I recently put together a stackable model for strategic content marketing for clients which places a heavy focus on content marketing. This allows clients to see at a glance how all of the strategic planning and execution phases of a marketing strategy work together and inform the later stages. It’s difficult when putting together proposals for clients for them to visualise how all of the pieces fit together. This content marketing stack attempts to do this.
There is an intensive focus on content marketing for good reason, because content – whether it’s paid, earned or owned is the foundation of all marketing activity.
Think of your website as a hotel you own
If we think of the marketing stack as a hotel building, the design, development, UX and maintenance of websites and apps are the concrete pillars, outer walls and structural integrity of the building. The chaos outside of the building is kept at bay by the sound management and security of our hotel.
The navigability through the building and way-finding through the building and attention to detail is the UX, IA and interface design. This ensures our guests find their way through the building, towards the various amenities and service offerings.
The website content is the reception desk, tourist information, customer service, sales team, marketing team, HR and general manager. It’s the heart and soul of a business – the human side. Content is the memorable experiential side which makes one business stand out from another. After all, you can have the nicest hotel in the world, but if the staff are rude or incompetent, you won’t have buckley’s chance of getting repeat guests. It’s the same with content. When it’s not performing as it should, or when the meaning and intention of your content is not clear – your users will go elsewhere.
Content is the foundational marketing principle from which everything else in a website flows…
I hope I haven’t taken this metaphor too far, and I hope you get my drift. Content is the foundational marketing principle that helps a business to grow from original concept to start-up to multi-national brand.
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The lead up to Christmas and the holidays is the biggest time of year for retailers. This is prime time to use social media marketing to gain new customers and brand advocates. Social content is a vital part of the overall marketing mix. To help you to make the most of the busy period, have a read of the following tips.
1. Build genuine trust with your audience
During the silly season, you could noisily tout your wares like a old lady brandishing fish in a village market. Or you could use your social media to listen to the chatter and conversations about your brand. Then respond and attempt to create a personalised, generous and positive interaction.
Unlike other forms of marketing, social media is a two-way dialogue with evenly distributed power dynamics. It’s all well and good to blatantly sell on social media, but if the storytelling around your offer is non-existent, then your posts won’t resonate with your target audience.
2. Plan, plan and then plan some more
In order to win market share, it’s a great idea to start planning early. The earlier you begin planning, even as early as July or August, the more your business stands to gain out of the holiday period.
When you start early, it’s easier to avoid getting bogged down with BAU operational needs. Instead you should focus with laser-sharp awareness on long-term strategic marketing goals. Also social advertising and search marketing gets expensive in December. So filling the top of the funnel in July makes more sense!
3. Don’t be afraid to get creative
The more creative and edgier your holiday season offerings are, the more likely your business will be to stand out, in a crowded room of competitors all tooting their own horns.
4. Don’t forget brand storytelling
In amongst all the excitement (and pressure) of having to make yearly sales targets for the year, it’s possible to lose sight of the long-game of growing and nurturing brand advocates and fans. The holiday season isn’t just for selling stuff. It’s about building loyal customers who continue to come back time and time again.
5. Remarketing is important
Remarketing strategies through social media and PPC are going to attract huge returns during this time. In other words, the more frequently a relevant target audience sees your message, the more likely they will be to buy from your business. So make sure you wow them in your ads, so that they remember your brand.
6. Combine social with search
Search marketing is where you can really see some sales conversions. So be sure to change up your keyword strategy so that it’s relevant for the holidays. Also you should adjust your social strategy so that it’s relevant.
7. Social ads are a must
Even if your social strategy only goes so far as organic posts, it’s always a good idea to initiate a paid campaign over the holidays. This is when the majority of shoppers will be primed and ready to purchase. Sweta Patel of Silicon Valley Start-Up Marketing found that social conversions can increase from 0.6% to almost 20% from social ads alone.
8. Up the ante with your ads
Your ads need to be memorable. To do that they must stand out and be compelling for prospective customers. Split test a broad variety of ad copy and artwork combinations, to find that magnificent combo that your audience resonates with.
9. Think broader than social media for your overall marketing
Social media platforms will be thoroughly saturated over the holiday period. So in your holiday marketing strategy, be sure to integrate unexpected guerilla marketing campaigns, and competitions to spice things up.
