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Content marketing is a big deal. There is no better way to establish your brand and build an audience. The trick is to tell a cohesive and captivating story across all social media platforms that aligns with your tribe’s greatest desires and way of perceiving the world. Continue reading for actionable strategies and tactics that will make you a more masterful storyteller.
First, You Must Know Your Audience Before You Can Provide Them with Great Content Marketing
- Where do they live?
- When were they born?
- What are their struggles?
- Whom do they most admire?
- Why should they listen to you?
It’s impossible to know too much about your target audience. The more you know, the better you will be able to serve them up great content marketing. But before you can devise a content strategy, you have to build those connections. That won’t happen if you don’t intentionally search for similarities such as shared values and world views.
Shared values are a powerful magnet that attracts the “right” people. For evidence, observe how passionately people argue about politics on the Internet. This is often taken too far, and folks on the opposing side are labeled “outsiders” or even “enemies.” Nasty stuff.
For Better Marketing, Aim Your Content Toward Those with Similar World Views
On the other hand, people who share the same belief system easily align and find a reason to become friends, without knowing anything else about each other’s personalities. Most people naturally seek companionship from people who share the same beliefs.
It’s probably best not to discuss politics unless you want to alienate half of your potential customers. Clearly, though, values, world views, and belief systems carry a great deal of emotional weight. They are integral to our identity.
That said, it is smart to associate your business with a cause or passion that the people fitting your demographic profile identify with. Politics and religion are the most obvious examples, but there is an abundance of less controversial and risky options.
Let’s illustrate these points with an example most people can relate to. Almost everyone likes dogs and/or cats, right? So, a guy could launch a dog walking service and promote it by writing content about the kind of lifestyle every pet deserves.
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People who agree will like and share the content because it aligns with their beliefs. Important: don’t try to change people’s minds. It’s a losing battle. Instead, do your best to create the greatest argument ever written in favor of a common opinion held by your followers.
Nobody ever shared an article saying, “I was wrong about everything until this writer opened my eyes!” People want to look smart and feel good about themselves. So, write a post that confirms what they already believe and phrases their perspective better than they know how to.
They’ll share your content marketing with a status post along the lines of, “Wow, I couldn’t have said it better!”
Second, You Must Utilize a Solid System
People spend more than two hours a day on social media platforms. You had better be there!
However, keep in mind that different stories and styles of content marketing perform better on different social media websites.
Facebook dwarfs its competitors with 2.6 billion active monthly users, so you should start here. This platform has a casual feel. For the most part, people are hanging out. See it as a low-key get-together with a small handful of friends.
LinkedIn has “only” 575 million users but is also the preferred social media app for professionals. This website isn’t the place to let your hair down. People get irritated when they see posts that come off as unprofessional. You have to be careful about your phrasing and word choices here.
Twitter comes in last place with 330 million active users but is still worth your attention. This app is like speed dating. You’ll often see tweets from people you’ve never met. Then, if you like their vibe, you can commit by clicking the follow button. Tweets must be concise, precise, impactful, and hashtagged strategically to stand a chance of being noticed in this fast-paced environment.
How Can You Put This to Good Use in Your Content Marketing Strategy?
So now, let’s come back to our hypothetical dog walker. How could he use each social media platform effectively? Note: these principles can be applied to any type of business. They’re just easier to understand when illustrated with real-world examples. Remember the principles, use case studies as inspiration, and apply the takeaways to your own content marketing strategy.
Facebook is for casual conversation. So our dog walker would be smart to share selfies taken with all the dogs he walks. Note: you want to associate your face with the business as much as possible since people are more interested in a personal connection than whatever product or service you’re selling. The more people see your face, the more they’ll feel as if they can trust you.
The selfies could be combined with content designed to provoke a laugh, a smile, or a happy sigh. There are many possibilities here. Our guy could make up a different fun fact every time he shares a dog photo. Or he could snap a pic of the pup striking a pose and combine that with a fake but amusing online dating profile. Such posts would earn a lot of likes!
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LinkedIn would require a more polished approach. “Fun” isn’t banned, but “professional” is ideal. Perhaps the dog walker could snap photos of pets with their owners and tell a heart-warming story about how they met. Or he could request a testimonial. (Hint: Most clients or customers will gladly provide one if you do a good job) Then copy and paste the customer review into the status update box.
Twitter is the trickiest one. Building momentum is super difficult when you don’t have a long list of followers. Before you write a single tweet, find and follow people with a similar type of business and watch their posts closely. Note the style, structure, and tone of their content. Make a list of their hashtag choices and explore the most popular tweets for each one. Use this data to make informed decisions about how you’ll leverage Twitter. It takes creativity but you can do it!
Third, You Must Collect Leads and Prospects
Some content marketers worry about what would happen if social media websites went bust. While that seems unlikely, it never hurts to be prepared. Therefore, you should consider email marketing. That’s the best way to move potential clients or customers off of social media platforms and onto your own list. If Facebook suffers the same fate as Myspace, you’ll still be able to contact them. Try another service other than Mailchimp.
There are many email marketing services available. They all accomplish the same thing, but with a slightly different user interface. Try experimenting (most offer a free trial) until you identify one that provides a stellar and seamless experience. It comes down to your needs and preferences.
What’s the Best Way to Build a List?
To build your email list, simply share a link to a sign-up form. (The services above make it easy to create one.) Do this at least twice a week on all your social media platforms. For example, you could add a comment beneath your Facebook posts that says, “If you would like me to deliver more content just like this straight to your inbox, visit this link to subscribe now.” It’s also wise to offer a “subscribers only” discount in exchange for their email address. Most people love a good deal!
For best results, consider investing in one of the email marketing courses. Building this skill requires a deeper dive than we can realistically provide in a single thousand-word article. But you can use the strategies and tactics already discussed here in the meanwhile. The main objective is to write your emails in a friendly tone. People are sick of spam and sales pitches. You have to earn trust and build a connection. If you scream, “Buy my stuff,” nobody will bother reading an email from you. So pretend you’re writing notes to a pen pal and include links to paid products/services in the footer.
Thanks for reading to the end! Don’t forget to bookmark this article so you can reference it later. And feel free to share it with any friends or colleagues who want to get better at content marketing.