At its most basic level, digital marketing tries to keep your business top of mind when someone is looking to buy. It may take months for them to reach that point so just pushing a message of ‘BUY NOW’ won’t have the desired effect. Instead, content that helps solve a problem, entertains or makes them laugh will keep them engaged and you top of mind when they are ready.
Coming up with creative content ideas for a business can often be the most time consuming and difficult part of digital marketing but it doesn’t have to be that way.
A great content marketing plan is built on the idea that by providing value in the form of content will build trust and position you as an expert. The audience that consumes it will likely be more interested in purchasing their product down the line.
Issues arise when businesses want quick results and default back into a sellers mentality. The reality is that most people on social platforms don’t go there to buy something. They want to connect, learn, be inspired or be entertained.
In an ideal world, organizations will look at their products and services and try and think of ideas they can talk about that will provide value to their potential customers and solve problems.
Too often we get suckered back into ‘selling’ rather than providing value because that part is easy. It’s simple to talk about your business and why someone should buy from you. Unfortunately, those pieces of content aren’t what people want to see. It can be tough to consistently come up with new concepts beyond this though.
A strategy that has worked for many businesses is to develop key areas that they have ‘permission’ to talk about.
Think of it like this — if you’re a travel agent, someone would rightly expect to hear you talk about vacations, travel destinations and hotel reviews. But if the same travel agent suddenly posts about residential interest rate rises their audience would rightly be a little perplexed.
In essence, every business has certain topics that they could reasonably talk about. What becomes difficult is when you feel like those topics have been covered at length and you’re looking for variation and diversity.
This is where you can begin to expand your content topics and get a little more creative in your thinking.
Consider a mortgage broker for example. They help customers find a low interest rate for their mortgage. Their usual content would probably be around the current housing market, tips for first home buyers, or how to save for a deposit. Not terribly exciting perhaps, but relevant and useful for their customers.
To push their marketing further, they could produce content outside of their core business area but still in the same industry. For example, they might write a blog post about the 5 best lounge suits for couples.
First of all, they’re speaking to their core audience. Couples are more likely to buy a house than single people so creating the headline to appeal to couples is a good move.
With some research (and some quality time watching Netflix on the recliner) they could come up with a great article that would engage a new audience.
While it may not result in someone walking through their door right away, it’s likely to build trust in their brand and give value to their target audience. It will get people excited about the possibilities once they own their own home and picture what that will be like.
Remember that content marketing is a long-term strategy so it only works when you commit to producing quality content over a period of time. It may take someone years to commit to buying their first home but in that time, you’ve given them fantastic ideas and inspiration for when they do.
Who do you think they’ll want advice from when they finally decide they’re ready? Certainly not the business that just screams “use our services!’ five times a day. Chances are they’ve already ignored them anyway.
To put this into practice, write down your core business expertise and industry. Then begin to brainstorm all the other segments within that industry.
For our mortgage broker example, their core business is home loans and their industry is consumer finance and housing.
Within those two industries, there are countless possibilities:
- Renovation inspiration
- How to turn your new house into an Airbnb income generator
- Interior decorating ideas
- Space saving tips
- Ways to make your house pet-friendly
- Ideas to make your house energy efficient
- How to convert your old home into a smart home
The list is almost endless! Once you start down this track you’ll begin to see just how much great content you’ll be able to produce that people will actually want to read. Your audience will love it because it’s practical, fun and they can implement it themselves.
Now you’ve got a never-ending list of content possibilities, you’ll be able to keep top of mind and be the business of choice when your audience wants to buy.