Think “content marketing” is a new internet thing. Think again. One of the earliest recognised examples of content marketing dates back to 1895. Yes you read that right – 1895.
But I thought it was an internet thing? Well, it turns out the internet is perfect for content marketing.
Okay, so what is content marketing anyway? Well, remember that 1895 example. John Deere made tractors and farm equipment. Not quite the kind of business or brand we imagine doing content marketing in 2021. Back then, John Deere created a publication just to give their customers helpful information – and talk about their products and expertise at the same time. The result was The Furrow – a publication that’s still going today – and yes, you can find it online.
Before we dive into today’s 5 content marketing ideas, let’s recap on what content marketing is and what we’re trying to achieve.
The essential principle of content marketing is that your audience have specific, common interests. Producing relevant, useful content for your audience allows you to connect and build deep levels of trust. At it’s most basic, content marketing could be a company blog. At it’s most imaginative the Burberry Kisses content marketing campaign. You want to produce content that educates or entertains (or both).
Trying to build your local surfwear brand? Consider interviewing some local up and coming surfers (entertain). Making your Facebook page the go-to for local surf updates (educate). IN this way, content marketing not only keeps your brand front of mind, you’re constantly building crucial trust and credibility with your audience.
The humble blog should not be overlooked as a super effective form of content marketing. In fact, it’s a great example of how producing blog content is not only good for your existing audience or customers, but can of course connect you with brand new audiences and customers.
Content Marketing Idea #1 – Free Downloadable eBook
This works really well for businesses associated with products or services that have long ‘research” periods during the buying phase. One client working in a specialist area of SMSF property investment. It’s an area of many myths and questions, with clients likely to undertake considerable information gathering before deciding to proceed. As industry veterans, they decided to put their key knowledge into a book and make it available to website visitors to download on providing their email address.
Idea #2 – Create a FAQ Video Series
Many small businesses find it difficult to come up with content ideas. Putting together a list of your customers most frequently asked questions is a great way to come up with instant educational content. As the internet gets faster and faster, video is becoming a built in part of our browsing experience. Did you know – around one million minutes worth of video is watched every second! A series of short (even a minute or two) videos gives you compelling content to share on your website, YouTube and Facebook.
Content Marketing Idea #3 – Commit To Blogging
There are not too many – if any- businesses that can’t benefit from having a well-maintained blog. The lasting power of an effective well, written post cannot be underestimate. I’ve worked with clients whose websites are still drawing heaps of website visitors from single blog posts written years ago. Carefully targeted, optimised posts have this potential.
#4 – Back to Basics SEO
If it’s worth writing about, it’s worth optimising! Many blogs provide great value content but just aren’t that accessible for search engines – and could be missing out on valuable search traffic. Simple steps like ensuring your page titles and descriptions as well as headings and text include relevant keywords can make a lot of difference. Professional web design ensures your content looks great – just make sure it’s optimised as well.
Content Marketing Idea #5 – Make It Easy To Access and Use
The biggest internet players like Google are increasingly recognising that accessibility is paramount. This shows in the increasing importance G gives to website accessibility – how easy it is for visitors to load and navigate your website – especially on mobile (G have indicated that this is now a ranking signal). It’s no use having great content if its not easy for people to access.
Most content marketing will reach your visitors on mobile. Take some time to check your content on various devices and locations – like when your in poor service area. That awesome 15 minute video you have embedded on your website might look fantastic in the office, but might not go so well for someone browsing out and about.
#6 – Make It Multichannel
Creating great content takes time and resources – so you want your effort to go as far as possible. If you’ve previously been publishing YouTube content, start creating transcripts and posting them as articles on your website. This is a super easy to create top written content (there are cost-effective transcript services online). You might also think about taking key snippets of video and posting them to your socials. Or you could add key quotes from the video to simple branded images and post to Instagram.
Content Marketing Idea #7 – Stop Creating Content.
Huh? Yep, some of the very best content marketing comes from – you guessed it – your customers and your audience. Running a local pet store? Think about running a FB competition for cutest / whateverest pet! A surf school could encourage clients to upload / share their own video. Finding ways to have your customers and audience create content for you is invaluable. It deepens their level of engagement which means a stronger connection between them and your business.
Most often, successful content marketing is a long-term strategy. Remember, your goal is to provide value. By its nature, content marketing might not deliver immediate results – and bottom line results can sometimes be difficult to measure in the short term. An important consideration with content marketing gives us our bonus tip.
Content Marketing 2021 – Make It Last
An often overlooked advantage of content marketing is its ability to deliver returns well into the future. Here, we have clients continuing to get daily enquiries directly from single blog posts published 5+ years ago. Those posts might have cost a couple of hundred dollars to produce – and have returned many factors of that in income!