Let’s face it. We’ve never been more divided as a species. And yet, in a world ravaged by a coronavirus pandemic, political conflict, and division, people everywhere still gleefully joined together in a single, united purpose: to “Free Britney.”
And great news: mission accomplished! So what’s next for the celebrated and newly liberated Ms. Spears? Well, actually, we don’t have a clue.
However, we can proudly present to you this content marketing guide taken straight from Brit-Brit’s incredible 23-year discography. Ms. Spears has more than a few smart strategies to share on how to improve your content, get it in front of more of the audience you crave, and turn them all into superfans.
The Britney Spears guide to better content marketing
Let’s start at the beginning of her hits and work our way through.
“…Baby One More Time”
Let’s start with one of the most underutilized content marketing strategies around: repurposing your top-performing content across multiple channels and in varying formats. This is one of the easiest ways to get more out of your blog posts and other kinds of content.
As a bonus, it makes the most out of existing assets and doesn’t require a significant additional investment. After all, it doesn’t take much to turn a data-packed long-form blog post into an infographic. Simply fire up whatever image editing platform you prefer and carve your most significant data points into individual points on your infographic template.
Or you can take that same blog post and create a case study based on the same metrics. Use Google Slides, PowerPoint or Canva to create colorful but readable slides to showcase the kind of results you can achieve for your clients or customers. Whatever you do, don’t forget to promote your content vigorously. It’s what Britney would do!
“Born to Make You Happy”
Let’s put aside the somewhat questionable relationship philosophy of the song here and focus on the title. Ask yourself: How can you be of service to your audience? That’s the key to winning over new readers and users, as well as hanging on to your existing customers. Knowing who you’re trying to reach, how they make their purchasing decisions, and what their pain points are is all part of persona research.
How can you uncover this highly valuable, powerful information? That’s pretty simple: ask. Email your customers and email subscribers, asking them to reply with their top challenge or fear (one that’s relevant to your niche, of course). Or you can create a simple online survey and send out the link, offering an incentive for completed surveys such as an entry into a drawing for a gift card or discount for your services.
It’s unfortunate that so many brands that are new to content marketing (as well as a few that should be old pros by now) focus so much on going viral. Here’s the problem with that: You can’t really count on going viral, and far too often, it doesn’t really help you increase revenue or sales anyway.
Instead of aiming for virality, which relies far too much on luck, aim to satisfy your customers’ and prospects’ needs, address their pain points, and prove your superior value and performance compared to the competition. Those goals require the consistent application of smart strategy and strong content creation skills, not luck.
However, luck does sometimes strike. And when it does, be prepared to make the most of it right away. The useful lifetime of a viral meme is far shorter than we’d like it to be, so if you want to maximize its impact, strike while the digital iron is hot.
“Oops… I Did It Again”
Did you do it again? In the case of content marketing, there’s nothing to apologize for. In fact, being consistent with your email messaging and content publication schedule is one of the highest ROI, lowest-cost strategies your brand can adopt.
Effective content marketing doesn’t require a daily publishing schedule — at least, not for anything longer than a short tweet. You don’t need to come up with a 2,000-word blog post or article every day of the week, so don’t let unrealistic expectations scare you away from content marketing.
Instead, aim for a schedule that you or your team can realistically meet on a consistent basis. Publishing your content when your readers expect is far more important. Keep that schedule and drop extra content as an unexpected treat for your audience when and as you can.
Too often, we want what’s bad for us. But you can also create buzz around something that’s good for your audience. Will just a taste of your product or service send your customers into a state of sweet obsession? What’s your brand’s unique value proposition, or UVP? Whatever it is, that should be the focus of your content strategy.
Don’t actually be toxic (i.e., bad for them) but cultivate that sweet spot and highlight it in your content when you can. The more you can showcase that UVP, the more your customers and prospects will associate it with your brand and that will help drive sales and profits.
When you’ve got that UVP well positioned and you’re keeping your customer profiles firmly top of mind as you develop and promote that content, your audience will naturally want more. Additionally, when you meet those user expectations, you’ll naturally keep your users on your site’s pages for a longer period of time. That increases a metric (dwell time) that search engines like Google evaluate as part of their search and ranking algorithms.
How can you increase your dwell time and satisfy those eager users demanding more? Pack your content with the value that readers want. Go a few extra steps beyond what your competitors offer. Give a behind-the-scenes peek at your process. Interview a long-time customer about how your company has helped solve their challenges or achieve their goals. Share the origin story for your brand in a bold, authentic way. Deliver the goods and leave them wanting more but then make it easy for them to find new pages to read, new reviews to read, or new products to consider.
Are all eyes on you? It’s hard to attract the attention of any audience these days. There’s a tsunami of new content released on the internet every single day. That’s a lot of noise. Can you help your company stand out and get its signal heard? One way to get there is through the power of emotion.
Specifically, embrace the power of entertainment in your content marketing. After all, nobody ever said that effective content had to be boring! In fact, when you add entertaining elements into your blog posts, videos, podcast episodes and other content, you make it easier for your targeted audience to retain more information. What’s more, triggering that sense of thrilling fun for them will help them associate your brand more closely with things like inherent authority and easy expertise.
Look for ways to incorporate multimedia elements into your content from time to time. Commission a jazzy theme song you can use as intro and outro music on your explainer videos. Give your logo a colorful makeover. Add images to your blog posts that bring humor, whimsy, suspense, and inspiration to your written words. These tactics will help entertain your users, but they’ll also help you stand out in a crowded marketplace and grab more attention.
OK, pardon the salty language, but this one’s key: Great content marketing is hard work. It takes effort and serious skills. The barriers to entry have never been lower for content creators and marketers, which has led to that crowded marketplace we just mentioned. But at its core, content marketing is about the consistency of your effort over time.
Results won’t come immediately, overnight, or even in a year, necessarily. Given the realities of today’s marketplace of ideas and content, and how the landscape has exploded exponentially over the last decade or so, it’s going to take some time for your brand to achieve any kind of real traction. How long is anyone’s guess. Many factors will come into play, such as current events, shifts in the business world, how skilled your content marketing writers and other creators are, and more. The way to maximize your chances of success and insure against unforeseen developments that might throw up unexpected obstacles in your path is to keep working at it.
Continue to give priority in time, resources, and effort to developing, creating, and promoting great new content, based on your ever-evolving understanding of your audience and customer profiles. Let the data you collect inform your strategy. Stay nimble and responsive, but keep working to produce and refine the content that shows off your brand to its greatest advantage.
Become a content marketing superstar
See? We told you Ms. Britney Jean Spears has what you need to excel at content marketing. Follow her advice and your brand will be swimming in the stars — or at least, attracting more devoted fans and paying customers.
Thanks for reading! Do you want to create thought leadership articles like the one above? If you struggle to translate your ideas into content that will help build credibility and influence others, sign up to get John’s latest online course “Writing From Your Voice” here.