4 Content Marketing Strategies that Don’t Involve Using Your Words (Writing Words That Is)
Nearly all B2B marketers rely on content marketing as an effective technique to promote their brands. However, 60% of them are still facing serious challenges to produce engaging content on a consistent basis. The question is: are they misunderstanding the term content?
Content marketing involves much more than writing and promoting blog posts. Written content is great, especially when it’s well-composed. However, it’s not (always) the most effective tool to drive engagement.
Internet users can be quite lazy.
They may not grab a dictionary to get through a complex blog post, so simplicity wins. They may not waste a minute of their time if they see your post is too long, so brief and informative is key. Even if you write the perfect post, it still might not deliver the results you expect.
You don’t need to rely on complex strategies to help you develop better content though. It could be that the only thing you need is a shift in the form of content you’re delivering.
So instead of focusing on writing articles enriched with relevant images, move a little outside the box and try something different. Here are some of the best content marketing strategies that don’t involve writing:
1. Publish Online Videos
Remember when the “Ryan Gosling won’t eat his cereal” videos went viral? The creator of these videos, Ryan McHenry, used Vine to create this silly, but effective pop-culture gem. This is an example that all content marketers can learn from: humor in video format gets tons of attention from influencers and attracts a large audience.
According to Twitter’s stats, photos and videos get the most retweets among all types of content. Thus, it would be wiser for content marketers to focus more on visual candy than on textual blog posts.
The best thing about videos is their versatility. You can turn a filmed video into a podcast as well as a piece of text by having it transcribed. Thus, you’ll meet all the preferences of your audience.
Some will like the video, others will opt for the podcast, and the rest will prefer the old-fashioned blog post. You’ll offer a single post in all these different forms, and that’s what smart content marketing is all about.
Kissmetrics is a great example of a website that implements this strategy. The YouTube channel is very active, but the same content is also available at the website.
If there is any way for you to bring the topic to your audience in video format, you should definitely do so. You’ll need good equipment if you want to produce high-quality videos, or you can also rent a studio for that purpose. These are some of the editors you can try:
2. Promote Podcasts
You would think that the age of Internet killed the radio, but podcasts prove you wrong. People still want to listen...
A professional sports team could survive without its mascot. After all, Mr. Met doesn’t win a World Series. But could you say the same about a well-known brand?
Brands like Coca Cola and Old Spice stay in business because of their products, sure, but often it’s precisely their brand mascots that tend to keep their names in the limelight and keep people talking about their ads, commercials and products.
It’s often their brand mascots that feed the chatter about them across social media.
Stop for a second and think about your favorite brand. Chances are, it has a mascot. The following are some of the best of the best in marketing:
The personification of disaster caught on quickly with the character Mayhem, played by Dean Winters.
He was falling on cars, starting fires and knocking over trees to show that anything and everything can happen to your car, so… umm… you might better protect it.
Better to be safe than sorry, right?
Polar Bears (Coca Cola)
The Coca Cola polar bears are a (mostly) Christmas classic.
They never utter a word in their commercials, but the cuddly bears still have an iconic association with the world’s most popular soda.
The characters first appeared in a 1922 advertisement, and Coca Cola continues to use them every year, with massive success.
Captain Morgan (Captain Morgan)
It’s clear the beloved rum company didn’t have to think too hard to come up with its frontman. I mean, whatever else would you associate with a name like Captain Morgan?
Nevertheless it does bear one of the most iconic poses of any brand mascot out there.
Captain Morgan capitalizes on this in its commercials with guys at the bar striking a familiar pose whenever a ‘manly’ feat is accomplished. Such as… downing five shots in a row perhaps?
Geico has tried its luck with a few different mascots.
Some have worked better than others, but most of them have been left behind in annals of history. But the star of the show will always be the Geico Gecko.
Between Dikembe and the Hump Day Camels, the tiny British Gecko popped up to represent the “15 minutes or less” car insurance company with style, finesse, and a strong association with the brand.
He’s managed to leave quite the impression, with no signs of retirement.
Are we seeing a pattern with insurance companies yet? They all seem to have a mascot these days (even State Farm has Jake … from State Farm), and Flo is the girl for Progressive.
Her bubbly personality and charming humor do well for the insurance company. The commercials are genuinely funny, and she has been used consistently in commercials for several years now.
The Kool-Aid Man (Kool-Aid)
Oh yeah! Now this one is an absolute classic.