10. Consider Facebook groups for people with specific interests in your business.
After all, people prefer to purchase from an individual and not a
company. They would like to engage in a two-way dialogue with an
individual who can help them, not a nameless social account. Any sort of
selling in this group needs to be incredibly laid-back and a subtle for
it to be effective. The primary goal here is to resolve challenges that
people face by offering solutions.
11. Email marketing and social combined are a cash-cow
Gift card offerings, competitions and last minute offers to email subscribers and via social are going to be highly effective for revenue growth. Start testing and retargeting your ad groups as soon as possible, to get the most out of that opportunity.
12. Scarcity works
Create limited time offers and limited stock offers to generate FOMO with your target audience. Create a limited number of coupons or exclusive offers that are only available until a certain date.
13. Visit and engage with people in niche online communities
Are you selling rental furniture to a young Uni crowd? Then visit the forums of a subreddit and post valuable information there. Avoid any kind of sales approach and instead aim to be solutions-oriented. Take a personalised approach to resolving challenges.
Ascension Magazine aims to inspire Indigenous and ethnically diverse women in Australia to love, appreciate and relish the gift of life. Ascension Magazine both online and in print explores life’s many treasures; beauty, culture and creativity through enriching and empowering content. Their desire is to liberate our readers to love the skin they are in and embrace their infinite power.
At the very inception of the magazine in 2013, I helped Ascension Magazine founder, model and Indigenous Australian beauty maven Sasha Sarago to create key brand documents for Australia’s first fashion and lifestyle magazine for ethnically diverse women and indigenous women.
Prior to the launch of the magazine’s first issue, Sasha needed a full suite of launch documents, such as a media release and media kit which would help her to sell advertising space in the debut edition of the print magazine. She also needed a sales document which would help her to crowd-fund the launch of the magazine.
I brainstormed with Sasha and together we came up with core branding concepts for the copy, which would tell an amazing and inspiring story of the magazine and its uniqueness from all other existing fashion magazines in Australia. This included:
A media release highlighting the launch of the magazine.
Go Fund Me launch campaign sales copy
A media kit
Lyrical, prose-inspired brand storytelling
The brand storytelling needed to be lyrical, poetic and inspiring. In terms of copy style, I used as inspiration the editorial of Oprah Winfrey’s O magazine along with the writing of Maya Angelou. However this brand storytelling couldn’t be derivative at all. It needed to be fresh, uniquely Australian and unique to the spirit and values of this powerful collective of people and their robust potential for greatness.
As such, myself along with Sasha wrote the following prose to encapsulate the soul and spirit of the magazine:
Spirit speaks to us. She guides us in an unspoken language. Spirit whispers softly in our ears.
Ssshhh…Listen! Can you hear her?
Spirit urges us to listen to our intuition. But we hardly ever do. Why is this? As women, we’re conditioned to ignore our power. To play small and conform to a foreign ideal that places us in constant conflict and turmoil with ourselves and the world.
Ascension Magazine is a spiritual revolution. Right now we are in hot pursuit to reclaim Spirit.
It is time to give ourselves permission to transcend everything that no longer serves us.
This is called Emancipation.
When we realise that we’re infinite beings; we become capable of everything our heart desires.
The universe never meant for us to act in desperation, but in faith, expecting abundance.
Our ancestors are aware of this wisdom.
They watch and wait patiently for us to understand this universal truth.
Culture beats like a drum in our hearts. It runs deep through our bloodlines.
It’s the glue that binds us to each other. Our language, totems, dances, songs, our spiritual home is where we derive strength and purpose.
Culture is never lost. From all parts of the globe, we Australian women share a common reverence for culture.
With many new dialogues of ancestry, tradition and contemporary expression these are signs of a cultural renaissance.
What sets Ascension Magazine apart from every other glossy magazine, is our courage to see the world in colour rather than in black and white.
Ascension is the magic that happens when women dare to be fearless and release the goddess power within.
Welcome to Australia’s first Indigenous and Ethnic Women’s Lifestyle Magazine.
For the media kit I thoroughly researched the fashion media landscape in Australia to find out about evidence that the media thus far had never been ethnically diverse and had been predominantly white. I didn’t need to look very far to find that evidence. This went into the media kit as a persuasive arguments to potential advertisers of the untapped potential they were missing.
The magazine is now in its fifth year and has evolved from being a print only magazine to becoming an online and social hub for ethnically diverse women in Australia with a vibrant community of dedicated followers.
The magazine has gone from strength to strength over the years, and I like to think that this is in part because of my initial help to kick-start the publication at its very inception.