How to get started with content marketing

Practical content marketing tips for any brand or retailer 

 

What is content marketing? And should you invest in it? In this Afterpay Accelerate video series, content strategist Andres Lopez-Varela, who has helped create content strategies for the likes of Tourism Australia, Coca-Cola, Commonwealth Bank and Playstation, explains what content marketing is and why it’s important.

 

You can view the series, which is presented in four instalments (just as Afterpay allows customers to make purchases in four payments) below. You can also find extra information about the topics that Lopez-Varela discusses, with helpful links, below...

 

WATCH: How to get started with content marketing

First up: Instalment 1: Intro 

 

Want more information on content marketing? 

 

Let’s start with what content marketing isn’t. It isn’t TV ads, paid search or non-personalised emails. It isn’t outdoor billboards or ‘salesy’ social media posts.

 

Content marketing is essentially storytelling; it involves telling stories about your brand, products or people.

 

Content marketing works because it:

 

Creates a relationship between your brand and the customer

Builds trust and credibility

Creates a sense of relevance

Builds a sense of aspiration around your product 

Helps acquire a new audience

 

For many brands and retailers, content marketing is most valuable because it builds an audience. Over time, that audience will become increasingly engaged with your brand, so that eventually when it comes time to sell, you’ll be selling to an audience who already like and engage with you and your brand. In other words, you’ll be speaking to a ‘warm audience’ who are ready to become customers.

 

It’s important to remember, though, that content marketing is a long-term play. It isn’t about instant conversions.

 

WATCH: How to get started with content marketing

Instalment 2

Want more info?So, you’ve decided to invest in content marketing. What next?

 

To stand out in a sea of content, your content should ideally be inspiring, educational or informative, or entertaining. 

 

(Quick tip: If you’re a service-based business, consider creating content about your team, as you’re mostly selling your own services and experience.)

 

You also need to identify the best way to reach your audience – and this is often where social media comes in. Is your audience on Instagram? Or LinkedIn? Or would you be better considering Facebook?

 

How to identify the best social media platform for your business

 

Start by thinking about your customers (or potential customers), and identifying everything from their age to their interests. 

 

If your audience is younger, they’ll more likely to be found on Tiktok or Instagram for example; if they’re older they may be on Facebook. Meanwhile, Pinterest, for example, has an average age of around 40.

 

Of course, it’s not just about your audience; it’s also about choosing the right platform for your brand or products. Different platforms cater to different interests; Pinterest is best to reach people researching life events like weddings or home renovations, while YouTube is dominated by videos about make-up, fashion and gaming, for example.

 

Once you’ve worked out where your audience is, you’ll need to create content that works for that platform. 

 

Here’s a brief summary:

 

Instagram requires pictures or videos

Facebook is similar – but you can link to articles and blog posts on your website

Pinterest is very visually focused

Twitter is all about links to articles or blog posts

LinkedIn can link to stories and articles, but videos are also becoming more popular

YouTube is all about videos

 

Blog posts

 

Why consider writing blog posts? For a start it’s usually fairly straightforward, especially if your website was created with Shopify or Wordpress. However, blog posts also deliver authority by positioning businesses as an expert in their field – and they can help attract new customers, who may stumble across a blog post during a Google search and discover your site that way.

 

Email marketing 

 

Your email subscriber list is a totally ‘owned’ audience, which means that it isn’t subject to algorithm changes like most social media platforms. However, it’s not a good way to attract new audiences – in the way that Instagram or Facebook might be.

 

WATCH: How to get started with content marketing

Instalment 3:

 

Want more info?

 

Feeling overwhelmed? The trick to starting out with content marketing – while still running a business – is to get organised. Plan, prioritise and batch your content.

 

Plan your topics and content ahead of time, and then create a week or a month’s worth of content together.

 

Quick tip: Sit down for an hour and brainstorm 50 ideas for content. Here are some ideas to get you started:

What is your USP?

What is your expertise?

What questions do your customers frequently ask?

What key events are happening over the next few months that you would like to post about?

What business milestones (or anniversaries) can you post about?

 

WATCH: How to get started with content marketing

Instalment 4

Want to take your content marketing to the next level?

 

Consider collaboration. Are there suppliers or aligned (but non-competitive) businesses that you could collaborate with on with an event or product? Collaboration can give both businesses exposure to a new audience.

 

Try monetising your audience. Once you’ve built an audience, it’s worth considering that that audience may be of value to other businesses, too. You can monetise your audience by creating e-books or other branded products that you then sell, or by selling advertising space on your website or social media feed.