Here’s a fun fact for you: the word “content” is what’s known as a homograph. It’s a word with two definitions but identical spelling. Without context, you wouldn’t know if I’m talking about the contents of a box or a feeling of satisfaction. Funny enough, your brand message works much the same way.
Your audience is starving for content (both kinds!), and if you serve them the right kind, they will devour it. A steady diet of thoughtful, helpful content will leave them wanting more from your brand. It’s an integral part of today’s so-called “buyer’s journey.”
Our agency recently learned a thing or two about this very concept when we became Inbound Marketing Certified by Hubspot this year (we had to brag). So, your brief English lesson comes with a free bonus course on how you can find contentment with your brand’s content marketing strategy.
What is content?
That’s a good question. Put simply, it’s the container for any message you want to deliver to the world. It’s your brand’s bread and butter—without it, your audience will go hungry. Your customers (and potential customers) are people with a specific problem. The job of your content is to help them solve that problem.
Your content serves to educate (and entertain) your audience about their specific issues and their possible solutions. This of course helps influence the answer to their most important question: “Why should I buy from you?”
Put yourself in their shoes. Let’s say you want to buy a lawnmower. You may Google a question like, “Do I need a new lawnmower or can I fix my old one?” Or perhaps “Where can I get the best price on a lawnmower?” Most answers to these kinds of questions are found in content, created by a brand trying to sell you a lawnmower.
Your customers (and potential customers) are people with a specific problem. The job of your content is to help them solve that problem.
The most effective content doesn’t simply tell you why their lawnmower is the best. Instead, it might take the form of a blog post showing you the best way to attack an unruly lawn or a video demonstrating the best way to clean your lawnmower safely. These pieces of content aren’t positioned solely to sell you a lawnmower, but they are providing helpful, targeted advice from the brand.
Scotts Lawn uses this piece of video content to entertain its audience, subtly influencing their choice of lawn fertilizer.
Content like this allows your brand to develop trust and rapport with your audience. It positions you as a source of knowledge and education, rather than another business looking for a sale. Your content allows your customer to become familiar with you and your brand, easing them towards the eventual goal of purchasing from your company.
Similarly, content can serve to “delight” existing customers. It will remind them why they did business with you in the first place and hopefully influence repeat buying decisions down the road.
How far can one piece of content go?
If content were a super power, it would endow you with the ability to shape-shift. That’s what a good piece of content can do for your business. It allows you to take one idea and stretch it into a variety of forms like an infographic, a video, a social media campaign, or a blog post. The possibilities are nearly limitless.
Just look at our recent work with Aerialite Surf Glass by BGF. In 2016, we worked to rebrand Aerialite with a renewed focus on the surfboard builder. These folks do some really incredible work. They’re craftsmen; sleeve-rollers; artists. Surf glass is an essential ingredient in building a board, so Aerialite began to champion these makers and their process. This would in turn illustrate Aerialite’s role as part of that journey.
[Content] allows you to take one idea and stretch it into a variety of forms like an infographic, a video, a social media campaign, or a blog post. The possibilities are nearly limitless.
That singular idea alone drove the production of a new website, digital ad campaigns, a trade show booth, a still-exploding social media campaign, and most popular of all: a series of videos showcasing these master craftsmen.
Step inside the world of surfboard crafstmanship with Aerialite.
Content can go wherever you need it. Our Aerialite campaign covered a lot of ground with one concrete idea. As a result, their social media audiences have skyrocketed and surfboard builders have embraced the authentic voice of Aerialite. Read more about our success with Aerialite in our case study.
What’s the next step?
Are you ready for a very simple, but very important call to action? Here goes: create content. Figure out the message you want to communicate and get it out there! Content is powerless if it’s not put into action.
To help get you started, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What kind of content is your audience already consuming? Do they love videos or are they devouring technical industry white papers?
- What kinds of content are your competitors producing?
- Which of your existing assets can you transform into other pieces of content?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, only 37% of B2C Marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. By having a content marketing strategy, you’re already ahead of 63% of the competition.
Once you’ve got some quality content in place, it’s time to put your message out there every way you can. Have you tried a social media campaign yet? Are you interested in going in for a close-up and creating some brand videos? Or how would you like to catch some rubberneckers on the highway with a bold billboard campaign? If you answered “all of the above,” then even better.
Bouvier Kelly is a full-service agency and we pride ourselves on being scalable. So, no matter what you want to say and how you want to say it, we can help create a content marketing strategy that speaks volumes.