Despite your marketing efforts, you still aren’t achieving your goals. Don’t stress small business owners to multi-millionaire companies make the same mistake – the mistake of only posting promotional content. Only 20% of your content should be promotional! The rest should fall under the three pillars; educational, inspirational, and entertaining, which is good news for you. By using the strategies in this blog post, you can relax and have fun creating content. Plus, reach your goals and keep growing.
The internet is ever-evolving, and your business should be too. The goal of marketing is not to sell but to engage your audience. High engagement helps your brand stand out and build a loyal following. With word-of-mouth marketing still ranking as the best form of marketing, you want to put your customers first.
Engaging your audience starts with the content you post. Your audience wants authenticity – when you show up authentically, you build trust with your audience. Customers who trust you will recommend your brand to their friends repeatedly. So instead of promotional content, you get to create fun content and let your customers promote for you. Sounds great, right? Here’s how to get started:
The Three Pillars of Content
Your customers want to feel understood by your brand. Knowing your customer’s online habits is the first step in showing you care about their business. There are four ways that your customers use the internet, education, entertainment, inspiration, and shopping. As you can see, if you’re only catching the shoppers with your content marketing strategy, you are missing 80% of your leads!
How To Create Educational Content
In order to satisfy your customers, you need to add value to them. Think about Hubspot and Canva, two brands you and your team use. Have you considered why you chose these brands when thousands of other brands offer the same features? They educate you on how to connect with your customers. Notice their education is not just “here’s how to use our products.” Their education consistently showcases their “mission statement.” Hubspot states: “We believe businesses can grow with a conscience, and succeed with a soul — and that they can do it with inbound.”
Hubspot’s education content shows you how to market with above-board tactics instead of manipulation—attracting conscious businesses to use their platform to learn and keep growing.
Canva’s mission is to “empower the world to design,” and their values include “being a force for good” and “empowering others.” They have effectively communicated this mission through their content marketing strategy, which has helped them become a widely recognized brand in a short period of time. Like Canva and Hubspot, you too, can achieve success by reinforcing your mission statement through educational content. It’s your turn to start creating valuable, mission-driven content for your audience.
Start With Why
To get started on your content strategy, grab a pen and paper and write down your “why” or mission statement. If you haven’t yet defined your mission, consider watching Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk on “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” Once you have your mission statement, add three categories beneath it: “educational,” “inspirational,” and “entertaining.” These categories will help guide your content creation and ensure that you are creating a balanced mix of content that speaks to your audience’s needs and interests.
Focus on “educational,” write down topics that relate to your mission statement and add value to your customers. For example, let’s use Trusty Oak’s mission statement: “connect driven entrepreneurs with top virtual assistants to help their businesses grow.” We would write Delegation, affordable business growth, leadership, and personal development for education content categories. Are you interested in these topics? Check out the Trusty Oak Blog!
Once you have identified your content topics, decide on the channels you will use to share them. Consider the format that will work best for each channel, and remember that you can create different forms of content from a single topic. Some options for educational content include:
- Tips and Tricks
- Short and long-form lessons
- Case studies
- Webinar/ class
How to Create Inspirational Content
Inspirational content speaks to your audience’s desire for personal growth and improvement. Your customers may want to be more fit, more organized, more productive, or more confident in their appearance. To connect with this motivation, create content that promotes a lifestyle. For example, Fitbit’s mission is “to empower and inspire you to live a healthier, more active life.” Their content focuses on how fitness can be enjoyable and achievable for people of all levels and schedules. By creating content that inspires and motivates your audience, you can build a loyal following and drive engagement with your brand.
By promoting a lifestyle, you are asking your customers to buy from your brand without explicitly asking. And it works! Try using these forms of content for inspiration:
- Video/picture of “lifestyle” moments
- Motivational speech
- Song or poems
- Heartwarming testimonials/stories
How to Create Entertaining Content
Entertaining content is a great way to have fun and show off your brand’s personality. It’s also an opportunity to communicate your mission statement and values to your audience subtly. For example, Buzzfeed is a top entertainment and advertising brand whose mission is “to provide trusted, quality, brand-safe news and entertainment to hundreds of millions of people.” Although you may not have realized it, Buzzfeed is actually a leader in online advertising, generating nearly $400 million in revenue in 2021. You can build a strong following and drive engagement with your brand by creating engaging and entertaining content.
Millions of dollars are at stake, so hop on the trend and entertain your audience! To get your creative juices flowing, here are entertaining content forms:
- A funny review/story
- An internet trend
- GIF/ memes
- Asking questions around the office
- Contest/ giveaways
- Cute photos/videos
The key to successful content marketing is to create a balanced mix of promotional, educational, inspirational, and entertaining content. By understanding your audience’s online habits and creating content that adds value and speaks to their needs and interests, you can build trust and engagement with your customers. Your content should be interactive and visually appealing and aim to delight and engage your audience. You can build a loyal following and achieve your marketing goals by focusing on these three content pillars.
Social media is constantly changing, but one thing that never goes out of style is building a loyal community around your brand. When you create content that engages your audience, social media platforms like it because it keeps users on their platform longer. As a result, your content is more likely to be boosted in the algorithm, which can lead to more leads for your business. Don’t worry if this seems like a daunting task – you can always get help from a company like Trusty Oak to create a winning content strategy.