Life might be a whole lot easier if there was a tried, tested and 100% reliable formula for success in content marketing, but let’s face it – it would be pretty boring too. If your business is hoping to cash in on the benefits content marketing can bring then remember that fortune favours the bold – you need to be prepared for a little bit of experimentation in order to find out what works.
In this fast-paced industry no business can afford to rest on their laurels when it comes to keeping their content marketing cutting edge. Even if you do find an approach that works for you, it’s likely you will be constantly tweaking and honing it as time goes on, moving with the ebb and flow of the trends, keeping one eye firmly on the future and one on the competition.
There may even be times when the content marketing strategy that shone so bright once-upon-a-time starts to look distinctly lacklustre. If you’re beginning to feel like you’re flogging a dead horse, here are a few strategies that might help get it dancing instead:
Crack a joke or two
Extensive research from Nielsen into what messaging themes speak loudest to customers found that humour resonates strongly in Western markets. In fact, it topped their list of most appealing message types in Europe and North America (chosen by 51% and 50% of respondents respectively). A report by psychology site Psychalive.org described social laughter as “an activity which fosters closeness” as well as one which releases endorphins into the brain, heightening our sense of happiness and well-being.
In a nutshell, we seek to share things we find funny because it makes us feel good, and this is why a common denominator amongst viral content is that it has a fun and humorous edge.
Take a good look at your content and be honest – were you falling asleep through the second paragraph? If your style is drier than the Sahara, is it any wonder that it’s not doing as well as you hoped?
However, this doesn’t mean it’s time to start whipping out your best ‘Man walks into a bar’ jokes. Before injecting humour into your content, consider what affect this might have on your brand voice. It might be that blunt humour such as memes and jokey titles work well for you, or it could be better to just add a little bit of conversational tongue-in-cheekinness to your words to establish a better rapport with readers. Humour doesn’t always mean a total loss of professionalism, you just need to work on your delivery.
Take it back to the classroom
What do you think the average customer cares about more when they see a bit of content waved under their nose? You on about your products and services or themselves? If you have a sneaking suspicion it might be the latter, then why not take them back to the classroom with content that seeks to educate and inform – content which offers real value that they can use to enrich their minds and lives. If you can cleverly sandwich your self-promotion in between well-crafted pieces of content that give your prospects something useful now and again, it’s more likely they will remember you when they are looking to make a purchase. Become the go-to expert in your sphere and your brand name will stick in the minds of your customers in a way that shouting about how great you are simply won’t achieve.
Ask and you shall receive
There is no better way to refresh a depressingly limp content marketing strategy than by talking to your customers. As basic as it sounds, many businesses simply don’t prioritise finding out what their customers want to read and see in the news feeds. Engage with your audience, talk to them and gather information about how makes them tick. As well as forming deeper connections with your existing customers, you might be surprised at just how many ideas they might generate for you to attract new ones – allowing your creative juices to take a much-needed duvet day.
For more ideas on how to reinvent your content marketing strategy, contact us today at M2 Bespoke.