Evergreen, Authentic Content to Improve Audience Engagement

Kelly CurrieBranding, Communications, Content Marketing, Social media

Brands are seeking to connect with their audiences beyond the purely transactional interaction of sale. They want a relationship. And what do their audiences want? Valuable information that meets them where they are, and speaks to what they’re thinking about. One effective strategy for engaging with your audience is by creating and sharing useful, evergreen content about your brand. Enter: content marketing.

What is content marketing?

The wise folks at Content Marketing Institute describe content marketing as, “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” It’s the email newsletter you look forward to in your inbox each month with topics tangentially related to the business’ product, with great resources for the reader.

One brand that is applauded for their consistently good blog content is MVMT, the LA-based watch company. Their blog both uses appealing storytelling but also partners with influencers to help do so.

Example of a sponsored blog post

By creating and distributing valuable material without asking for a sale in return, you can develop trust and loyalty with constituents. The more the content answers their questions, the more valuable it is for them, and the more they feel understood by you.

Creating content for this marketing tactic can feel like a “when time allows” type of maintenance, but it is a worthy, proven way to connect with your current community and prospects in a manner that feels organic.

“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.”
~ Andrew Davis (Producer, Author, and Keynote Speaker)

Ideally this creative content is dispersed on multiple channels so as to reach the different corners of your audience. Consistently doing this, combined with other marketing efforts, increases brand awareness and can generate leads. Thus, it is a vital part of the marketing mix, part of your larger marketing strategy.

Where do I start?

Successful journeys begin with goals. Defining WHY your company is deciding to invest its time in content marketing is important, to not only establish expectations but also to get everyone on the same page. The goal may be as simple as increasing retention or extending your brand’s reach. These goals are not only valuable, but they are measurable.

Another question to consider when laying the groundwork is what value you can offer your audience. For a tech company, for example, this might be answering common customer questions proactively. Or giving customers the knowledge to create or troubleshoot something on their own. Either way, you want the content to solve a problem for your audience. Depending on your situation, this may call for some consumer research, or customer surveys. (Read more about this in this blog post from Neil Patel, “Survey Questions that Work.”)

Convincing leadership to invest your team’s time in this can sometimes present a challenge. Be sure that you define your KPIs (key performance indicators) that will measure what ways content marketing is helping to achieve your goals. These might be website metrics that you can find in Google Analytics, such as:

    • Decreased bounce rates
    • Increased Page Depth
    • Pages Per View
    • Website Traffic from Blog or Social

Or they may be related to the content itself and what action it is driving, such as:

    • Video Watch Time
    • Post Engagement

What type of content should I invest time in?

The question we find helpful to ask ourselves or discuss with clients, beyond those related to goal settings and measurable metrics, is, “What type of content will be feasible and effective?”

The material should be within the wheelhouse of your team members and able to play up their strengths. Have your technical writer draw up a how-to paper. Ask your account service person to document a client’s success story. It’s really a matter of prioritizing the time to document, finding an effective way to capture the content, and then communicating it.

Depending on your industry, the content type can vary. The good news is your team might have more time now to develop this, and good evergreen materials can be recycled over time, so they hold even more value.

Here are some formats to consider – and a couple of more recent examples:

Behind the Scenes

Content of this nature not only gives off an air of authenticity, but it creates opportunities for your audience to know you, like you, and ultimately trust you.

Example: Dyson Researcher

Behind the scenes post example - Dyson Instagram Profile

How-to Resources

Beyond the fact that video content is compelling and allows for longer engagement than a still photo, videos that exemplify how a brand’s service or product can be used in the viewers’ everyday lives allows them to see value in the product, and view it as attainable and useful.

Example: Lego’s Product Videos on Instagram

How-to information example of content marketing - Lego Instagram Profile

Other examples to consider:

    • “Best of” or “Most Viewed” Recaps – Last Year or Last Month
    • Interviews with Experts or Employees
    • Case Studies
    • Customer Testimonials
    • Checklists for Success
    • Industry Book Recommendations
    • Buying Guides
    • Industry Terms and Definitions
    • Portfolio Examples
    • Common Mistakes
    • History of a Product or Your Company
    • Research Results
    • Who Motivates Us
    • Favorite Tools
    • Infographics