Who Said Content Marketing Was Hard?
Content marketing is a powerful thing, and allows brand marketers to add significant strength to your brand messaging as well as overall awareness. Everywhere you turn 'content marketing' is being discussed as the next great big thing to happen to advertising.
And you know what? If your brand isn't utilizing it, then you are missing out on a great opportunity for exposure. In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares the the top 8 ways you can leverage your branded content marketing.
Content Marketing Power
The purpose of this blog is to explain how the other half of content marketing (cough cough MARKETING) ties into the content part. It’s really easy to forget about the “m” word. When you’re busy adding in rainbows to your blogs' opening image (guilty), focusing on the marketing aspect may quickly be forgotten. However, it is just as important to have a plan for distribution as it is to plan out your creative strategy.
Ideally, a marriage of the two concepts will yield exponentially greater results than simply making pretty or compelling content. If no one sees that “How To Raise Digital Ponies Successfully“ podcast, it won’t matter how much you care about digitized animal care. And caught your attention right? You want to know if that is really a thing.
So let's chat about 5 various ways content marketing is utilized.
- Word of Mouth
- Social Media
Channel 1: SEO
If the average teenager was a content marketing tool, this angsty brat would most certainly be SEO.
Search engines are widely debated, but largely accepted, to be the best marketing channel to acquire attention. Not only are they the most natural way for people to discover new brands, but they are also one of the more reliable marketing channels when it comes to direct consumer conversion. This tool is so ingrained into who we are as an online culture that, according to Google, 89% of B2B buyers and 81% of online shoppers use search engines to research new products and services. So, in a Google sized nutshell, if you are searchable, you shall be found.
One beautiful way to be easily found through Google is, of course, blogging! More specifically though, there is a special technique known as the pillar cluster model that will actually help to drive more traffic to your blog. The idea is that you have a main page (the pillar) that provides information cluster pages that dive into the main topic’s subtopics. You’ll then hyperlink those cluster pages into your pillar page allowing Google to recognize your pillar page as an authority or expert on the topic.
Using this strategy, you’ll create a single pillar page that provides a high-level overview of a topic and hyperlinks to cluster pages that delve into the topic’s subtopics. This signals to Google that your pillar page is an authority on the topic.
Hyperlinking all of the cluster pages to the pillar page also spreads domain authority across the cluster, so your cluster pages will receive an organic boost if your pillar page ranks higher. Your cluster pages can even help your pillar page rank higher if they start ranking for the specific keyword they’re targeting.
And yep - we do pillar clusters for our own blog.
Channel 2: Word of Mouth
The age old joke about lawyers and eternal damnation may need a new update. To keep it simple, only 4% of consumers believe marketers practice integrity. That is…pretty low. Lawyers rejoice!
Marketing can become very difficult when the individuals you are trying to persuade fundamentally do not trust you. Try getting a high-five from a five year old who’s toy you stole. It won’t work. Trust has been lost.
There are reasons behind the lost trust though. According to 4As Chief Marketing Officer Alison Fahey, “Consumers are getting more astute about news, media and advertising," she says. Customers are undeniably becoming smarter. The access to instant information has made it very hard for marketers to praise their own product.
“Consumers are getting more astute about news, media and advertising." - 4As Chief Marketing Officer Alison Fahey
The word of the customer has far more weight than that of the agenda minded marketer. Consumers can smell your self imposed motives from a mile away. They do not trust an idea, but they do trust a fellow consumer. Focus on creating an excellent product and unmatched customer service in order to win over consumers. Once won, they will use word of mouth to spread the gospel of your product throughout the seven digital seas (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, and Tik Tok).
Channel 3: Podcasts
This auditory behemoth has been around for over a decade, yet it only truly reached its peak a few years ago. The medium allows listeners to select from an astounding catalog of niche-based podcasts that literally anyone can relate to. You simply have to search for your interests, and a podcast that matches your tastes will surely pop up.
According to Edison Research and Triton Digital, people are spending 17 hours weekly to tune into their favorite podcasts.
“This is a watershed moment for podcasting–a true milestone. With over half of Americans 12+ saying that they have ever listened to a podcast, the medium has firmly crossed into the mainstream,” noted Tom Webster, Senior Vice President at Edison Research.
The past year alone has seen 14 million more weekly podcast listeners than ever before. Simply put, this is a heavily desirable medium that you should consider diving into. That being said, simply having a podcast is not enough. You must keep the attention of the viewer. Create a show concept that is unique to you. Tell stories that would genuinely make your ears perk up. Do not be afraid to venture into the unknown of storytelling, as the rewards for creating a compelling narrative are truly great.
