In order for content marketing to effectively engage your audience, it needs to be, well, sexy. And when we say “sexy”, we mean “attractive to your audience.” It has to pique their interest, turn their heads, and get them to pursue—I mean—click on/follow/call you.
“But my industry is so…unsexy!” you say. “How can I possibly make my industry sound appealing on social media?”
Well, you might be right about one thing—some industries (i.e. food, travel, fashion, lifestyle) are just inherently easy to market because of what they are. But I’ll tell you something else: you’re beautiful just the way you are. That may sound trite and condescending, but bear with me: you’re in business for a reason. You have an audience that uses your services, so therefore you are already marketable. It’s just a matter of saying and doing the right things that will engage your audience.
You know your industry best. Show your audience your expertise by offering helpful tips and information. You know what problems they may be facing—address those and help solve them. When your audience can rely on you for timely, relevant info, they’ll see you as an expert in your field and will return to you time and time again for your expert knowledge.
Humor is oftentimes the sexiest thing about a person—so make ‘em laugh! Humor may not work for every industry or brand, but if you can employ a lighthearted touch to your subject matter, the surest way to win someone over is with humor. Play on current trends. Take advantage of hashtags and funny memes if they align with your message. But again, make sure that humor is in line with your brand and don’t try too hard.
People want to be inspired. There’s a reason Humans of New York is one of the most popular blogs in the world. Brandon Stanton has built an empire around telling other people’s stories, simply by stopping them in the street, asking to take their photo, and giving people all around the world a small glimpse into the lives of seemingly ordinary people. HONY’s method doesn’t apply to everyone, of course, but your audience wants to be inspired. Whether it’s through new ideas, quotes or stories (especially your own or your customers), your audience wants to connect with you through what will inspire them.
The beauty of social media is that it creates a two-way street between you and your audience. This can give your audience an exclusive glimpse into who you are as a company. So get personal—show them your company culture, what goes on behind the scenes, how things operate, ask them questions and get feedback. Trying to simply push your brand on them won’t work. Genuinely involve them with your day-today and you’ll win their loyalty.
Relate to Them
Social media is casual in nature. Not that you should spew profanities or share potty humor (unless, of course, it’s relevant to your brand), but you should write how you speak. Forego industry lingo and see things from your audience’s perspective, and tailor your marketing accordingly.
Some, but not all, of these approaches may work for your brand and business. It takes time and effort to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
The other wonderful thing about the internet is that things can be deleted as easily as they are forgotten. If something fails miserably, try a different approach next time. Your audience will have moved on, so you should, too. If all else, fails, hit the “delete” button and don’t be ashamed—we’ve all been there.