by Michele Swetesich

Are you actively posting to social media, sending out email newsletters, and consistently blogging? If so, fabulous! Those are the building blocks of content marketing. The changes that Google has made to its algorithm have made quality content more important than ever before, with content mills falling under the axe. Going about content marketing in the right way will mean a lot of positive attention for your business. In order to do that, you need to deliver original content that your target market is going to absolutely love. Your goal should be to engage the customer, whilst also providing content that entertains and informs. This will help you establish trust and prove that you are a brand leader. Here are some tips that will help you deliver great content every time.

1. Instill Brand Leadership

We could literally mention any type of product and you would have a brand name come to mind right away. The ones that have that kind of power are the ones that are the masters at brand building. Their product is great, and their marketing efforts have built their brand to a level that no-one else can come close to touching. You are not going to be able to achieve the success of McDonalds or Coca-Cola, but your business can most certainly adopt the kind of creative content marketing that has led to real success for those big name brands.

Infographics are very popular forms of content nowadays, which is why so many businesses are putting them together. Your goal should be to make your infographics the industry standard that everyone looks to when looking for information. Try to deliver information that is timely and relevant, making it incredibly useful to your target audience. Get creative and think outside the box when coming up with an infographic idea.  If you want an idea of what works in an infographic, take a look at what the guys at The Oatmeal have put together in the past. Their infographics routinely go viral because they have the ability to deliver information in a way that is truly unique.

2. Use Your Creativity To Tell a Story

If you want to make a splash and go viral, you need to create something unique and entertaining. Being able to take dull, lifeless information and turn it into something fun and interesting is an art that great marketers have mastered. They also know how to slip an effective call to action in there, too.

The fact of the matter is that there really isn’t anyone who doesn’t like a good story.  One of the best in the business when it comes to telling a story in their marketing efforts in Nike. The perfect example of that is their “Make It Count Campaign.” The initial idea of the campaign was to put together a promo spot for the Nike FuelBand, but the director essentially blew the budget by jetting off around the world in search of adventure. He certainly found a few, and the images that he created, while wearing the FuelBand, were brilliant. It was a stroke of genius that appealed to the adventurous spirit that exists within us all. The campaign was inspiring and empowering, making it an unqualified success.

In fairness, the budget that was made available to the director was probably ridiculous, but what he did with it is what’s important. By the time the campaign went viral, no-one questioned the budget, because they were just that caught up in the story being told.

3. Empathize with Your Customers

The best way to connect with your customers is to give them something they want (that’s a tweetable!).  The only way to know what they want is to listen to what they have to say. Modern businesses have a ton of ways to make that happen, with social media at the top of the list. Every comment made on your social media pages is an insight into the mind of the customer. If you start to see a common thread or the same questions being asked over and over again, put together a creative piece of content that answers those queries.  By paying attention to what your customers stay, you can give them what they want over and over again. It doesn’t get better than that when trying to build trust through marketing.

4. Keep Your Customers Engaged

Wondering if your creative content efforts were able to market your business successfully? The answer lies in customer engagement. If the marketing strategy worked, you will have people interacting with your business on social accounts, sharing your content and talking up your brand. Here are some tips to encourage further customer engagement:

  • Spread the word across multiple platforms – There is absolutely no way that all of your customers will be assembled in a single place. In order to engage as many people as possible, you need to spread the wealth. Get outside of your blog and hit as many social networks as possible. Not only will you be spreading word far and wide, you’ll be getting it in front of an audience that would never have seen it otherwise. What you can even do is start to do a little bit of experimenting with content and where you share it. Some sites will do better with video content, while others will love infographics and other creative stuff.
  • Don’t be self-serving – The vast majority of what you share will be about your business and what it has to offer. It shouldn’t be all like that, though. If you do nothing but talk about yourself, people will eventually stop listening. Take some time to recognize a customer or another business in the industry that you admire. Ask your customers if there is something they would like to see featured and then follow through on what they request.
  • Let your customers sell your brand – If you have done a good job of marketing your business, you are going to have a stable of customers hanging on your every word. That’s a good thing, and is something you should put to good use. Make it as easy as possible for customers to share all of the content you have worked so hard to create. Don’t ever leave them out there alone, though, which means doing all you can to stay connected with them through social media. If they are sending business your way, let them know you are thankful for all that they do.

Being able to build your brand through creative storytelling and customer engagement will set you well on the road to having a successful marketing campaign each and every time.  The key to doing all of that is to make sure that the customer is always at the forefront of all you do.

Do you know what your customers want?

What tips would you share with fellow readers that you found helpful?  Write your tips in the comments section below.