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Content Continues to Reign

It wasn’t until 1997 that the term weblog entered our lexicon and since then, it seems content online has exploded. This year, it’s estimated there will be 31.2 million bloggers in the United States alone, according to statistica.

Content reigns supreme and demand for good-quality material continues to rise. How brands use content to interact with buyers at all stages of the engagement journey has fundamentally reshaped every business’ go-to-market strategy, according to research published by the Content Marketing Institute.

While many businesses have embraced the idea that they need to develop content to connect with customers, not having an aligned strategy or measurement plan in place will make it harder to achieve your goals.

 

Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan

It’s not enough to say you’re going to finally get that blog going or make your social media accounts more robust. Take time to map out your marketing plan for 2019 in these early months and consider what types of content your customers will appreciate receiving from you. Then craft three to four months’ worth of content now so you’ll have it ready to go. Be sure to test what’s working and what’s not. However, blogging isn’t the only way to deliver good quality content. Just as important as the delivery method is the need for consistency and personalization.

 

Consider Your Platforms, Assets, and Skills

It never fails. Each spring, I meet with my clients who are excited to launch their blog or step up their {insert social media of choice} game. Since they’ve failed to plan ahead, they start to struggle to keep up, so they abandon their plan or just hire me to take it over or ghostwrite their book.

Play up your skills and build your library of assets for that particular platform. If you are too busy to do this kind of work but recognize the benefit it brings your business, delegate it or hire someone to handle it. That way you know it’ll get done and done well.

Here are ways you can engage with your customers using content marketing using your skill sets, some of which can be used for several platforms based on what you love to do:

 

If You Love To Write…

  • Blogs and Articles: Write anything from a few hundred to 500 words on your blog and share the link on your social media platforms. Take time to learn better search engine optimization (SEO) techniques if this is a platform you want to grow.
  • Emails: Focus on crafting strong subject lines so your recipients will want to open and act upon receiving.
  • Write a book: Do you have an expertise in something that others might enjoy reading? At one point, I seriously considered writing a book on importing fair trade products since so many of my retail customers were curious about the process. If you don’t have the time or skills, hire a ghostwriter or co-author to help you.

 

If You Love Visual Imagery And Photography…

  • Videos: Google is the biggest search engine in the United States and YouTube operates as one of Google’s subsidiaries. While uploading videos to Facebook and Instagram might help with engagement, adding content to YouTube shouldn’t be ignored as it will help drive traffic to your business. You can always upload your video to YouTube and share it on other social media platforms to maximize its reach.
  • Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.: Several of these platforms allow you to post both live stories as well as photos. Rather than just haphazardly posting, consider focusing on monthly themes so your customers will start associating your business with that theme.

 

If You Love Audio…

  • Podcasts: Not as popular among retailers or wholesalers yet, podcasts are one place where I feel there might be an opportunity to reach new customers if you have compelling stories to share. Trader Joe’s introduced its “Inside Trader Joe’s podcast last summer to share with its customers how the retailer does business and decides on what products to introduce. In November, Pernod Ricard, the world’s second-largest distiller of wine and spirits, started a bi-monthly podcast highlighting information about its alcohol brands that are meant to educate and empower its representatives and retailers to sell more product.

 

No matter your skillset, there is a platform you can use to connect with customers. The key is to just get started and to plan ahead.

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ABOUT
Megy Karydes

Megy Karydes is a marketing and communications consultant. She’s also an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University and working on a book about how businesses can better market themselves. Sign up to get her marketing tips every monthly at MegyKarydes.com.