Lessons Learned: Applying Big Business Content Strategy to Your Small Business

Lessons Learned Content Marketing

If you have a small business, chances are you are constantly on the look out to up your marketing game. And face it, marketing, building your brand, and developing your brand culture are time consuming. Juggling them while running your business can be exhausting – and overwhelming.

Just researching effective marketing strategies can drain your time so why not take a page from some of the big corporations who are killing it out there? Here’s are a few companies that are really making their mark when it comes to content strategy and marketing. Learn what they are doing and how you can apply it to your own business.

 

Purina: Get real.

Purina has long been a household name and a leader in the pet industry for decades. It would seem that the brand could stand on reputation and longevity alone. They didn’t though. Instead, they pulled up a chair alongside their customers to have real conversations via social media, then turned those conversations into content that they not only enjoy but can actually use.

Takeaway: Ditch the industry speak and have real conversations with your customers. Then show them you are listening by creating content that meets their needs.

 

Virgin Mobile: Focus on social engagement, not social reach.

Virgin takes a slightly different approach to social media than many companies do. They use it to provide their customers with better service. Their focus is not on numbers. They aren’t as concerned with how many followers they have as they are with the quality of engagement their followers are experiencing on the company’s pages.

Takeaway: Social reach is good, but engagement is the name of the game. Once you have them on your page don’t leave them high and dry. Use that connection to build relationships and provide quality engagement.

 

Apple: Be the cool kids table.

Techno behemoth Apple has built its brand on a culture of cool. From the golden circle marketing strategy to award winning campaigns like “Think Different” they have positioned themselves to be cool and hip, the popular kid that everyone wants for their friend. That brand culture is in every piece of content, their social media, advertisement, and products.

Takeaway: Create a brand culture and reflect it in every aspect of your company.

 

Cox Media Group: Give ‘em stuff they can actually use.

Cox has found a way to leverage their content so that it works for them in more ways than one. Sure, the SEO does its job, but the company has tapped into another vital use for it. They create valuable content that their customers can use. Their “Success Kit” is a prime example. It provides information that other businesses can use to succeed.

Takeaway: Generate relevant leads with detailed, high quality, valuable content that your customers can use.

 

Red Bull: Round out your content by tapping into other areas of your customers’ interests.

Adventure is the lifeblood of this energy drink leader and they’ve perfected their content marketing to keep the excitement going. Instead of churning out endless content about energy drinks, they took a brilliant step in a different direction. Red Bull TV treats visitors to videos from all around the globe. That adventurous spirit that Red Bull customers are known for is brought front and center, rewarding them and boosting engagement.

Takeaway: Expand your content to explore areas that are outside your industry but are of interest to your customers.

 

Land Rover: Tell me a story.

Land Rover leverages storytelling to bring their brand to life. The Land Rover Stories section of their website features stories told through travelogues, video series, and photos that show the Land Rover in action in its natural element.

Takeaway: Use multiple mediums like video, photos, and text to tell stories that will engage your visitors and spark their imaginations.

 

Sephora: Hand the mic to your customers.

This popular beauty brand has paved innovative marketing pathways by employing user-generated content on its blog. Instead of employees or the marketing department creating the blog content, Sephora handed the mic to its customers who fill the pages with product recommendations, reviews, advice, and tips. They discuss products and talk about all things beauty. Over time, it has become a community that is a very engaged, active audience.

Takeaway: Don’t just talk to your customers (or worse, at them), draw them into the conversation. User-generated content has an authentic feel that makes your brand approachable.

 

IBM: Go beyond the boardroom to leverage influencers.

IBM has been around forever so you would think they could be successful on their track record alone. However, they just keep blowing us away with their trailblazing marketing strategies. In an industry that isn’t exactly sexy, the company still wows. Their incredibly clever use of content (think Guinness World Record breaker “A Boy and His Atom”) is amazing, but their use of influencers and experts in the industry turn a somewhat ho-hum topic into, wowzers that’s cool!

Takeaway: You can make anything interesting with a little creativity and some key influencers. You can’t have to put your product in a Kardashian’s hand (but wouldn’t that be awesome?), micro-influencers can be just as, well, influential and in some cases even more so.

 

Are you too busy to do your own marketing but you aren’t quite ready for a full scale marketing team? WriterAccess has the marketing solutions that you need. Our top notch freelancers will craft your content and help you build your brand while you take care of growing your business. Contact us today and talk to one of our knowledgeable, friendly representatives to find out how we can help you with all your content needs.

 

Stephanie M is a writer living in East Central, Alabama, but she didn’t always lead such a peaceful, carefree life. A few years ago she made a daring escape from the “cube farm” at a Federal Agency in Washington, D.C. (after eight very long years) where she worked. as an analyst focusing on disaster response, technical writing, program management, and FOIA. 


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