I don’t mean to belittle my achievements in saying this but it’s the truth.
Nurturing and developing brand communications (whether B2B or B2C) has been “a thing” since businesses began via print advertising, billboard ads and radio. However, the idea of brands communicating with their customers via social media, email marketing, curated keywords and digital billboards to an audience with very little time or headspace to notice them is an entirely new phenomenon and one which absolutely fascinates me.
With a degree in English Literature under my belt, I began my formal writing career as an Editorial Assistant for a regional lifestyle magazine. Working in print, I was part of an editorial team that produced news pieces and lengthy articles for the next month’s issue. I adored my job. Being paid to write and seeing my name in headlines was a dream come true until I realised 14 months in that all of the hard work and important/valuable/engaging/useful content I was putting my heart and soul into was just being filed away, binned or deleted at the start of a new month.
I didn’t realise it at the time, but I was turning into a natural-born content marketer.
I wanted a future for my writing. Not just my writing, my colleagues’ too. We wrote some fantastic pieces and it seemed a shame that only people who bought the magazine (or knew about it) could enjoy them. So many ideas of how I could recycle this content and repurpose it for new audiences swirled in my brain, but I discovered my thinking was too ahead of its time for this publication whose average reader’s age was 45+, a demographic not quite in touch with the great digital boom yet to invest time and money in a new website, blog or proper social media management.
Fast forward 3 years later and I have deliberately and carefully evolved my career and skillset to include a wealth of knowledge and experience of digital marketing, digital planning and brand communications, specialising in online content marketing.
I love it, it’s challenging, rewarding, frustrating and inspirational all at the same time. My office is no longer one static place. Instead, I work all over the country. From my spare room and coffee shops to the streets of New York – all thanks to the Internet. Apps like Skype, social media and Google Maps keep me connected with my clients and their customers digitally. No matter where your ‘office’ is you can benefit from social/digital media.
Now you know the benefits digital marketing knowledge can bring, you’re ready for my 5 tips on how to boost yours.
Bumble & Bloom Media’s 5 Secret Ingredients to Content Marketing Success:
Next time you get a couple of likes on your post or retweets make a conscious effort of clicking on those people and seeing what kind of content they engage with through replies, shares or retweets. What are their interests? Where are they based? What socio-economic group do they belong to? (Now we’re getting deep!) Whatever you discover, I guarantee it’ll be a useful insight that informs your content marketing strategy or gives you an idea of what to post next.
2. Taking the time to think about your business tone of voice I’m going to put it bluntly here because we’re short on time, but have you ever considered that the tone of voice you write in is likeable? Do you come across as knowledgeable and helpful, or accidentally obnoxious and a know-it-all “it’s my way or the highway” kind of person?
If your customers don’t like the look or sound of you online, chances are they won’t buy from you. If you sound unprofessional they might assume you won’t process their order properly or take care of their data/payment information safely. A tone of voice is integral to building brand trust and converting social media followers to potential customers.
3. Why it’s good to separate the online you from the offline you… Offline you might be a very private person who feels uncomfortable sharing photos of your home/dogs/children on Facebook. You would never complain in a restaurant even if your food tastes bad and you definitely wouldn’t announce to the public who you voted for.
So why do so many people do this so ferociously online?
If managing social media profiles for some of the world’s biggest and best-known companies has taught me anything it’s that it’s easy to hide behind a keyboard. It’s easier to be more aggressive and forward with your words when you don’t get your own way or the result you want. If you’re tasked with responding to queries as your brand or get involved in unsavoury arguments with twitter trolls you risk ruining your online brand presence and alienating current customers, never mind potential customers. It’s not easy, but it’s important to separate the “online” version of you with the “offline” one. The Internet remembers.
4. Learn from your efforts and evaluate them using analytics. Whether you spend 15 minutes or 15 hours a week talking to your customers and promoting your business online it’s time you’ve spent that requires an ROI (return on investment).
Getting into the habit of swapping your usual homepage url with a shortened Bitly version that takes people to exactly the same page but tracks what/when/why/how they used that link you just shared will tell you whether you should keep on sharing links to your homepage, or find another way to get people there as nobody is clicking and therefore nobody cares.
Or maybe they do care, but you haven’t given them reason enough to break their lunchtime routine of scrolling through their Facebook newsfeed at lightning speed consuming what’s happened during the day while they’ve been at work. Ooh 25% off this season’s on-trend shoes? Maybe they will click after all.
5. Creativity really does go a long way in capturing people’s attention. Whether it’s the way you say something (here’s looking at you Innocent Smoothies), or the image/video you use to accompany your latest post, these things are the secret ingredient to capturing people’s attention and engaging them with your content marketing. You’re likely to only get their attention for a couple of seconds so make it count. Decide what a like, share or comment is worth to you. Can you comment back and start a conversation that will end up fostering a good feeling about your business to that person and likely plant a seed in their subconscious to click on your posts when they see them because they like you?
You’re likely to only get their attention for a couple of seconds so make it count. Decide what a like, share or comment is worth to you. Can you comment back and start a conversation that will end up fostering a good feeling about your business to that person and likely plant a seed in their subconscious to click on your posts when they see them because they like you?
If you liked this post and want to find out more, or stay up to date with more digital marketing updates visit www.bumbleandbloommedia.co.uk or follow Chloe online @chloeditorial.