Content is capable of doing a lot of things. It can boost engagement, raise brand awareness, and drive sales. Marketers have acknowledged the fact that quality and informative content is the key to a customer’s heart, and, as a result, many brands in 2018 like to consider themselves as content producers and publishers. In fact, it’s no longer an option for a brand to create conversation and engagement. It is, in fact, mandatory if you wish to retain your existing customers and attract new ones.
Personalization is paramount
To drive engagement, there are a few things to bear in mind. Firstly, there’s the presentation. The content needs to create interest, which means that it should be enlightening, empowering, entertaining, and informing. The topic, of course, is also important. Conversations are driven by the topic’s relevance and currency. There’s also personalization, as it’s extremely important for content to really speak to the reader, in order to create engagement. Personalization requires in-depth research, along with coordination between customer service, automation specialists, technical marketers, content creators, and more. Personalization may be a subjective aspect of content marketing, but the value and message of your brand should remain consistent across the board. A collaboration tool such as Trello or Workzone can ensure that everyone remains in sync with one another. If team-based tasks become disorganized, personalization can very quickly turn sour.
This is a great way to improve engagement and your brand’s online profile at the same time. One way to encourage user-generated content is to experiment with hashtags that build brand association. From Oreo’s #OreoHorrorStories to KFC’s #NationalFriedChickenDay, hashtags can prove to be phenomenally successful to your brand’s campaign, along with its overall profile. It might take a certain level of innovation but, once you have come up with a winner, its value can far exceed the time and effort invested.
We live in a social world
Social media is undoubtedly the best way to engage your audience. It’s where your customers are, and so where you should be, too. It’s important to have a consistent game plan, however, so that you stay in the mind of your target market. To start with, you’ll need to decide which social platform/s are right for you. The most popular are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, but which one/s you use depends on your brand, your products and services, and the demographics of your audience. Post every day, and ensure to combine helpful and witty content with promotional content. You’ll want to emphasize the former, however, because, if your audience feels that you’re just selling them to all of the time, they’ll quickly be turned off. You’ll also want to mix things up by using images and video. When it comes to engaging, remember a conversation isn’t just one way. Don’t just talk to them, but listen and respond.
Interactivity breeds engagement
A great example of engagement is the endless volume of quizzes that appear on Facebook. Buzzfeed, in particular, does a great job of creating quizzes.
They’re simple to produce but the volume of traffic that they generate is immense, bringing in millions of dollars worth of advertising. Another example of effective interactive content is AirBnB. The company has been on a roll since its launch. Not only was it named the best company to work for in America, and on multiple occasions, it’s also doing an outstanding job of content marketing. Its interactive content shows the financial impact it has on specific areas, in addition to the total money earned by hosts. This achieves a number of things. It not only attracts attention from some of the major news outlets but also acts a positive indicator for anyone considering becoming a host. ALS created one of the most popular interactive content marketing campaigns in recent years. The foundation did a fantastic job of raising awareness when it launched the Ice Bucket Challenge, encouraging people to do something just for fun and record and share it on social media. If anyone refused to take part, they were expected to donate funds to the charity.
Content comes in many forms
Long gone are the days when content was no more than the written word. Video is powerful and is a great way to either make your audience laugh or tug at their heartstrings. A great example of the latter is from Thai Life Insurance. A video from 2014 caught the attention of people the world over with its heart-warming video and has received over 280,000,000 views and more than 6,500 comments. Squatty Potty illustrated perfectly how a brand can take a boring product and turn it into a fun campaign. With their video, The Unicorn Changed the Way I Poop, the company’s marketing guys attracted more than 27,000,000 YouTube videos and more than 5,700 comments. Graphics are a great way of getting information across without the reader having to wade through reams of written content. One of the more popular forms of graphic-based content is the infographic. Betway Casino, for example, recently created the “millionaire to billionaire” infographic, which provides snapshot information on the world’s 100 richest individuals and their journey on their way to billions, including how fast it took to get them there. Similarly, Statista, an online statistics portal, creates regular infographics on topics as diverse as Premier League football, unemployment and technology.
Understanding your audience
Engagement is needed to draw attention to your brand and to improve awareness. In order to achieve engagement, it’s key to understand your audience, along with its preferences, likes, and interests. It’s also important to understand consumer behavior. Knowing your audience’s geographical, cultural and demographic spread will help you to provide more contextualized content.
Once you have mastered the art of content marketing to drive engagement and increase awareness of your brand, you will find that measuring the success of your content marketing campaigns is an art in itself. It’s an art that you will ultimately need to understand, however, to prove to yourself and your business that you are doing content marketing right.
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