Content marketing isn’t a thing

What’s that now?

You heard me. I don’t believe that content marketing is a helpful term. It puts forward the idea that it could be a tactic that you choose to implement or one that you don’t – like social marketing, search marketing, email marketing etc.

Having a content strategy, however, is something that every business, regardless size or type, needs to have. It’s your one tool to help your customers know who you are and what you do. Your content keeps your business alive, growing and your customers engaged.

The reality is that if your brand is the skeleton of your business – who you are, what you are and how you operate – then your content is the blood of your business.

In order to nail a content strategy you need to:

  1. Ensure it meets your audience’s needs: make sure that every single piece of content is one that addresses your customers’ needs in a way that is right for them. Make sure it aligns to your objectives and who you are as a brand.
  2. Ensure you have the right channels to distribute it: it’s no good having all this great content if you aren’t putting it out there in a way that is accessible to your audience and via a mechanism that is preferable to them. It’s like telling someone you are holding a coffee for them – they reach out and you don’t have an arm or hand to even be holding that coffee. So where will they find it?
  3. Continually review and renew content as appropriate: make sure you have a mix of content that has a short lifespan and a long lifespan. You should be reviewing the performance of your content, adjusting it and renewing it if it’s become outdated. Make sure you analyse the data you have in order to make informed decisions about your go-forward plan.

If you get this right, your content will engage your audience, help people to learn about your business, encourage purchase and increase the likeliness of retention.

If you don’t get it right – the rest of your strategy is redundant. What use is a skeleton, organs, muscles and limbs if you don’t have blood flowing through it that contains right levels of oxygen, nutrients etc?

How to adapt your marketing strategy in times of uncertainty

Wow. What a year the last couple of weeks have been. COVID-19 has taken over. There’s a lot of stress, worry and uncertainty around right now – both personally and professionally. While I’m not a health expert and can’t comment on the medical situation, what I am is a marketing expert with extensive experience in reactive and adaptive marketing. So, for all you business owners/marketing folks/freelancers out there I’m here to provide you with some guidance on how to pivot, adapt and keep on track during this turbulent time.

The first thing to do is to ask yourself three key questions:

  1. What do you want your customers to feel?
  2. What do you want your customers to think?
  3. What do you want your customers to do?

From this you can work out where you want to head with your content & distribution.

Let’s start with how you want your customers to feel – let’s face it, right now, this may have changed from your usual tone/strategy. Building an emotional connection with your customers/followers (I will use these terms interchangeably) is the best way to ensure retention and attract new customers. People love relatable content and content that makes them feel good. For me, it’s about giving people hope and some positivity in their day – I want my clients/followers to feel confident and sure that there is a future past what we are experiencing right now.

Now, secondly, what do you want your customers to think? Again, in the context of my own business, I want my followers and clients to think they have the power to get through this. I want them to think that they have the strategy to go forward, connect with their customers and I want them to be thinking about the opportunities they have.

And finally: what do you want your customers to do?  I want my clients and followers to adapt their marketing strategy, reach out for help where needed and have confidence in adjusting their content tonality. 

Once you know the answer to these questions you can adjust your content and distribution channels accordingly. For example – for me right now it’s not about acquiring new paying clients it’s about inspiring confidence and helping struggling business owners/marketers. Therefore, with my content, I aim to provide positivity and tips for adjusting in this weird period. I’ve opened my doors to free consultations to work with my clients on how they can continue to build connections or a following base whilst not being physically open for business. For gyms/personal trainers this means focusing on building an online rapport with people & understanding opportunities to virtualise their services.  For coffee shop or restaurant owners – it’s helping people to re-create their favourite beverage or meal in the comfort of their own home, providing comical relief and keeping the conversation going for when business re-opens. It varies per business but the underlying principles are the same – think about what you want your customers to feel, think and do.

Once you’ve established the above, you can focus in on your channel strategy. Figure out which channels or tactics leave your brand at risk and pull back from them. For example – ensure that you are not monetising against any negative content, don’t be at risk of sharing fake news or information that is not validated by professionals. Be careful not to comment on areas that you don’t have the expertise in – authenticity and integrity are key. If email plays a key part of your strategy then assess whether the tone or content needs to change here.

Do share how your company is reacting to the situation – keep your customers up to date. This isn’t about switching off your marketing, it’s about being sensitive to the situation, your customers and understanding your role in this.

If you want someone to brainstorm with, provide advice then Pink Digital are open! We’re offering free consultations and advice until the end of April 2020 – get in touch via the form below, or if you’d rather, drop us a message on social.

Sunset over sea

Seasonality & strategy

As the weather (hopefully) starts to warm up and we find ourselves wanting to spend more time outside in the sunshine it’s worth thinking about how the seasons impact your business.

Why? Because this can seriously impact your marketing strategy – from a content and investment standpoint.

If you have been around for a few years: the first step is to really take a look at your numbers – do you see more sales/revenue/bookings/attendees/customers at certain points in the year? Is this at the same point year over year? Can you attribute this to anything in particular?

If you’re just starting out: the first step is to do some research! Do you know who your customers are/will be and do you know how your industry works?

For example, nail salons: when do people want their nails to look nice? On holiday, for a special occasion (maybe Christmas?), etc. So… create content that is relevant to these points that are going to speak to your audience! It’s simple but it does require some thought & planning – plus, you don’t need to capitalise on every moment in time, be strategic.

The same can be applied for investment – though this will really depend on your objectives. One way to look at this is through the example of retail. Retailers, understandably, generate a big proportion of their revenue over the holiday period (during 2019, the average weekly value of retail increased 28.8% during the month of December against the full year average – I calculated this based on statistics available here). It’s fairly common knowledge (and sense) that everyone is going to be shopping more in that run up to Christmas; so why not capitalise here, and put what marketing budget you have, against period in time you know your customers are active in. It’s no secret that existing organisations do this – hello, have you seen all the Christmas ads in the UK?!

You can apply seasonality across all your marketing tactics – no matter what your budget size or channel mix.

Are you no to low budget and utilising mostly social? Great. Perfect your content and increase your push during your key periods.

Do you have a little more and are utilising paid search? Even better. Ensure you have full coverage across your search terms and be more aggressive when you know customers are needing your services.

Do you have an abundance of marketing budget to spend? Fabulous – I would hope you have a marketing team and/or agency that have already got this down as part of their strategy (and if you don’t, email us!! We can help).

If the ideas mentioned above resonate well with you but you just don’t know where to start then, drop us a note below and see how we can help.