Content marketing has been a huge buzz word in digital marketing for the last couple years, and it’s a major place if interest for most marketers. Many business, though, don’t want to invest time in it, because they don’t see a return on investment. However, I believe when you combine great content with a great social strategy, you can find an amazing connection with your customers, and a substantial ROI.
Content Marketing Can…
1. Improve SEO
2. Engage Current Consumers (and get them to buy again)
3. Engage Potential Consumers (and get your brand top-of-mind)
To begin or improve your content marketing, I recommend looking at two content marketing queens: Free People and Bark & Co.
1. Free People
Free People’s 25 BLDG Blog has been around since 2006- longer than I think “content marketing” has even been a widespread strategy, giving them plenty of time to be completely amazing at it. The blog is interesting and relevant to target audience without just boosting their own products, a definite no-no in the content marketing world.
They identify topics like DIY projects, home decor, vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free cooking and interesting bohemian products/businesses/services (i.e. “The Magic That Is Montauk Juice Factory“) – not to mention the best horoscopes. They combine these topics with Free People-related content, like scenes from the office, outfit inspiration, catalog behind-the-scenes, and office style to bring readers back to the Free People e-commerce site. All of their topics reflect the bohemian, free-spirit, gypsy style of the brand, creating really engaging content for their target market. They really utilize Twitter to promote their blog and connect with readers.
2. Bark & Co
Bark & Co is comprised of BarkBox which expanded into BarkPost and BarkBuddy. Now for those of you who somehow haven’t stumbled across BarkBox, it’s a monthly package with samples of products for your pup. They introduced BarkPost because, well, what’s a better job than sharing cute dog photos and videos all day? While Free People invests in writing blogs and creating topics (being “Content Creators”), BarkPost writers are more of “Content Curators” – bringing together all of the cute dog topics from around the net. Despite not having a dog, I stay up-to-date on BarkPost via their Facebook and eventually when I do have a puppy, I’ll be in a great position to subscribe to the BarkBox product. (Has any human ever said “bark” this many times?)
Both companies obviously integrate social media into their content strategy, maintaining a similar voice across all platforms and bringing customers from social back to their content. I’ve actually never purchased from either brand, but am really more likely to buy from them in the future because I feel more engaged with the overall branding of each company.
The essence of content marketing is creating a personal and emotional connection with current and potential customers – and it boosts SEO to boot! Neither of these brands simply discuss the benefit of their products, because, no offense, but no one cares. (Sorry!) They’re posting information that benefits their customers, which is really how I view marketing should be as a whole. (Stay tuned for my personal view of the industry, and professional values statement!)
What are your favorite content marketing brands? Do you ever connect with brands you love about content that isn’t brand related?