Do You Speak Fluent Content Marketing?
Buzzwords rule in marketing. From “gamification” to “emojification,” via the path of “thought leadership,” many marketers are locked in a competition to come up with the newest, most clickable word. In some of my longer meetings, I play a game of Buzzword Bingo in my head, ticking off the common culprits until I score a full house. Ironically, most of them come out of my own mouth.
Content Share Tracking 101
It seems like we content marketers can’t help but develop our own language. Perhaps it’s a way of identifying our own: recognizing those that are up-to-date with current trends as they spout off the latest lingo.
After all, language is fluid and constantly evolving – much like this business. If you need the newest, trendiest term explained to you, don’t be surprised if the rest of the room does a full stop-and-stare as they try to comprehend who invited the awkward dinosaur from the Triassic period. Who could blame you if you simply choose to nod sagely at the mention of “deep work,” “unicorpse,” and “cloud brokers” while making a mental note to Google at the first opportunity?
So, out of the ashes of “synergy,” “millennials,” and all the other terms that have been used to death, which key content marketing buzzwords are particularly relevant right now? And do you understand them enough to speak content marketing fluently?
Personalization delivers individualized, highly relevant, and valuable content to your target audience. Research by One Spot revealed that 87% of consumers feel that personally relevant content positively influences how they feel about a brand, 60% felt a stronger connection with the brand as a result of personalized content, and, crucially, 86% reported that if a brand provides personally relevant content, it increases their interest in that brand’s goods and services – making them much more likely to buy.
How Can You Add Personalization to Your Strategy?
To implement effective personalization, you need data, data, and, yes, more data. The main ways in which marketers in the UK obtain their data, CMI’s 2017 Content Marketing report revealed, were keyword search (61%), website analytics (58%), social listening (43%), competitive analysis (43%), and customer feedback (41%).
There are numerous tools and agencies you can use to get the data, which will allow you to create customer personas, enabling you to generate content and targeted ads that will really resonate with your audience. According to a study by Pitney Bowes, 53% of consumers would happily provide details about their interests and hobbies if it meant they could receive more relevant, personalized communications.
Who Is Doing It Well?
With the ethos that “you are what you stream,” Spotify released the microsite Spotify.Me.
While the site’s analysis of user information might be aimed at brands to help them target music fans through insights and trends, users have also enjoyed the data visualization and learning about themselves through this data.
Story first, sell later. This is the way that creative brands are encouraging their customers to make the jump from browsers to buyers. Crafting content that tells a story, taps into emotions, and encourages consumers to come along for the ride promotes engagement in a memorable way. But there is more than one way to spin a yarn, and marketers need to think creatively about how they want to get their story across. With eight out of ten UK adults stating that they want brands to tell stories as part of their marketing efforts, it’s a buzzword that’s clearly here to stay.
How Can You Incorporate Storytelling into Your Strategy?
Brands can apply storytelling at two levels. The first is understanding where and how individual pieces of content fit into the overarching story of your brand. Think of each piece of content as a chapter that adds to the bigger story. Before you start, you need to determine your objectives and how you want your audience to feel about your brand.
The second level is implementing storytelling techniques in the structure and content of each piece. You need a beginning, a middle, and an end—keeping in mind who you’re writing the article for, highlighting a pain point they face, and revealing your solution.
Your storytelling needs to be authentic, that elusive term that consumers seem to crave in the era of fake news. If you want your story to connect at a personal level, you need to make your content personal.
So, why not tell the story of your company? You can tell it through segments on your social media, with a YouTube video, with user-generated content depicting your customers’ journeys with your company, or through blog posts interviewing company founders or leadership.
What better way to get consumers to engage with you than by telling your own story?
Who Is Doing It Well?
Burt’s Bees has replaced its “About” page as a place to tell its “history.” Having spent time working on the aesthetic, the brand uses the page to enlighten its customers about what they stand for and how this has evolved over the years.
They extend this into their social media presence, using videos to educate consumers about the brand and, of course, the bees.
3. Influencer Marketing
Forbes recently reported that 84% of marketers plan on executing at least one influencer marketing campaign during the next 12 months. More brands than ever are building relationships with social media influencers who have engaged followings.
If you’re doing it right, they’ll realize it’s not just the numbers and exposure that are key; it’s the targeted, engaged audience that genuine influencers bring to the table.
How Can You Add Influencer Marketing into Your Strategy?
Influencers have gained their title by creating content that their audience loves, so why not get your influencer to create the content for you?
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You already know that they will attract the right audience, but they’ll have an even better idea of the type of content that will generate the most engagement for your brand.
Who Is Doing It Well?
While influencer marketing doesn’t always need a celebrity, one of the best examples has got to be Lagavulin and Nick Offerman’s “Yule Log.”
The 45-minute video features the “Parks and Recreation” star sitting by a fire, savoring his drink. Yes, that’s it. But this simple concept racked up two million views in just one week.
4. GPS AR
The world went mad for Pokemon Go last year, with people walking off cliffs and falling down wells in their efforts to try and catch ’em all.
As marketers look for the step beyond videos, infographics, images, and other visual content, augmented reality (AR) could be just the ticket. Last December, Pokemon Go started turning their game’s Pokestops into virtual billboards, displaying sponsored messages. For example, the stops outside Starbucks let players know about a special offer for a drink specifically created in honor of the game.
AR was made for mobile devices, and with mobile devices now overtaking desktop, according to search data from Google, we can expect marketers to utilize mobile more and more.
How Can You Add AR to Your Strategy?
Retailers can effectively use AR to bring their products to life. The technology can enable customers to scan a catalogue to see what the product will look like in their home. It provides a great way to integrate traditional and digital marketing methods.
Who Is Doing It Well?
Tesco’s Discover app gives users a whole host of additional content when they scan Tesco product labels, a Tesco magazine, or in-store POS. This extra content acts as a reward for the retailer’s loyal customers.
If you’re looking for help with your content marketing, contact M2 Bespoke. We promise to keep any buzzwords to a minimum.
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Ben Hollom is the Managing Director of content marketing agency M2 Bespoke. Ben is a strategic marketing & communications specialist with 23 years' experience working within marketing agencies and the commercial sector. As well as being a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ben is a regular speaker at marketing events and conferences across the country, offering advice and insight into the world of content marketing, personal branding and social media management.