Sometimes, publicity stunts are necessary tools that can be used to increase the outreach of your brand. The reasoning and logic behind them are… the more attention your company or organization receives, the more supporters you will gain. It’s not necessarily poor logic either.
Over the years, there have been a number of publicity stunts that have helped companies increase awareness of a cause, bolster their brand’s circulation, overshadow competitors and reinforce brand recognition.
Of course, sometimes those stunts fail miserably.
People like to say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but I beg to differ. There most certainly is such a thing, and bad press is bad press. That means you need to be careful with your attention grabs, and make sure you are wielding them wisely. In other words, be smart about your stupid stunts, m’kay?
That said, let’s take a gander at five high profile publicity stunts that have pushed the boundaries and made a memorable impact. Maybe we can learn something, eh?
Red Bull’s Stratos
Red Bull sponsored a space diving project with the Austrian skydiver, Felix Baumgartner. In 2012, a helium balloon took Baumgartner into the stratosphere, where he proceeded to free fall back to Earth in a high pressure suit. (Hmm… I’m not sure how smart this plan was, on second thought.)
The 127,851 foot jump lasted ten minutes and Baumgartner became the first human to break the sound barrier.
The jump was viewed by over 9.5 million viewers — the most concurrent viewers for a YouTube live stream. This stunt helped promote Red Bull’s extreme, adventurous branding and bolstered the visibility of their company.
As you can see… perhaps not the wisest stunt in terms of his safety, but it certainly scored points with the adrenaline junkies of the world, creating rabid brand ambassadors.
In 1925, Goodyear launched its first blimp with the company logo largely displayed on the side of the apparatus. The blimp was the first commercial, non-rigid airship flown using helium.
In 1955, the Goodyear blimp evolved in its purpose and provided a live television picture of the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.
Today, Goodyear offers TV networks the use of their blimp’s camera for sporting and entertainment events, with the agreement of a broadcasted mention of their brand.
Their blimp has become an iconic element of the Goodyear brand that effectively markets the company. Slightly more tame than a human hurtling past the sound barrier, but effective nonetheless.
L’Auto Bicycle Race
L’Auto was a French newspaper in the early 1900s that was created after its disassembly from the newspaper Le Velo.
L’Auto hoped they could gain greater readership and increase interest in their new publication with a bicycle race that covered 1,500 miles.
This newspaper’s publicity stunt helped them increase their circulation sixfold and forced their largest competition, Le...
Whether you call them “Generation C” or you prefer to use the popular moniker “millennials,” young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 are a consumer force to be reckoned with. They have a buying power of $1.3 trillion dollars in annual spending, according to BCG.
Being the first generation to grow up with the Internet, the millennial generation is more receptive to businesses that engage in two-way communication. This means that the traditional linear form of push marketing is no longer as effective as it once was.
While marketing to Generation C poses a few challenges, it’s not altogether impossible.
Here are some considerations that can help you create marketing campaigns that speak to the next generation customer:
According to a poll by Pew Research, 85 percent of people aged 15 to 35 own a smartphone. (Woah.)
With such a large portion of the younger generation using mobile devices to stay in touch with friends and family, producing content that’s mobile friendly is of utmost importance, especially when your customers are using highly personalized devices with a human-centered design like the Samsung Galaxy Note5.
This means that any webpage or media content with your brand on it should be optimized for mobile devices so that load times are fast, the aesthetics are appealing, and the call to action is easy to see and engage with. Tall order eh?
The main advantage to making your brand mobile friendly is that you ensure people can connect with you when they’re on the go, which makes it more likely that they’ll connect with your core message.
Transparency and Honesty
Millennials are much more suspicious of faceless organizations than preceding generations, especially when these companies use stilted PR language reminiscent of a presidential candidate trying to scrounge up more votes. Can we say smarmy much?
Millennials are much more receptive to give-and-take relationships, and they prefer a sense of humility rather than an overt façade of corporate professionalism.
One of the best things you can do as a marketer is create transparency within your organization, so your younger audience can engage in a dialogue with the products and services they love.
By incorporating customer feedback into the development of your products, you create an environment of inclusivity, which in turn makes your customers feel like they are part of the team.
By clearly communicating your company’s main objectives and showing customers the steps you’re taking to meet these objectives, you’ll gain a lot of respect from them.
Marketing for You
For many young people, the brands they choose to use are seen as a way of expressing their individuality and defining their personality. Some of the most obvious examples of this are seen in the tech industry, such as with Apple and Android devices.
You can empower the customers that love your products and services by providing freebies for them to review or inviting them to take...
