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Stop Wasting Time: Use This Winning Content Marketing Strategy + Low-Cost Examples

Nike sells inspiration, not shoes. Tesla sells innovation, not cars. Jeep sells adventure, not cars. Why does it help people to engage more deeply with our brand when a company tells a story, rather than sells the product? When we hear a story that we relate too, our levels of feel-good hormone oxytocin increase. This works to create trust and empathy. It helps us to work with others; positively influencing our social behavior. Great brands all tap into storytelling power to build a base of engaged fans.

If you want to influence someone’s brain, you need to start with this science. But, in experience, many companies arm themselves with all the information to fill the left brain needs of their [potential] buyers — all the facts and figures — but that information doesn’t influence a potential buyer to change [to buy]. Storytelling is processed in the right side of the brain, where you trust and you say, ‘I want that’ and ‘I need that.’

1. Most powerful content marketing technique? Nouns = verbs

If you have a complicated product like x-ray machines or chemical analysis, most tech or glue, people just want to know how it’s going to transform their lives. The problem, is if you ask a chemical engineer to tell you about glue they’ll start on about bonding, different temperatures, mold, and... No one cares. Good advice? Change your noun into a verb. You are not selling glue (noun), you are telling the story of how customers stick (verb) things together. Imagine two marketers on the trade show floor.

Marketer 1: “We’re Acme Corporation, known for our industry-leading anvils. Our robust, end-to-end solution has best-of-breed features and can help increase business results for you by 2X. You need to learn more!”

Marketer 2: “May I tell you a story about how [competitor] increased their [business results]?” This triggers true peer curiosity.

Tell a story, and you eliminate the jargon - “best-of-breed,” “robust,” “solution,” “industry-leading,” - that makes buyers tune out.

2 . Stop Thinking About Sales, Do This Instead

Great content marketing starts when you stop thinking about how to make sales, how you can scale, how you can push out more content and remember to think like a customer. Why?

“Worry about being better; bigger will take care of itself. Think one customer at a time and take care of each one the best way you can.” –Gary Comer

"The most valuable resource you can give customers is your time. Listen to them to uncover their real needs. Only then can you find a way to solve their problems or meet their expectations. Treat the cause, not just the symptoms." – Ginger Conlon

Later, I'll give you three low-cost examples of how smaller brands created effective content marketing that resonates with their target audience, and drives measurable results.

3. What Will Good Content Marketing Do For Your Brand or Business? Good content marketing serves several important purposes:

  • Attracts and engages your target audience: Well-crafted content that resonates with your target audience will capture their attention, spark their interest, and keep them engaged. This can lead to increased website traffic, longer time spent on site, and more opportunities to convert visitors into customers.

  • Builds brand authority and trust: By consistently delivering high-quality, informative content that addresses your customers' pain points and interests, you can establish your brand as a knowledgeable and trustworthy authority in your industry.

  • Generates leads and drives sales: Effective content marketing can help drive leads and conversions by providing valuable information that educates and informs your audience about your products or services, and by nurturing those leads with targeted content throughout the sales funnel.

  • Improves SEO: Quality content that is optimized for search engines can improve your website's search engine rankings, driving more traffic and visibility to your site.

  • Encourages social sharing and engagement: Compelling and shareable content can help your brand reach a wider audience by encouraging social sharing and engagement on social media platforms.

4. How Do You Create a Realistic Plan for Success? Successful content marketing requires a thoughtful strategy, high-quality content creation, targeted promotion, measurement and adjustment based on performance data. Here is a realistic plan:

  • Develop a clear content strategy: Define your goals, target audience, and key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring success. Identify topics that resonate with your audience and create a content calendar to keep your content production organized and consistent.

  • Create high-quality content: Produce content that is informative, engaging, and visually appealing. Use a mix of formats, such as blog posts, videos, infographics, and social media posts, to keep your content fresh and engaging.

  • Optimize your content for search engines: Incorporate relevant keywords into your content to improve its visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). Use meta descriptions and title tags to optimize your content for search engines and attract more clicks.

  • Promote your content: Share your content on social media platforms, through email campaigns, and on industry-related websites to increase visibility and drive traffic to your website.

  • Measure and adjust your strategy: Regularly review your content performance metrics, such as page views, social shares, and conversion rates, and adjust your content strategy accordingly. Use A/B testing to test different formats, headlines, and calls to action to optimize your content for maximum engagement and conversion.

5. How to Generate a Powerful Content Marketing Campaign

These tips will help you to help you generate new and innovative ideas. This will help you establish your brand, build trust with your audience, generate leads and sales, and increase your online visibility and reach.

  • Identify your target audience: Understand your target audience's interests, needs, and pain points. This will help you develop content ideas that are relevant and valuable to them.

