The marketing cycle used to be as follows: Buy an ad. Use that ad to reach your audience. Sell them your product. Use the profits to buy more ads. Ad infinitum. From TV commercials to magazine ads, marketing was all about interrupting your customers’ daily lives to tell them about a product.
But that method doesn’t work anymore. Instead, content marketing has made brand promotion less about selling a product and more about spreading ideas. So how do you get your ideas to spread? Here are some tips.
1. Keep things fresh.
This tip is twofold. First, people want to see things that are unique or original. The longer they have to get used to something, the more easily they’re able to ignore it. For example, content marketing was a new thing not long ago. Any kind of content, by itself, was enough to pique people’s interest.
But now, everybody’s got a blog or a YouTube channel. There’s so much content out there that we’re beginning to ignore it. So to get your content noticed, you need to make it stand out. Do something unique and interesting that will draw people’s attention.
Second, you need to stay fresh in the way you share your content. Every new blog post or video gets posted to your social media channels. But what do you say about it? Do you have a standard introduction, such as, “New Blog Post!” followed by the title?
If you share everything the same way, people will start shoving it to the back of their minds whenever they see it, and moving on to the next post in their news feed. Find something unique and personal to say about each post that will grab people’s attention.
2. Know Your Audience.
Promoting your content isn’t just about how you say things, though. It’s about who you say them to. It’s important to define your audience clearly and know how and where to reach them. Part of this is about understanding what social media platforms to focus your energies on. But there’s more to it than that.
You also need to understand who you’re talking to, and approach them on their level. Are you targeting the young, constantly connected demographic that communicates in text-speak and gifs? Businesspeople who will be persuaded by facts and stats? Intellectuals who are looking to have an in-depth, well-thought-out argument? If you want to reach people with your message, you need to say it in a way that you know they’ll respond to.
3. Generate Buzz.
Reaching people is only half the battle. The goal of marketing is getting your message to spread. You can post your content to all of your social media channels, but what you really want is for your audience to spread the word for you. Which means you need to create content that’s worth talking about.
This brings us back to keeping things fresh. Your brand and your content need to be on the cutting edge of what’s going on in your industry, in order to generate buzz. It’s difficult to gauge what will capture people’s attention and go viral. But there are things you can do to facilitate it.
First, make sure all of your content has buttons on it to encourage sharing on social media. Also, submit your content to websites, news outlets and prominent people in your industry who can help you gain exposure. Make contacts and connections and use them to help you promote your content. With a little effort and ingenuity, your content can be the thing that everybody’s talking about.