As a writer, there are only a few things I can’t live without when it comes to plying my trade. My Macbook with WiFi, Scrivener, and a hefty dose of morning coffee about sums it up.
Honestly, I use other tools as well, but those are my do or die biggies. Especially coffee.
No coffee, no workee.
I know that’s not the case for everyone though, so here are a few more ideas on some of the tools I use, and some of the tools I know others use to run their businesses remotely. Your mileage may vary.
These tools are in addition to my Macbook and Scriv of course, and I’m assuming you already have Wifi, especially since you’re reading this post.
Cloud Based Storage
I happen to lurve Dropbox, but that’s just moi. They are reasonably priced, they have little ways you can add more storage to your account for free (for instance, if you sign up using my link, I earn more storage, muahahaha), they’re reliable, and I can sync my Dropbox across all my devices, as well as pick and choose specifically what folders I want to sync where. Which is handy, given that I store a lot in my Dropbox, and I don’t necessarily want all of that also stored on my laptop as well.
A Payment Processor
I use Paypal, but only because I started using them forever ago, and I’m resistant to change. I hear they can be a little arbitrary in their dealings with more hefty earners, holding funds and whatnot, but I can’t speak to that with any authority as I’ve never had it happen to me. I’ve always had a good experience with them, my money comes and goes without a hitch, the fees aren’t totally atrocious, and hey… it’s easy. I love when something makes business easier.
An E Sig App is Handy
No, I’m not talking electronic cigarettes here. If you’re running a business, I’m sure you’ve got things that need signing. Tax forms, contracts, legal documents, and what have you. Enter the electronic signature app. It makes signing those documents easy peasy, and makes all that printing, scanning, faxing, and other laborious work pretty much obsolete. Cudasign is one that comes to mind, but there are plenty of others to choose from these days as well.
Budget Tracking Software
I know, I know, sounds daunting, right? I hate budgeting and tracking and number crunching. It makes my eyes cross and my brain hurt. But alas, it’s a necessary evil if you want to keep track of where your moola is coming and going with any sort of organizational prowess. Plus it makes things so much easier for you and your accountant at the end of the year when tax time rolls around. My personal preference is a software called You Need a Budget, or YNAB. Yes, I get a kickback if you purchase using my link, but don’t worry, I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t love it. There are plenty of others of course, but YNAB has been my fave for a couple of years now.
Over to You...
In a Web 2.0 society, personal branding is intrinsically linked to the Internet, especially when it comes to personal websites and social media profiles.
As the face of your business or service, it makes good marketing sense to build an authentic, personal relationship with your audience.
However, when doing so, you need to keep in mind that you’re giving out information to a lot of people that can be a potential headache and possibly even become harmful if you don’t have some safeguards in place. That said…
Be a Safe “Dividual”
People have varying criteria for safety. Locations, children’s names and favorite pets are a way to emotionally engage an audience for some people but others would consider this a violation of boundaries.
To make your personal brand safe, you will need to decide what individual data you want to place in front of the population at large and what information about you can be gleaned from your campaign.
Called a “dividual,” a clever combination of the words “divide” and “individual”, the information offered to people reading your website or Facebook posts can either be helpful or harmful to your image and safety.
Offering something like “all of your cats are named after Girl Scout cookies” can be a significant bonding moment with your readers but it can also introduce information that can be used to hack your passwords, since many people also tend to choose pet names for said passwords. (Ps… don’t do that.)
Protect yourself by using a system to identify cybercrime and right it quickly while being cognizant of the potential use of any information that you write.
Know Where Your Brand Begins & You End
In Don Miguel Ruiz’s universally applicable book of Toltec wisdom, one of the four agreements is do not take anything personally. This can be difficult when you are your brand and someone is attacking it.
Yes, you are your brand but your brand is not you.
Twisty, I know, but try to keep up.
You are your brand because you are sharing parts of you, but parts of you don’t make up the entirety of you. Your brand is merely “parts” of you.
And since authenticity is a key component to branding in the digital age, it’s vital to create an exit strategy in case things things get hairy. Create rules on your personal website and social media pages outlining exactly where the lines will be drawn.
Let everyone know when and why a comment will not be tolerated then follow your own rules. Entertainer of children and activist Miss Lori uses her rules to separate out appropriate comments, including such rules as “no hate speech” and “own your words”.
Review Everything Side By Side – IMC
According to the American Marketing Association, integrated marketing communication (IMC) is a primary goal of good marketing, being defined as a process designed to assure that all brand contacts received by a customer or prospect...