The Importance of Content in your Marketing Strategy
Are you content with your content? Read that again. Content is such a vital part of your brand presence. If you're online (you sure are reading this), then you consume both visual & verbal content on a daily basis. So much so nowadays that it's second nature.
So when mindlessly scrolling through socials or a website, what captures your attention? What makes you stop and *gasp* at something? The content.
Not just the visuals (photo & video), but sometimes the graphics, colours, or even the written content alongside it.
In an age of social media taking over, every single business should be utilising content marketing to the fullest!
So, what kind of content could you produce for your business? Or why is it important?
TYPES OF CONTENT
For us, there are two main 'types of content to focus on. Within each type, there are subcategories, but each produced piece of content has to have verbal & visual assets. That's what makes up content.
Visual content is obvious, it's what we see. When scrolling through social media we scroll, and scroll, and scroll. And on an app like Facebook to Instagram, it's the visual elements that make us stop and take in the piece of content. Before the human brain gets a chance to read the verbal copy, it's taking in the visual elements.
Visual content can be a photograph, video, text graphic, GIF etc.
So it's important to determine, which of the above mediums should your brand be covering? A strong brand should be able to produce content of all kinds, but, some businesses may just focus on photography, or just video content, depending on the industry & means of creating content.
It's important in the brand strategy phase of your business, to determine not only the styles of content you want to produce aesthetically but the type of content (mediums) you want to produce across your marketing outputs.
Various brand touchpoints may need different forms of content (read more on brand touchpoints in our blog post here) - such as for a TV advert or TikTok, video matters - for Instagram, maybe it's just a beautiful photo of your product with well-written copy.
Whatever you think will work best for your brand, research it & perfect it.
The Verbal content goes hand-in-hand with the visual. For photos, videos & graphics across socials, the written copy underneath matters just as much as the visual content.
Yes, believe me, the written content MATTERS! (you can read more on verbal brand identity in our blog post here.)
Aside from the written copy alongside your visual content, there is other forms of verbal content that matter hugely for a lot of brands.
You're taking one in right now, this blog post. Why are you still reading this? Because it's verbal content with a message, that's keeping you interested!
A Blog on your website is an invaluable tool if you're a service provider because just like what you're reading right now, it's a great tool to share knowledge & connect with your audience on another level.
Other forms of verbal content can be the messaging & copy across your website, the written content on your business cards, magazine adverts, menus, flyers, signage, in-store features & more.
PURPOSE OF CONTENT
Now that you understand the two main types of content, there is still a lot more work to produce good content within your marketing outputs. Content has to have a purpose, beyond just selling a product, there should be true meaning behind both the visual & verbal elements of your content.
First, the surface level, aesthetic. Sometimes it's okay to just produce pretty content. If it's to represent your businesses branding & look, then it's important that the aesthetic of the content matches the branding. Sometimes people are just looking for cool & unique photos & videos, but again, the verbal content that comes after they stop at the visuals is your chance to build that connection with a potential customer. When producing 'pretty content', it's still vital that you refer back to a brand strategy and/or business plan, as your guide, to see if this visual content represents your brand well. It's not enough to just get professional content (though that does matter) it's just as important that the professional content is in line (aesthetically & visually) with your branding. Think of how you can incorporate that essence & soul of your brand into visual content, through textures, location, colours, backdrops, clothing, staff and more - the possibilities are endless!
One of my favourite forms of content is educational! Again, just like the content, you're reading here right now on the ARKYEN blog (well done if you've made it this far!), people love to discover value behind the content they consume, especially when it's educational and they learn something new!
Customers of a business appreciate when the business takes time to educate their consumer, and don't worry, no matter the industry you're in, there is educational opportunities within your content that matters & will connect to your customers.
A Service Provider: can educate potential clients on the services they offer, giving tips & tricks to give a client an insight into the way they work, just like this post!
A Restaurant: can share home recipes so a customer can learn new skills & bring some of their favourite food into their own homes!
Beauty Specialists: can always share behind the scenes content on their techniques & favourite at-home care products, to educate their clients on how to continue that perfect salon look from home
Financial Advisors: educate your audience in little steps on money management from home, prove you're an expert in your field with free education, and customers will trust you're the advisor for them
Marketing Specialists: just like this, share free educational resources to businesses, give them a taste of your knowledge and what it's like to work with you
Makeup or Hair Product Brand: share how to use your products, the behind the scenes on creating them, this shares why they need your product in their hands
That's just some quick examples but you get the point, when you share free educational content it positions you as an expert in your field, and at the core, builds an instant level of trust with your audience. For that, they will remember you over competitors.
The one you have probably been waiting for. If you're producing all this free content, you want the audience to convert to customers right?
Yes, but they need a good reason too. More than 'Link in bio' & a product tag.
The days are gone where we can post about a product or service and have clients roll in. Whatever industry you're in, there is a world of competitors doing what you're doing. Maybe not as well, but your potential customer doesn't know that unless we show them through your content.
So to convert, we look over all the above steps mentioned.
What's our content type? Video, Photo, Graphic, Verbal?
Is this aesthetically pleasing? And in line with my branding?
Does the verbal messaging communicate with the customer?
Am I building a connection? Over just selling?
Is it educating my customer why I'm the expert / better choice?
It's quite simple when we strip it all back. The last thing you purchased that wasn't an essential must-have, what did hook you in & make you purchase?
If it was a service, it's more than likely there was a piece of content that showed the service provider as a valuable expert in their field.
If it was a product, you probably saw some hype about it (which is rooted in strong branding), or there was a piece of written content that just hooked you in & sold you on it & pushed you to that add-to-cart button.
So essentially, when creating content we can really strip it back to the core meaning of the content. If it's valuable to the customer, if it matches your branding correctly, if it represents your messaging, and if it educates your audience.
There is a lot to consider when producing content, and often people think they need a professional photographer and nothing more, but ensure that there is a plan in place, a strategic plan, to produce and execute this content correctly. Then focus on your verbal content to go with the visuals, with the right verbal messaging you can really transform how your content is taken in, and build truly meaningful connections with your audience.
So if you've made it to the end & want to get started right away with some content production, let's connect here & get you on the right track to producing strategic, aesthetic & purposeful content!