We have talked many times about the value of content marketing: providing information that is of value to your target audience builds trust in you as an expert in your field. As something that you can put together yourself, even with limited resources, it is the most cost-effective way to reach your (potential) customers.
It is worth investing a significant portion of your time developing and curating this content. Everyone is time-poor though, right? I know, I know, we hear it all the time. Surely there’s a shortcut? Well…no. Unless you have the budget to be able to outsource your content creation, it’s just something that you’re going to have to suck up and make time for. How are you going to market any product without proving to your audience that it’s worth the investment of their precious time and/or money, after all?
I have put together a very basic list of some simple content marketing ideas to get you started, focussed on what we share over our social channels (we mainly use Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and LinkedIn, but that may be different for you) to amplify our message.
You will hopefully have seen that we recently launched ‘Digital Noir Presents: The Podcast’ (which is one form of content in itself!). Once you’ve finished reading this, head over there and have a listen. In the quest to convince even our existing followers to listen and subscribe, we need to use our social channels as marketing platforms, so I will use this as an example below of how some of these forms of content could be used.
The power of video
It’s hard to deny the epic rise of video as a content marketing tool. Just a quick scroll through your own News Feed, and increasingly now your Instagram feed, is proof enough. At DN we use video in a number of ways, including:
- Live video
- Micro video (Instagram stories)
Using our podcast promotion example, we could produce videos of the recording of the podcast, including some behind-the-scenes extras that wouldn’t be available to listeners. Or use our series of Vlogs, live video and/or Instagram stories to increase awareness of the podcast, and encourage viewers to listen and subscribe.
Our gossip column
Creating your own original content through a blog gives you complete control over your message. In a similar way to video, this is YOUR digital real estate, no-one else’s! We are lucky to have our entire team on the bandwagon creating content for our blog, which means we always have a wide range of topics up for discussion, including:
- Tips and tricks
- Team gossip
- Business advice
- Industry news
Referring back to the podcast, what’s to stop us writing a blog about the podcast production itself, or even better a complementary piece and/or transcript of a specific episode?
A picture tells a thousand words
For us, maybe because of the nature of our industry, images normally either take the form of ads or are the supporting act for our brand via Instagram, showing off (if you can use that term!) our team, our work culture, our studio etc. If it’s relevant to your industry, this could also include images of your product/store etc.
Recently we have been using images of snippets of our blog posts to direct people towards our blog page, and this same technique could be utilised to promote each new podcast episode, in addition to behind-the-scenes photos from the recording, and images of any podcast guests. In the absence of an original image of the guest (let’s say they join us over skype or by phone), we could share one of their social images, which leads me on to…
Sharing is caring
If you genuinely do not have time to create a backlog of your own original content, you could share that of others in your field. Even if you do have your own content, this can be a handy way of filling in any gaps in your content calendar or covering a hot topic that you don’t have the resources immediately available to write/talk about. Just make sure you’re giving out quality information that will be of value to the audience you are trying to connect with.
You could try sharing someone else’s social posts or linking to interesting and relevant blog articles/landing pages. If you do, be sure to create your own compelling post explaining your angle.
For example, for Digital Noir Presents, we could share a link to a guest’s site, or promote their upcoming event/ebook/whatever! If we don’t have a guest, it could be a good idea to share a recent news article that is relevant to the subject.
Sadly, none of these forms of content can exist in a vacuum, and they cannot simply be done once and forgotten about. Creating the type of content that your audience wants to consume and leaves them with a positive sentiment about you is HARD, there’s no getting around it! With a bit of effort and planning, a consistent content marketing strategy promoted through the right channels can reap rewards for any type of business.