What we've read, shared and published this month - June 2017

Content marketing

What we've been reading 

Spotify’s CMO on using data to create content marketing hits – News Cred
Spotify’s bold and personal marketing strategy is an inspiring example of content marketing. By using customer data, Spotify has consistently created marketing campaigns that resonate with its vast audience. What sets Spotify apart from others is it views data as a way to understand the uniqueness of individuals, while also examining cultural trends.

Key insight: “Today’s successful brands must look at data with a much keener eye, and begin to draw insights that speak to customers as humans and build lasting connections that actually improve business outcomes for years to come.”

The 3 behaviours driving the most creative content marketers – The Content Marketing Institute
Creativity and content marketing seem to go hand in hand, yet creativity is something many marketers struggle with. The Content Marketing Institute has put together three common behaviours and attitudes of the most creative content marketers :

  1.  Enjoying the process
  2. Aiming for quality AND quantity
  3. Consuming your own work through the eyes of your audience

Key insight: “Creating something great doesn’t require a moment of genius. It demands a thoughtful, repeatable process.”

7 social media analytics and reporting tips for becoming a data-savvy marketer – Buffer
Social media analytics insights can be some of the most important information a marketer can get their hands on. Unlocking social media analytics and reporting can inform your entire strategy, by learning more about your audience and how they engage with your content. The problem? This data confuses a lot of us. To help, Buffer has put together a guide to finding, reporting and using social media analytics.

How to add colour and richness to your writing … without making us want to barf - Copyblogger
Crafting colourful and lively writing is crucial for inspiring audiences. Adding a little too much colour however, can make writing tacky or distasteful. 

The perfect writing is a balance between several factors, including; warmth and childish cheerfulness, richness and goop, or simple and fancy. Copyblogger addresses the ideal balance to ensure that your writing hits the mark.

The best of B2B marketing content: 9 examples – HubSpot
Despite what you might expect, B2B companies can create content that's every bit as brilliant as  as what B2C companies produce. With customers eager to consume content that will inform, entertain and inspire them, the possibilities are endless. Some of the most creative campaigns from B2B companies are compiled in this article from HubSpot, with examples from Deloitte’s University Press, Wistia, and Unbounce.

New from us 

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What have you been reading this month? Let us know in the comments!

Why every business needs a content strategy

Woman writes content strategy for client

Hands up if you publish some form of content for your brand? It could be blog posts, white papers, social media posts or even ebooks.

Now, keep your hand up if you formally strategise your content? Do you have a robust content strategy? Our guess is many of you have had every intention to knuckle down and create that winning strategy. But time has simply got away.

We understand. Trust us, we do. The cold hard truth of the matter is, if you want your content to fly, like really fly, you NEED to implement a content strategy.

Producing content without creating a robust strategy is a bit like trying to kick goals without putting in the training. Not an ideal scenario.

Sure, you can probably produce an excellent piece here and there, but does it align with your overall mission? Is it serving your greater purpose?

Our guess would be no.

Here’s how having a clear content strategy will catapult your efforts

It’s one thing to create a clear call to action for the piece you’re working on, it’s entirely another to align your piece with your overall mission and aim for your business.

Look at it like this. If your business aim is to increase sales of a particular product, a complex content strategy would weave this call to action through all myriads of content production.

Content would be created solely to promote this product, sell the benefits, address your customer pain points and remove any doubt about the product itself. Employing a matrix of communication channels to strengthen your message WILL yield results.

Without a content strategy in place, you may publish a blog here, post some business news there add a sprinkling of an e-newsletter for good measure. Sure, the content would no doubt be applicable to your business and engaging to your customers but it is working to it’s full potential? It every piece of content working in conjunction with your business?

If you are currently winging your content using the latter (or lack of!) strategy, our guess is that you’re scratching your head wondering why content marketing isn’t working for you.

Unfortunately great content doesn’t mean much if you don’t have a great strategy supporting it.

Fear not. We have a solution.

Let us develop a content strategy that will strengthen your brand messaging and increase your conversion rate.

Here’s how we can help:

1. Research and Discovery

Build a clear picture of the business. Achieve baseline understanding. Remove ambiguity.

The first stage of developing a workable content strategy is to build a clear picture of the business through discovery activities. Activities may include interviews, workshops, internal and external audits of strategic and content products.

At the end of this stage, you will be provided with a report with insights on your business that can be further developed to target customers effectively.

2. Content Planning

With the initial research complete, the next step is to implement a content strategy.

Your unique brand story will be written to align with your business goals and key messaging.

We’ll then provide an overarching content calendar that will detail when, what and why you are publishing.This can be channeled down into social and editorial calendars to maximise your content on each medium. We’ll even outline how this will move customers through the sales funnel.

Tell us, do you have a content strategy or do you wing it?

