Content has held its position as ‘King’ for some time now in the marketing world, but how has the COVID-19 pandemic’s series of lockdowns and ultimately the hard jolt towards digital impacted digital strategy for brands? Furthermore, what has it meant for how consumers and audiences interact with brands?
Whether you’re at the embryonic stages of setting out your content marketing or your brand is committed to the same approach it’s used for the past few years, it’s good practice to take the time to review your plan and make sure it’s optimised for getting you the best results in the most effective way. This might mean sharpening your TikTok skills to engage new audiences, digging into your analytics to uncover new behavioural trends since the pandemic hit, or taking a look at who’s doing a better job than your brand.
4 reasons why ambitious brands prioritise content marketing
- It generates more leads for less. In fact, its reported to cost 62% less than other traditional marketing methods. For marketers that are keen to spend their budget in places that will drive a great ROI, with resource left over to invest in other channels – content marketing should be at the heart of your strategy.
- Google rewards great content – meaning great visibility for your brand and the opportunity to drive new business to your website.
- Control the conversation. The great thing about owned media is you get to tell the story, you create the opportunity to put your best foot (or feet) forward and showcase your brand. Whether that’s in a project case study, a heart-warming news story, or creating a viral social media video.
- Your competitors are doing it. HubSpot reported that 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing. I think this speaks for itself. In case it doesn’t though – your competitors see the value of content marketing and are capitalising where you’re not if you are overlooking it.
Creative marketers have the edge on their competitors
Being resistant to change and rigid in the 21st century simply doesn’t cut it. Whichever school of thought you come from, 2020 and now 2021 has been a huge ‘I told you so’ moment for all voices that have been championing ‘digital transformation’, ‘digital acceleration’, or the latest term for operating effectively online and with agility to meet consumer expectations. Now is the time for brands to invest in their content strategy and innovate. Those who are adapting and harnessing the opportunity to try something new will win. They are already are.
Yorkshire Tea are a brand that are great at pitching social content that fits the mood of their audience. They used their wit and light hearted tone to engage Twitter in activities during the lockdown, keeping their brand at the forefront of consumer’s minds and adding value to their brand perception. Yorkshire Tea have seen their sales soar by a 16.2% increase during lockdown, making them the best selling UK ‘black tea’ brand. Marketing Director, Dom Dwight of parent group, Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate, credits much of their success to how their social media approach ‘cuts through the noise’.
Many brands have faced the challenge of getting their products or services into homes that previously relied on brick and mortar stores. Getty Museum are one of the brands that have gained a lot of coverage following their creative social media challenge that invited the public to recreate works of art from their homes. The recreations at home gave audiences the opportunity to fuel a campaign with their own content whilst benefitting from entertainment.
American Golf chose to challenge their customers and golf enthusiasts to a Home in One challenge. Their strategy harnessed a gamification approach of their existing ‘Pressure putt challenge’ which encouraged celebrities and sports pros to sink as many putts as possible against a 60 second timer.
Lockdown has put a spotlight on brands to step up, demonstrate how they can adapt and importantly, show how well they understand their audiences.
Make sure your brand is seen and heard
Google processes over 3.5 billion searches every day and owns over 92% of the market share, making it a lucrative space for brands to be visible. Google trends data gives marketers great insight to how people are behaving and feeling to some extent. 2020 was an eventful year to say the least, and Google trends data saw ‘how to’ searches soar, including ‘how to cut your own hair?’, ‘how to make bread’ whist DIY related searches spiked massively, as did overall internet usage. This is a great opportunity for brands to capitalise on an already interested audience. So, how does content strategy come into this?
Let’s say you’re a paint brand and your business aim is to generate more business through brand awareness. Your content marketing strategy might employ SEO, PPC and social media tactics to achieve this. A content strategy might have once been overlooked as a ‘nice to have’, but now, as we have seen the world forced to shift further into the digital era, its paramount brands are carefully considering the purpose of their content, how it’s used and optimised. Looking at consumer behaviour, trend data, a digitally savvy paint brand would have a rich portfolio of content ready to attract that increased volume of traffic to their site. Either from an engaging social media campaign that uses video, an innovative use of tech or simply harnessing keyword research to provide articles that answer the search queries users are making.
With more people working from home now, voice search is an increasingly important aspect of SEO that marketers should be considering when fine tuning their content strategy. There are approximately 12.6 million smart speaker owners in the UK, and of those 70% claim to use their voice assistants daily, the pandemic has seen usage of third-party voice apps increasing 67% since the start of lockdown. That’s a compelling statistic for optimising your brand to be heard in homes across the UK!
How effective is your brand’s content marketing strategy?
Understandably, creating a content marketing strategy can be a burden for organisations that might not have a dedicated content team to deliver it. Making sure you’re ‘getting it right’ during a pandemic naturally adds pressure to deliver great results and thrive. But, we are living in a world now where digital really does come first in how we communicate, work, shop and entertain ourselves. Content is imperative to this and the future of brand success.
If you’d like some support with your strategy and the opportunity to benefit from an multiple- award-winning integrated agency – get in touch. We are BBI, and we have over a decade of experience in using content-led performance strategies to grow businesses and all the tools and resource to elevate your brand through and beyond lockdown.