When content marketing made its appearance on the marketing world a few years back, many marketers were in disbelief. Dumping traditional ads for content? Just content? That didn’t seem right by marketing standards. Yet here we are, years later and with content marketing stronger than ever. Businesses started to realize that content was indeed a powerful way to lure some new customers and establish a relationship within the ever-changing scenery of the Internet.
In a few months, everyone got on board. And so should you, if you haven’t already. Having an online marketing plan with a proper content marketing strategy can really make a difference for you. It doesn’t matter if you just own a local business or are just starting with one: the perfect content marketing strategy can get results regardless of your size. Here are 5 examples to prove it and, while we’re at it, to inspire you with your own plan.
The goal of this organization is pretty straightforward: to get people to visit Australia. Its strategy to do so was to allow its fans to create their own content, more specifically images of beautiful Australia. The strategy really worked since people felt involved and engaged with the site’s purpose. Tourism Australia also had an explosive growth on all of its social media sites.
What can you learn from this: engage with your audience, give them spaces to express themselves. By providing them with the possibility to create their own content, they’ll suddenly become ambassadors of your brand.
Equinox’s slogan reads “It’s not fitness, it’s life” and that’s pretty much the approach the fitness company got to content marketing. In other words, they don’t try to sell you the idea of fitness but rather promote it by showing the benefits it can have in your life. Thus, you can be inspired by their videos and articles to finally start exercising . When you do, the company will already be there for you. With this content marketing strategy, they seek to encourage people to live better lives.
What can you learn from this: help your target audience with what you know – what you’re offering. But don’t lecture them in the benefits of your products. Inspire them to make changes in their lives and instruct them in how to do so. Then, you’ll get loyal followers, which will be easier to turn into customers. Equinox’s is a lesson in subtle marketing.
Sweetgreen is a restaurant chain that focuses on organic cuisine. But what they do goes well beyond promotion – they market a way to live. Much like Equinox, what Sweetgreen does is promote certain values regarding healthy eating and living. And while doing so, they always maintain they brand identity. The company promotes that lifestyle through its own app, its community section and even through events in local communities. The idea behind this is to associate the brand with positive actions while, you know, making something good for the people.
What can you learn from this: Complete your online marketing efforts by going offline. A good content marketing strategy can prepare the terrain for you to reach out to your audience through other channels. Offline events like Sweetgreen’s allows the company to meet their target audience and learn more from them as well as getting new leads the old way – face to face.
Under the Zady name there’s a business that sells green-made apparel, accessories and home products. Since production is such an important part of the whole company’s appeal, Zady understood that it could benefit from making it more transparent. Thus, each product they offer is accompanied by the manufacturer’s background: location, production and eco-friendly processes involved. This serves a double purpose. First, to show customers that all the companies that work with Zady care about the environment. Second, that marketing like this adds a personal touch with which people can connect.
What can you learn from this: don’t hide yourself. Show your customers and potential clients that there’s real people behind your brand, persons with which they can relate since they share the same passion and interests. Social media is perfect to do that.
Man of the house
You can argue that Procter and Gamble isn’t really a small business and you’d be right. But this blog made it to this list since the company was able to build it from scratch and find the perfect audience for it. How did they do it? By addressing a very specific target audience: fathers. Sharing tailor-made content that helped them with their everyday challenges was key to the blog’s success. P&G, however, decided to take down the site after some time. The reason? They felt the blog didn’t do much to promote the brand.
What can you learn from this: two things. First, that there’s no target audience specific enough not to address it. The Internet is a big thing and there are lots of people competing for the same audiences. Make sure you identify yours in the most specific way and talk to it exclusively. Second, study your content marketing strategy in detail before putting your effort in it. You certainly don’t want to end up like P&G: having a successful content that doesn’t translate into new customers.
There are many other stories about small businesses that rocked the content marketing world and from which you can take some pages. But the lesson here isn’t that you should copy what other brands are doing. You should understand that your best strategy is to be creative with what you have and what you know. If you put that two together, you’ll certainly have a winning online marketing plan.