On last week, I presented at the Louisville Convention & Visitor’s Bureau Business Builder Workshop on the topic of content marketing. Even though I do work for the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, every year I am requested to do a one-hour presentation on a marketing topic for the benefit of our partner businesses. The past 2 years, I have spoke on the topic of social media. I talked about what networks are relevant and how they fit into your overall marketing strategies. But, I think we as marketers are beyond that discussion, because we all realize we need to have a presence on social media. The real topic of conversation now is, “what are you posting?”. We refer to it as content marketing, the marketing of valuable content to a targeted audience to drive customer action.
Organizations have been and always will be producing content on a regular basis. Press releases, blog posts, photos, videos and infographics are just a tip of the iceberg of the various amounts of content that can be produced. But what is the strategy behind your content? Is your content targeted towards the right audience? Does your content add value? How do you measure its effectiveness? Who manages the content? When producing your content, it should include at least one of these action items (1) to entertain, (2) to educate, (3) to persuade and/or (4) to convert. With those four actions in mind, I’ve got four ideas I want to share with you on how to improve your content marketing:
- K.I.S.S. – Keep it short and sweet. We live in a micro-content multimedia world, where the average attention span of a human is 8 seconds. While tweets are 140 characters, the sweet spot for a tweet is between 71 – 100 characters. While video has a heavy influence on consumers, the optimal video length is 60 – 90 seconds. Whatever it is you are producing, keep it brief – we refer to it as snackable content.
- Go hyper-local. The idea of hyper-local involves taking your content and putting it into the context of a surrounding community. Not only do consumers want to feel that you are speaking to them, but also to their community. Consumers want to be immersed in experiences, so capitalizing on their surroundings engages them with your product in the comfort of their own community.
- Use your employees and customers. People don’t trust organizations anymore, people trust people. Turn your employees into brand ambassadors by providing them with the necessary tools to share the brand from a lifestyle perspective. Allow them to show what it’s like to work in an environment that produces the product that you want consumers to buy. Turn those positive consumers into walking billboards by providing point-of-sale opportunities for them to share their experiences with your brand.
- Develop thought leadership. Any marketing you do, should add something of value to the end user. All of your content shouldn’t be about you and your products. Take the time to address issues within your industry to help educate and inform potential customers. When people see your content as valuable, you become a trusted source. When you become a trusted source, that leads to top-of-mind awareness. And we all know that top-of-mind awareness puts you at the front of the purchasing cycle.
I hope these tips will help you in producing your content, and if you would like to add to this list, I’d love to hear your suggestions.
Shout-out to my girl Kat Gallagher for the photos!