BOOK IN YOUR CUSTOM CONTENT STRATEGY TODAY.

10 essential tips for a killer social media strategy

Iphone Instagram

So, you've been managing your social media pages, promoting your posts and keeping your customers happy. But no matter how many resources you invest, you just can't seem to get a significant response. Sound familiar? 

Today, businesses across industries are building social media profiles to gain brand awareness, but it's using social media strategically that separates the dynamic brands from the ignorant. Unfortunately, many companies are still failing to listen, plan, engage and learn. 

Why is a killer social media strategy so important?

Your social media is an extension of your content. Your content is a reflection of your service quality.  To help you achieve a killer social media strategy, here's our list of the most important tips.

1. Know your audience

The first things you need to establish is your target audience. Knowing their demographics is one thing, but paying attention to their lifestyle, interests, personalities and cultural dispositions is a home run. Segment the different groups, understand how to communicate to them, and plan your social media strategy accordingly. If you have a content strategy, you probably have this figured out already. 

2. Create a brand style

Your style is the voice, personality and worldview that is unique to your brand. This allows you to showcase your human side, and invite your customers to get to know your company. Your brand style should be an authentic representation of your organisational goals, mission and values. Although your communication method should vary, it is crucial that your brand style remains consistent across channels.

3. Plan your content

If your social media is inconsistent, incoherent, messy or irrelevant, how will people view your service quality? Chances are your customers prefer brands they can count on to be consistent and organised. They will judge this through your social media (harsh, but true).

Try cleaning up your social media strategy with an editorial calendar to help you plan out your content on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. This will ensure that every post is planned, well thought out, relevant and you will never be caught out with nothing to post. If you're not already, use a social media scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to save time crafting posts.

4. Engage, engage, engage

Think of engagement as the act of capturing your audience's attention, attracting their interest, and in turn staying present in their mind. People are most engaged by content that inspires, amazes, educates and amuses them. Make sure your content is targeted towards your followers interest, and try making your posts interactive to further involve your followers.

5. Build a community

Most marketers know that one of social media's end goals is to build a thriving community. Creating a place for like-minded individuals to feel involved and included will create meaningful relationships between your brand and customers. Try fostering a two-way communication line between your company and your customers and commit to helping them, hearing their issues and involving them in conversations.

6. Use visuals

Visual content is taking over the marketing world and your social media content needs to adapt. Viewers respond better to visual content, as content that includes relevant images receive 94 percent more views than content without relevant images. Brand videos in particular are responsible for increased engagement and driving website traffic from social media. Striking images, intriguing videos, and fascinating infographics are the key to engaging your social media followers.

7. Tell a story

Storytelling is a very valuable tool for marketers to use in any context. A good story can captivate an audience, make messages stick and influence behaviour. People are drawn in by stories and the messages they are sending, because of the emotional reaction it produces. Telling your brand's story, sharing stories about customers, sharing workplace stories about your staff or crafting a story about your product are all storytelling methods to improve your engagement.

8. Adapt to the platform

A crucial step in your social media campaign – do not create a flat social media strategy that applies to every platform. You can have a general plan for style, content, and goals, but to use social media tactfully, you must adapt your posts to each platform.

People choose to use a social media platform over another depending on its characteristics. For example, people use Instagram to be inspired by beautiful visuals, while they may open Linked In to keep up with changing trends in the industry of their profession.

Understanding what your audience is looking for when they are using a platform can better help you to be exactly what they are looking for. Another important factor when adapting to a platform: know the different algorithms to improve engagement on each social media site.

9. Measure and learn

Yes, it's a cliche, but you're not going to improve without looking back, analysing your campaign success and changing your future practices.

Analyse your most popular posts to find the ingredients crucial for high engagement. Check your posts that fell flat, and know what techniques you can leave behind. Make sure you look at your social data to discover when most of your audience are online to find your optimal posting time.

10. Stop overselling

The biggest mistake that marketers make on social media is misunderstanding its purpose, and using it to sell. Despite what some may believe, social media marketing is not about selling, it is an opportunity to create a community and engage potential customers.

Spreading product awareness is very important, but even more-so is creating long lasting, meaningful relationships with your customers. We suggest using the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of posts should be non-promotional, with just 20 percent focused on your brand. Engage and entertain people, invite them to get to know you, then inform them of your amazing products. 

Summary:
1.     Know your audience
2.    Create a brand style
3.    Plan your content
4.    Engage, engage, engage
5.    Build a community
6.    Use visuals
7.    Tell a story
8.    Adapt to the platform
9.    Measure and learn
10.   Stop overselling

Do you know of any other social media techniques that are crucial to the success of your strategy? Let us know in the comments.

Need some help with your social media strategy? The Mint team love everything social and can help your business craft a killer social media content to engage and inspire. Contact Mint Content for a free 15-minute consultation today.