Sitting on the content throne is a pretty sweet place to be. After all, we content marketing folks have been crowned “king” and “queen” for years now. But there’s truth to the worn-out cliches about content being “king” (or queen!) because in the end, content marketing is the only marketing that customers return to again and again.
Think about it: your favorite blog; LinkedIn Pulse stories; viral archery videos and Humans of New York are all content pieces in action. We click and consume happily, and our lives are usually the better for it.
As an enterprise marketer, you have no doubt set up your content-making machine to entertain, educate and drive more conversions. But have you fine-tuned your content strategy lately? Here are five ideas for giving that content crown a little polish:
- Feature real people using your product in blogs and social media
Experts are great, but have you talked to the people on the street recently? Mr. and Mrs. Real Person want to see themselves represented on your social media channels and in your advertising. For instance, Wheat Belly offers up a steady stream of before-and-after body transformations on its social channels. These testimonials are authentic in a way a spokesperson can’t be.
- Give away awesome free content
Who doesn’t love free? That’s why part of your content strategy for your enterprise should be to churn out a gratis something each month. Up for grabs are recipes, downloads, webinars, crafts, DIY projects…you name it! Natalie Jill Fitness gives away endless amounts of free videos and other resources, including this printable stability ball workout.
Pro-tip: Should you always give away content? It’s a delicate balance, of course. Consider the cost in staff time (to create and design the giveaways); the possible exposure; and whether or not similar resources already exist free online. If you’re convinced that gated content is the best bet, make sure to give away some portion to whet readers’ appetites.
- Include case studies
Case studies are old news….so why haven’t you produced any in a while? Showing how your product or service actually makes people’s lives better is the best story you can tell. Update the dusty case study for 2015: think Vines, Instagram, coupons tucked into the case study or an ongoing video series on YouTube.
- Tell us your story! Why does your business exist?
Your corporate story might be old hat, known to millions. Or is it? Just because you’ve summarized your national pizza chain’s tomato-splattered birth on your website doesn’t mean anyone actually read it. Look at your brand’s origin story and see what you can mine for content. The Founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely, famously took buyers from major department stores into the ladies’ room to show them how her product helped improve her body shape in a pair of white pants. This funny story immediately gives the customer insight into Sara’s pluck, creativity and determination.
- Show us little known or helpful hacks using your product or service
If you’re lucky, your brand already has a tribe of community members, whether on a company-owned site or on the web somewhere, such as a blog or Reddit. Why not reach out to these fans for ideas of ways they’ve used your product to do something out-of-the-box? With their permission, feature their tips on the brand blog or Facebook page.
If you don’t have a current fan base that’s currently dreaming up ideas, create it. That’s what Udi’s Bakery did in 2014. Their “What the Hack?” contest courted easy recipe hacks that anyone could do with Udi’s products. Like these s’mores, yum.
What content strategies are you currently using? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments.
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Olga is a Senior Manager in Marketing and Sales Operations.