Conversations with Content Part 1: Insights from NMBrek “Creating Engaging Content”
I recently attended the March New Media Breakfast and had the opportunity to listen to FatBuzz’s Gordon White talk content marketing and engagement strategies. I left with my content marketing knowledge refreshed and my head full of creative content ideas and reminders – which I thought I’d write down and share before they dissolve. Getting inspired about content again has spurred me to start writing a series of blog posts dedicated to content marketing strategies, hints and tips.
So let me introduce you to part 1 so we can get the conversation started.
Tools are just that, tools
Whichever social media platforms you are using, not using or planning to get around to using, I have a thought for you (and I think it’s a rather freeing one) and my thought is, don’t get hung up on the details. My advice would be to see and use these social platforms as tools, employing them as you see fit. Thing is, these platforms are evolving constantly and the constant emergence of new and initiative players in the market means that nothing can or will stay the same for very long.
Now that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep up to date with such changes as best you can, yes, yes you should. However remind yourself that the important thing is the “who” and the “why” of your content marketing strategy rather than the tool you use. The “who” being whose story are you telling and the “why” being why do you want to tell it. Once these two are nailed down it matters little what social media updates come your way, you’ll find a way of talking to the right people. The important thing is your story and getting it out there one way or another.
Humans are nosy
Okay not all humans, but many humans, okay me. I’m nosy so I’ll speak for myself but I know I’m not alone. When it comes to companies and brands I am passionate about or I see as aspirational I like to follow them on social media. I do this because I want to know more about them and get closer to whatever it is I admire and like about them. There is more thirst for knowledge of brands and companies than ever, people want to feel part of companies they care about and not to mention cooler by proxy. As Gordon White said, you are “invisible” if you aren’t creating content and the nosy of us would agree.
So tell your story because we all know you have one. Use your story, show what goes on behind the scenes and let them see how it all works. Share where you’ve come from or your inspiration along the way. Use content to give your followers more to know and love about you – don’t be invisible.
Two worlds one stone
During the discussions, Gordon White talked us through a case study in which he and his team identified creative content ideas for a company they had come in contact with. I shall name no names.. but who’s the nosy one now? The list they’d come up with was endless and full of interesting and engaging content ideas which would keep the company busy (content-wise) for 6 months at least.
Gordon then reveals that lo and behold…all of these ideas had been taken straight from the physical company magazine! So why hadn’t they thought to take this existing (and rich!) physical content and squeeze more engagement and return from it virtually? The moral of the story here is don’t overlook your existing content, it has required effort and creativity to create so if it’s already there, use it. Engage two worlds, the physical and virtual, with one stone.
Hey, it’s not all about you
One thing nobody likes is people who go on and on and on about themselves. No “how are you?” No “Or what’s going on with you?” It’s all me, me, me. So while your nosy followers who like you want to hear about you, don’t be boring and self obsessed. Be that cool friend instead that says “hey, have you heard about this new thing that is nothing to do with us, I thought of you and I know you’d love it.” Share other things, news, stories, products, ideas with your followers that you think they might be interested in. Share buying advice, hints and tips even if it means directing attention elsewhere and praising other companies.
It may or may not relate directly to your bottom line but I don’t know about you but I like helpful people and I’m more likely to give my money to them, now or in the future. Sharing the love with other companies also means that you have the opportunity to extend your reach and tap into a new audience.
So whether your business is a local cafe around the corner or a huge conglomerate with a widely recognised brand, I really do think the pointers within this series are applicable to most and more importantly useful if you’ve hit a content marketing brick wall. We always love to hear what you think, so don’t be shy! Share your thoughts, let us know if there are any content marketing areas you’d like to hear more about.
Tweet @Attacat_Lara for more about our conversations with content.