We live in an age which arguably consumes more media and content than ever before - just by virtue of our current population size and easy access to smart technologies - like cellphones, tablets & TV’s. The latest statistics show that just WhatsApp penetration in South Africa is now over 95%, and it is now quite common for people as young as 9 or as old as 90 to be using these devices to access on-demand content.
With so much information, entertainment and content creation - it is understandably very hard for brands, celebrities or businesses to tap into this ever-growing world of content marketing, especially in a digital context.
So where does one even start when planning a content strategy to help promote brands, sell products or drive online traffic? The short answer is you can start right now and wherever you want! And the long answer is you need to take your time and slowly tailor your content for your audience by optimizing wherever possible - even if it does not seem like it will give you immediate gains.
1. Keep Your Content Fresh
Keeping your content fresh does not mean relying on what you are used to doing and familiar with. One needs to be always ready to change it up or re-strategize - while also not wasting your resources and energy doing so. A useful tip for keeping your content fresh is by refreshing the creator making the content - this does not mean firing your current designers though! But rather switch it up, find different sources of inspiration, stay up to date with trends and look at what other creators are doing.
2. Make the Most Out of What You Have
We all understand the difficulties of big budgets VS small budgets when it comes to marketing through content. Whatever the size of your budget though - there are always great ways to make captivating content. Different technologies all have their places and spaces - such as professional Red Dragon cameras for crisp quality TVCs - but an average smartphone these days can also be used to create content that holds attention just as well.
Whatever technology you are using, it is best to refine and master your current process, or to learn new skills. A quick tip here would be to try and re-use what you already have access to and never waste previously made content (while remembering to try and keep it fresh). A rule-of-thumb is that simple content is usually best, but complex content can intrigue in other, nuanced ways.
3. Create for The Right Channel AND Right Audience
Different channels or platforms are always changing - just like the audiences we are creating for. Taking the time to study and understand both the platforms and audiences will always be to your benefit. For instance - learning about social media algorithms and frequency will ensure that your beautifully crafted content does not go to waste by posting it at the wrong times.
4. Test, Monitor & Optimize
Always analyze your content data as much as possible. While this is a whole topic by itself, it is still easy to quickly check the stats or feedback of what you post - even just by asking a friend to look.
The key to content analysis is to try and monitor your creations quickly (yet efficiently) to identify any hiccups, mistakes, or potential opportunities.
Do not be afraid to try new things and test how they are received and always remember that content optimization takes time, investment and trust.
5. Utilize Your Community
Lastly, what the rise in social media has taught us is that brands and businesses are no longer voiceless identities - they rely on their consumers just as much as we rely on the products we use daily. This means as content creators, we need to become a part of the communities we are involved with, and not just exploit them.
"Start by tapping into people who are already loyal to your content or use your products, as they are the ones who can teach you the most about what you are creating."
And likewise, find ways to help others with their content creation. Building a community, like building a brand, or optimization, takes time and dedication.
Unfortunately, there is no sure-fire content formula that will guarantee clicks or sales. But if you invest the time and energy into your brand and business - as well as your skills, communities, and technologies - you are sure to find some success down the line. And if not - then it’s time to plan again and hopefully fail better the next time round.