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Best Practices for Content Marketing

From selling simple products to encouraging people to use your business services, it's important to market to your target audience effectively. Learn more about individuals and businesses who have successfully reached their audience and how you can apply that knowledge, regardless of your budget size, to your business.

Easy Lunchboxes – success without a budget

In 2009, the actress and singer Kelly Lester marketed her own range of plastic breakfast- and lunch boxes. Quite an unspectacular product, but her marketing strategy has grown this idea from a small mail-order business, started in her own living room, into a successful company with millions of sales. Instead of setting up an Amazon Web shop and just waiting for customers, this mother of three – with no marketing budget – created added-value content perfectly tailored to her audience and distributed it effectively.

The Content Marketing Idea: What mothers want

Kelly Lester does not use screen advertising campaigns to promote her product but has created website content that solves problems for a very busy target group: coping strategies for housewives and mothers concerned about family welfare. She presents herself as a caring, easy-going and practical-minded mother who understands how tough it can be to look after children. Health topics are an essential content focus, and also part of her company image. So Lester writes regularly about the environment and healthy eating, and she advertises that no harmful additives are used in the production of her own products.

In her blog and on social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest, she posts recipes, packaging strategies and decorative ideas for popular healthy food. And since this material is aimed at her followers, she has created her content around Easy Lunchboxes from the outset.

What we can learn from this:

Kelly Lester is authentic. She has built up a functioning company with no marketing budget because she offers help to her readers and customers on an extremely relevant subject: the health of their families. She cleverly portrays herself as part of her target group, just one concerned mother among many, and as a result, she wins sympathy and trust. She is so trustworthy that others advertise her products by voluntarily redistributing the content and products on a viral scale. As a result, she achieves success without a large marketing budget.

Be authentic and stay relevant to your target audience by offering them solutions. Discover the real problems and needs of your target audience, and address them. Make a name for yourself as an expert in your field. This works best if you can share the concerns of your target audience while offering a solution. So analyze your audience and their needs, and create solutions as one belonging to that group.

Urban Martial Arts: Fighting for good content

Do you think problem solving only works well for friendly housewives and warm-hearted mothers? Wrong! Less innocent contemporaries can also win over their readers and customers with quality content: The Brooklyn Martial Arts Studio “Urban Martial Arts” offers valuable support and helpful tips to keen martial arts and fitness fans. With a great idea and an array of marketing channels, the site operators have efficiently built a persuasive content marketing strategy, and all without the kind of budget available to companies like Red Bull.

The Content Marketing Idea: Fitness on every channel

Urban Martial Arts Studio’s content marketing is not magic. It’s helpful content through which the operators convey their knowledge and skills with a passion by offering readers tips and tricks on health, fitness and martial arts. In addition to its successful youth work, the studio also addresses its content to a target group of parents. So adults can learn why martial arts study is good for their children and what life skills kids learn through martial arts. And children and young people can still find well-designed content about studio events.

The studio’s site operators show great persistence, distributing all video and text content across their own blog and across social networks like YouTube, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Foursquare and Instagram. They give interviews to other websites in text, audio or video formats. Site operator Carmen Sognonvi not only writes about the company but also on issues like business and marketing, and she even handles the studio’s offline marketing, such as flyers and signage.

What we can learn from this:

The Urban Martial Arts Studio is a small company selling a service rather than a product, and every dollar counts for small business owners – there is no massive marketing budget. But dedication and a sound strategy compensate for their lack of money.

You should not only produce high-value content perfectly tailored to your target audience, but you should also deploy a broad and sophisticated seeding strategy. The Internet offers countless ways to distribute content cheaply, or even for free, and social media coupled with good content really helps to increase coverage. Plan and organize your seeding well by thinking about what content you capture on which media and exactly where you can best reach your target audience. Good planning and efficient seeding can save unnecessary costs, which can offset a thin budget through creativity and hard work.

A Content Marketing idea to take away: Once More with Feeling

Marketing campaigns such as Skype’s, in which two girls meet for the first time after years of online friendship, or the special musical “handover experience” of a new BMW for a particular customer send a clear message: Stimulate emotions! Benetton, for example, has a unique site just for good news and reports of special people and events that touch the heart, and the VW film “Once again” tells the story of a man who circumnavigated the world in his Beetle three times.

Whether your budget is large or small, tell stories that are moving. Storytelling is a way to gain the attention of your customers and readers without screening an advertising message. It doesn’t need to be expensive, but it is crucial to find the right story and tell it in the right way so that it evokes positive feelings for your brand. Above all, find a way to make your customers happy – that’s one of the golden rules of content marketing.

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