As brands seek effective ways to engage with customers and attract new business, they are choosing to use some form of digital content marketing. Digital content marketing is, in many ways, more effective than paid advertising, though the two can complement one another. What makes quality content so valuable is that it’s not overtly promotional. Rather, it’s made to actually serve readers/viewers/listeners. And, in so doing, it helps to build your credibility and authority. Let’s look at some of the best ways to leverage the power and influence of digital content marketing.
What Makes Content Compelling?
Digital content includes a wide variety of items from blog posts to videos. If you’re creating content to promote your business, though, you need a strategy. Here are some of the main guidelines to make your digital content effective and compelling.
- • Identify your goals. While all businesses want more customers and to increase profits, you need a specific content marketing strategy. For example, are you trying to build an email list, increase brand awareness, get people to come to your storefront business, or sell products from your website? You may have one or more of these goals or others but it’s important to clarify your objectives.
- • Target your audience. Before you can create effective content, you need to identify your target audience. A buyer persona helps you create the kind of content your customers appreciate. What are your customers’ interests, needs, problems, and preferences? The answers to these questions determine the kind of content you create for them. It also lets you know where your buyers hang out. For example, are they more likely to use Snapchat, LinkedIn, or Instagram?
- • Connecting and tracking. Once you identify your audience, you need to create the kind of content that appeals to them. This includes subject matter, format, and style. Tools such as Google Analytics help you track engagement for your content so you can refine your approach over time.
- • Branding. While it’s commonly noted that you need “quality content,” which is true as far as it goes. If you’re publishing blog posts or articles, they should be well written and accurate. Quality photos are always better than stock images. However, it’s equally important that your content is distinctive and helps you brand yourself. Branding includes your style, voice, layout, colors, and using your logo.
- • Shareable Content. One often-successful method of marketing is being able to create content that people are willing to share and promote. With an endless stream of digital content, making yours stand out from the crowd will only help your brand in the long run. Whether it is a beautiful video, enticing offer, or eye-catching photo, a shareable piece of content can engage current customers and attract new ones as well.
- • Consistency. One of the major components of successful content marketing campaigns is consistency. It’s essential to create content regularly so that your readers and followers get accustomed to seeing you on their favorite platforms. Finding the right schedule for publishing content requires you to research and test your results.
Examples of Successful Digital Content Marketing
While content marketing is everywhere today, not all of it produces the desired results. With so many websites, Facebook pages, YouTube channels, Instagram accounts and other types of content, the competition for customers’ attention is fierce. In order to break through and get noticed, you have to make a strong impression. Let’s look at some brands that are especially effective at creating compelling content.
- • Whole Foods – As interest in natural foods and healthy lifestyles builds, Whole Foods Market has attracted millions of loyal customers. Now that Amazon bought Whole Foods, it’s likely to grow even faster. Whole Foods focuses on its customers in its content strategy, publishing recipes, nutritional information, great images of dishes, and the latest foodie trends. Of course, all of this helps them sell more products, but the approach makes their popular social media accounts helpful and engaging. Their YouTube channel, for example, which currently has more than 74,000 followers, releases engaging new videos every week.
- • Airbnb – This company is famous for disrupting the hospitality industry by matching homeowners with extra rooms with travelers. Airbnb, however, is moving beyond rooms and expanding into other areas of the travel industry. Their website now lists experiences and events as well as accommodations. One of the major ways that this company reaches its customers is through social media. With over 1 million Instagram followers, travel guidebooks, and even a print magazine, Airbnb creates informative content for travelers. They also encourage their customers to not simply buy and sell services but to build a global community of people who form friendships and help one another out.
- • Geico – The Geico Gecko has long been one of the most recognizable advertising icons. That’s just one example of how this insurance company successfully brands itself. Today, Geico has gone far beyond TV commercials and billboards and produces extremely engaging social media content. As with many successful content marketing brands, Geico publishes lots of useful content on its blog and social media pages. Homeowners, drivers, renters, and others who need insurance policies are a very broad potential audience yet Geico manages to create helpful content for these and other demographics. Rather than promote insurance directly, they’ll publish articles on driver safety, home improvement, travel tips, and other relevant topics.
- • Warby Parker – This innovative company revolutionized the eyewear industry by offering reasonably priced eyeglasses online. Their products, however, are only one reason for their success. They’ve also succeeded in the content marketing department. Social responsibility, which is especially important to millennials, is a strong part of Warby Parker’s brand identity. For every pair of glasses sold, Warby Parker donates one pair. They have a dedicated social media team that responds to all Facebook posts left on their page. They also create an engaging blog that covers all kinds of topics that appeal to their hip and worldly customers.
These are just a few examples of brands that effectively leverage the power of digital content marketing. Everyone from small startups to multinational corporations now employ some type of content marketing every day. Naturally, when you create your own strategy you need to tailor it to your own needs. However, it’s always helpful to study the approach taken by large companies with a strong track record in engaging their audience with great content.
Does your brand need to implement a digital content marketing strategy?
Simply put, yes. If your brand is not employing some form of content marketing then you are bound to fall behind the competition. To learn more about how your brand can benefit from digital content marketing, contact Mediaboom.
By: Frank DePino
Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.