And check out Hollywood Branded's podcast for marketers!!!
Channel 4: Email
Dare we say it, but this year’s MVP might have to go to emails. They may not be as initially awe-inspiring as the abbreviated coolness of SEO, but they have survived the yearly existential threat of dying out due to “the times.” Emails are like the gall bladders of the internet, everyone has one, even if they sometimes forget they do. Their ubiquitous nature, and the fact that email usage continues to grow year to year, makes them a must have for content marketing. After all - once you have built that content, you DO have to find a way to share it. And for podcasts and blogs email e-newsletters are a perfect option. Besides RSS feeds.
In order to maximize your email service, one must adopt the mentality that emails are actually chia pets. They take tender loving care (and sometimes a blind eye to aesthetic taste) in order to nurture before they can truly grow. This is why some of your favorite publications, brands or blogs have email subscriber lists. The faster you are able to get someone to subscribe to your emails, the sooner they will be able to relieve the information and content that you are displaying.
Channel 5: Social Media
The truth is, this one should be obvious! Social media has intercepted, infected, and inspired an entirely new culture of thought and ideation. Despite creating tunnels of content marketing potential, content marketers are still often left feeling completely overwhelmed and discouraged.
Sure, social media allows multiple platforms for your message to be thrown at the unassuming public; but as previously discussed, the public is NOT unassuming. They are rather smart, and will know when you are desperate.
Social media has had significant time to grow its multiple platforms into automated content delivering systems. People are used to receiving content at any moment of the day, so there is no need to rush into flooding their timelines because you will be swallowed. The best is to instead strategize a way to cut through the noise of uninteresting and mediocre content.
You deserve to be seen, right? Then prove to the viewer that you aren’t doing this just to turn them into a dollar sign. Interact with digital users. Share insightful knowledge about topics you feel passionate about. Make the viewer feel as though they are the only people in the room reading your status update. Speak to them, and they will become your customers.
Channel 6: Continue Creating Relevant Content
While evergreen content is always sure to keep readers and customers coming back, it can be difficult to get your name out there if you're only publishing niche content.
Creating content that is both relevant to your audience as well as content relevant to the general public will help increase traffic to your website. Creating content that has to do with current events (but still ties back to your brand in one way or another) can not only bring in new readers, but it can also show your current readers that you are tuned-in to current events, whether they be politics or pop culture.
Channel 7: Prioritize Authenticity
Authenticity in all aspects of content marketing is vital. A big way to gain trust with customers is through authenticity, and doing so by developing a strong brand voice across all platforms is perfect. Having a single voice across all virtual platforms creates a sense of repetition and can help customers quickly recognize your brand.
Not only can authenticity help catapult your brand to widespread recognition, but it can also help you become a trusted source. Branding yourself as an entity rooted in education, in any capacity, and consistently publishing content that educates the public on a subject that you are an expert on allows you to become a trusted source. The more you write about a topic, the more you will show up in SEO searches, and the more recognizable your name and brand will be!
Channel 8: Publish E-Books
Do you have tons of content related to one specific subject, with nowhere to showcase it? E-books are a great way to share related content in an educational way that also helps heighten your credibility! Publishing e-books gives brands the opportunity to get into book publishing - in a way that is accessible and affordable for both the brand and the consumer.
Publishing an e-book is easy - and much cheaper than publishing a physical copy of a book! Compiling pre-written work that is relevant to the topic of the e-book will help lessen the load, and formatting the e-book to make it easy to read and digest will allow for the piece to be published as quickly as possible.
Creating content can be an incredibly satisfying process, but that doesn’t mean marketing the content the right way can’t be either. By utilizing the 5 channels discussed in this blog, your content marketing efforts will not go unnoticed. You may even experience an intense surge in the amount of people actively speaking about you. Ease and efficient will become your most sought after companions.
As promised, here are a few links to previous blogs that feature essential guides to creating social media content effortlessly.
- Why Brands Can Benefit From Micro-Influencer Partnerships
- 3 Qualities To Look For In A Social Influencer
- 4 Trends For Influencer Marketing In 2018
- 5 Steps For Brands To Stand Out On Instagram
And make sure you check out our e-book guide to Product Placement by clicking the image below! It provides insider advice on how you can best leverage content partnerships for your brand.