh your brand image. It may happen that the other brand may achieve more popularity than you slowly ruling out. The key is to enter into a partnership where you have a portion of common followers or customers. Overall, it should be mutually beneficial.
Each brand maintains a number of media types and channels to publish content. Whatever you have already created for offline or online promotion, dip into it and tweak it to make it appropriate for another channel.
The biggest benefit of content recycling is that you have to put less effort in tweaking the existing content than creating new content. Plus you can also use it (older content) more effectively.
The entire idea of recycling the content is to repurpose it, while central theme remains the same. An eBook can be turned into a number of blog posts. Associated with infographics and pointers, it can be transformed into a SlideShare presentation. Stretch your content in new ways to touch different types of readers differently and strengthen your bond with them.
Invite Ideas from Your Readers
Constant content creation is an extremely difficult task, especially for the brands that are present on multiple media channels and types. There are companies that have successfully made their audience/readers work and used their ideas. You can also consider adopting this approach.
My Starbucks Idea is a website maintained by Starbucks where their customers come and share ideas for new products. They are not only producing ideas but are also harnessing the voices of their customers or followers for content marketing across various channels. Their clients take on the discussions to the next level and share information and ideas with each other.
Amazon is one of the biggest examples of brands harnessing the ideas and voices of their audience through Listmania. It’s a list that features products that people find interesting. The best part is that the opinions expressed in Listmania are of Amazon’s customers.
So, invite ideas from your readers and recognize their contribution.
These are a few recent trends that companies have been including in their content marketing strategy. What do you think about them? share your thoughts with us in the comment box.
Picture by JD Hancock