  • Research your competitors: Look at what your competitors are doing and identify gaps in their content strategy. This will help you develop ideas that are unique and different from what is already out there.

  • Brainstorm with your team: Collaborate with your team members to come up with new ideas. Brainstorming sessions can be a great way to generate a lot of ideas quickly.

  • Look for inspiration: Look for inspiration outside of your industry. This can help you come up with new and creative ideas that are not limited to your industry's norms.

  • Experiment with different formats: Experiment with different content formats, such as videos, infographics, podcasts, or interactive content. This can help you stand out and engage your audience in new ways.

  • Use data to inform your ideas: Use data to understand what type of content is performing well and what topics are resonating with your audience. This can help you develop content ideas that are more likely to be successful.

  • Repurpose existing content: Look at your existing content and think about how you can repurpose it into new formats or angles.

Remember, the key to coming up with creative ideas is to stay curious, keep learning, and never stop experimenting.

6. Ask These Key Questions to Get You the Results You Want

By answering these questions, you can ensure that your brand's content is aligned with your business goals, resonates with your target audience, and drives measurable results.

  • How will you ensure that your content is high-quality, accurate, and aligned with your brand's values and messaging?

  • Who will be responsible for creating and managing your content, and what resources (e.g. budget, staff, tools) will you need to support them?What are your competitors doing, and how can you differentiate your content from theirs?

  • What channels will you use to distribute your content, and how will you optimize your content for each channel?

  • What type of content will you create, and how often will you publish it? What formats (e.g. blog posts, videos, infographics) will you use?

  • How will you measure the success of your content strategy? What metrics (e.g. traffic, engagement, conversions) will you track?

7. Low-Cost Content Marketing Success Stories

Short-Form Blog Series (500-700 words per post)

An example of a low-cost, successful short-form blog post content marketing campaign is the "10-Minute Workouts for Busy Professionals" blog post series by fitness coach and blogger Craig Ballantyne.

In this series, Ballantyne provides a series of short, high-intensity workouts that can be completed in just 10 minutes, making them perfect for busy professionals who struggle to find time to exercise. The blog posts are short, typically around 500-700 words, and include clear instructions and visuals to help readers understand how to perform each exercise correctly.

The blog post series has been a huge success, generating significant traffic to Ballantyne's website and helping him to establish himself as an authority in the fitness industry. What makes this campaign particularly effective is its focus on providing valuable and actionable content to readers, without the need for expensive production or design.

Ballantyne also includes calls-to-action in each blog post, encouraging readers to sign up for his newsletter or purchase his fitness program, helping to drive conversions and revenue for his business. Overall, the "10-Minute Workouts for Busy Professionals" blog post series is an excellent example of how short-form content marketing can be used to provide value to readers and drive business growth on a limited budget.

Long-Form Content (8,000 word eBook)

The "Ultimate Guide to Google My Business" was created by Joy Hawkins, a local SEO expert. The guide is a comprehensive resource that provides business owners and marketers with everything they need to know about using Google My Business to improve their online presence and visibility.

The guide is over 8,000 words long and includes detailed instructions, screenshots, and examples, making it a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their local SEO. Hawkins also includes real-world case studies and best practices to help readers understand how to use Google My Business to its fullest potential.

Despite being a long-form piece of content, the guide was relatively low-cost to produce since Hawkins wrote it herself and did not need to hire a team of writers or designers. However, the guide has been widely shared and has become a go-to resource for local businesses looking to improve their online visibility, demonstrating the effectiveness of well-written and informative long-form content marketing.

'Home Made' Video Campaign

An example of low-cost successful content marketing is the Dollar Shave Club's viral video campaign. In 2012, Dollar Shave Club, a subscription-based razor and personal grooming products company, released a humorous video ad that went viral and quickly gained millions of views on YouTube.

The video featured the company's CEO, Michael Dubin, who delivered a comedic monologue about the benefits of Dollar Shave Club's affordable and convenient shaving products, all while wandering around the company's warehouse and interacting with various employees.

The video's low-budget production and irreverent humor resonated with audiences, and the campaign helped to establish Dollar Shave Club as a disruptive player in the personal grooming industry. The success of the video also helped to drive significant traffic to the company's website and increase its subscriber base.

What made this campaign particularly effective was its ability to use humor and personality to differentiate Dollar Shave Club from traditional razor companies and connect with its target audience of young, tech-savvy men. Additionally, the video was easy to share and had a strong call to action, encouraging viewers to sign up for the company's subscription service. Overall, Dollar Shave Club's viral video campaign is a prime example of how creative and engaging content can help to drive brand awareness and growth, even on a tight budget.

Overall, content marketing requires a strategic approach, high-quality content, consistency, realistic expectations, and effective promotion to be successful. Got questions? Let's talk!

Claire Vorster

Writer, Copywriter, Coach. Value, added!


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