Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Content Marketing Trends


Content Marketing Consultant

What is Content Marketing?

The best description that I have seen is from the Content Marketing Institute:
"Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action."
-
Content Marketing Institute

Trends Based on Keyword Search Results - 2013- 2014  

The trend of the use of the specific  term, content marketing, is shown in the Graph from Google Trends below. Since 2011, the news that uses this term has increased steadily in usage and searches, while other internet marketing terms such as SEO have decreased. We also have seen strong growth in the industries and companies that target content marketing as their main business focus. Two examples are Copyblogger and Content Marketing Institute, both which have seen dramatic growth in their subscribers as a result of this high growth industry.

 Stats - Business to Business Content Marketing

In a definitive research study (2014 - Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends- North America  - Content Marketing Institute) on B2B content marketers, it was found that marketers that had a documented strategy were more successful with content marketing. An example of a documented strategy would be a content marketing plan that listed the various media to be used as well as the type of content to be published to a particular target audience. Social media is the top media listed and within this category there is Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Youtube as the five most used by marketers. In a detailed plan, each one of these can have it's own strategy for content marketing that may be different, or overlap, or refer to other media as a cross reference. 

An example on how this plays out in the real world would be Red Bull. In the blog "Red Bull -  A Study in Facebook Content Marketing" I used their various postings and tabs in Facebook to give examples of what they are doing that works based on the likes and shares. No surprise that they are one of the top brands on Facebook. Their content marketing has a very engaged target audience with the various interests in extreme sports and new events and news happening all the time all over the world.       

Content Marketing for Small Business Owners

Small business owners who are much too busy to handle their own content marketing can retain services of a content marketing consultant or specialist to develop a plan that meets their needs and budget and creates the authority that they will need to compete effectively with Google page ranking. This includes copywriting, blogs, web copy, social media posts, tweets, and various creative promotions that engage potential buyers of services and products.

The New Bruce Clay Content Marketing Book

Bruce Clay, one of the authorities in internet marketing, states on his web site "While content marketing might be one of the most overused buzzwords in 2013, it is also the marketing priority for 2014."

His new book , to be published at the end of this month, will highlight the main strategies that content marketing professionals can use for clients.

The key factors that I am interested in are the types of content strategies that would be a catalyst for readers to share the content and create links to the content, just as I am doing now to Bruce Clay's web page that describes his book and the summaries of ten chapters as a preview. 


Content marketing is indeed a buzzword and as a result, we may expect that another one may take it's place some time in the near future. But for now, and most likely through 2014, we can expect it to gain in usage and become a definite priority for internet marketing.

Content Marketing Jobs and Descriptions 

When large corporations are creating new departments and job descriptions surrounding the concepts of content marketing, then we know that this industry is here to stay and not just a passing fad. I was surprised on how many specialties there are within this broad category when I saw the job offerings and descriptions. It is common to see salaries ranging from $60,000 - over $100,000 for various content marketing positions.

Will the Perfect Content Marketing Consultant Please Stand Up?

The term content marketing is a catch all for a coordination of all channels in a creative way that meets the consumer needs and needs of the company, while being relevant, topical, and engaging enough to not seem intrusive like advertising and yet cause people to like, share, and buy products and services. As a major part of internet marketing, there are a lot of players jumping into this game. While larger companies have an in-house position or department dedicated to content marketing, small businesses can benefit from a "quarterback" CM consultant, who may provide content services and/or consulting to coordinate and filter out various services to find the best match to the needs and goals of the small business.

Author: David Brown
Since 1999, internet marketing and web development, web copywriting. and creative content solutions for small business. Top ranked on Google for search of Portland webmaster. Accepting small business accounts for monthly content marketing services.
www.logion.net  - 541-953-3360



Monday, November 4, 2013

Red Bull - A Study in Facebook Content Marketing


owner Logion Web Design
Copywriter, Inbound Marketing and SEO Consultant

What Marketing Strategies Can We Learn from Red Bull's Facebook Page?

Photo image from Wikipedia Red Bull page
Red Bull is one of the top brands on Facebook, and taking a peek at their page design, tabs, posting, likes, fan's comments, and fan's shares helps us understand more about what works for them in Facebook marketing.

Masters of Content Marketing
As masters of content marketing, Red Bull has their own culture and target audience, and have one of the world's largest networks of engaging content. At the end of this blog there are ten content marketing strategies that we can learn from Red Bull.

With over 40 million fans - people who have "liked" their Facebook page - we know that they are doing something right.

Originally, their target audience was mainly younger men who love extreme sports, and that still seems to comprise their main audience, but it goes way beyond that and we see women posting and being active in their events both as athletes and fans.

The navigation menu on their website home page reads Motorsports, Bike, Surfing, Skateboarding, Adventure, and Music. The sports market is one that they focus on and are actively involved with on many levels such as sponsorship, advertising and endorsements. Anyone who loves these sports would be a target market, both men and women. Of course, the energy drink would also appeal to anyone who wants an energy boost as an alternative to coffee and that common behavior seems to be their larger appeal.

With over 5.2 billion cans of Red Bull energy drink sold in 2012, we can see that their marketing plan is working. The culture that has built up around Red Bull is a natural for social media and especially Facebook.

"The marketing strategy that has worked best for us is not to publish our strategies,"
says a Red Bull representative.
" (from Mashable 12/19/12 )

By reviewing the various aspects of their Facebook page; design, tabs, and posts, we can see how their marketing is integrated and serves their target audience in many ways that keeps them coming back for content as well as another energy boost drink.  Although their marketing strategies are not discussed by management, we can still learn what seems to work for them with Facebook posts by how many likes and shares are being generated.

1) Overall Design
The cover photo of the earth with the sun rising is a strong visual and engages the first time page visitor to like the page just for this image alone, aside from their liking the brand. Update - their cover photo changes as a method of creating more engagement for fans. On February 12th 2014 they changed it to a motocross rider flying high in the air near a pagoda. The new image racked up over 17,000 likes and 650 shares.

2) Tabs and Pages
The three main tabs under the cover photo include Red Bull TV, Events, and Games/Apps. These open up into sub-pages which are like web pages inside the Facebook platform. The choice of these three show us the priority for their marketing.

Red Bull TV
The Red Bull TV Facebook page tab demonstrates the power of video as engaging content, and their Facebook page includes a main video as well as a selection of Featured Shows and Popular Shows.  The main text message below the main video is "This is Red Bull TV ....Lean back and be entertained with the best content the world of Red Bull has to offer from action sports and motor sports to music and lifestyle, exclusively packed in one global 24/7 free web TV stream, any time any place."

Then there is a link to their own TV channel- "Watch Red Bull Web TV in full screen at redbull.tv." The idea of their own TV channel works in addition to their Youtube channel which has close to 3 million subscribers. They just got one more. I enjoyed watching "Forecasting the Perfect Swell - Red Bull Jaws 2013" , one of many sporting events that they sponsor. 

Events and Game Apps
The Events tab  opens to a page on Red Bull sponsored events from all over the world. The marketing of this tab is the access to fresh news and content from the main Facebook page, which seems to be the number two priority based on research and fan response. The Games and Apps tab has three main categories on the page; the Red Bull Arcade, Red Bull Mobile Apps, and the Faves from the Red Bull Drunkish Dials....voice messages that can be listened to right on the page and rated from 1-5 stars. Talk about engagement, this page hits a whole different level of their target audience, and the number of games and apps is impressive. This type of marketing development is out of reach for many small businesses. However, the concept of developing creative content that is related to your brand is shown here in spades.

Posting

The posting on Red Bull's Facebook page is a study of how they can engage with a variety of different types of posts which is par for their overall marketing. So on Monday morning such as today, November 4, 2013, what do we see? It's all about events and "must see" videos. For starters, how about Kayaking the Big Banana waterfall at 10am EST, getting 8970 likes, 288 comments and 1364 shares within two hours.Now that's engagement. More posts to follow.


Red Bull has more than one Facebook page beyond their main brand page and it makes sense to target specific audiences such as race car fans or extreme x sports fans. There is a Red Bull Racing page for their Infiniti Red Bull Racing Team - https://www.facebook.com/redbullracing , and the "official Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour Facebook Page - freestyle motocross madness!", both with over one million fans. (https://www.facebook.com/RedBullXfighters). Then there is the Red Bull Signature Series page -  https://www.facebook.com/RedBullSignatureSeries - that "unleashes the most progressive and innovative competitions around the globe."

photo from the Red Bull Racing Team Facebook page.

Here's a post from this morning on the Red Bull Racing Team page showcasing the Abu Dhubai 2013 Grand Prix with a link to the live podcast from the Red Bull Team.
http://www.infiniti-redbullracing.com/audio/team-podcast-2013-abu-dhabi-grand-prix

Humor works. On their main Facebook page we really see genius in content creation and engagement with a poke at the NSA and cartoon posted on Facebook after the news that the NSA had hacked into Google user databases. "Hacked again - crack the can" - "It would be so much easier to spy on our citizens of they stopped drinking Red Bull." The wings that are shown reminding those who know their slogan "Gives you wings" and the demographic of characters are middle aged men and women holding a can of Red Bull. This is a cool cartoon that uses humor to promote a top brand based on a current news event.
15,000 + fans agree.
photo image from Red Bull Facebook page

Their 2013 World of Red Bull "Gives You wings" Commercial Says a lot with the short video.

The ongoing active sports events worldwide provide Red Bull extensive opportunities to participate, create, engage, and brand their concept as well as their product and they are masters of marketing. Red Bull not only markets by participating in worldwide sports events, it is changing the face of sports, and having an influence on how certain sports events are organized. They are a major player and they do it well.

Ten Facebook Content Marketing Strategies That We Can Learn from Red Bull

1) Don't Publish Your Marketing Secrets or Strategies
2) Associate Your Brand with a Popular local or national popular category....music, sports, etc
(even if it is only a one time event....micro-marketing local vs large scale national)
3) Start Posting and building interest in this category on your Facebook page
4) Post on Facebook consistently with engaging content without mentioning your brand
5) Create a joke, cartoon or spin with your brand based on current news.
6) Follow Red Bull on Facebook to see what they post, the likes, shares, and comments
7) Subscribe to Red Bull TV on Youtube to see how they engage their fans
8) Have a passion for your brand and engage your target audience
9) Use your own or a third party's creativity to be original, unique, and distinctive in your industry.

10) Develop a marketing plan that has the above ideas, diversity, and relevant content that is published frequently and engages the site viewer, blog reader, Youtube viewer to evoke response to your own brand

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Authored by

David Brown

David Brown is a Certified Content Marketer and an award winning internet marketing consultant. As owner of Logion Web Design, he has been in the SEO and content marketing industry since 1999. He is the sole author and publisher of this blog, Likes, Tweets and SEO, and also is the owner of Dentist Webmaster LLC, launched in 2013. He offers consulting and is accepting qualified accounts for monthly advanced SEO and content marketing services. His dog's name is Shaman.




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