Content marketing is also something for medium-sized companies
If you are looking for examples of content marketing, you will usually only find large companies that use this term. Marketers and the communicators in the corporations use the hype for themselves, build structures for it and show how innovative they are.
In contrast, we hear less about content marketing in the SME sector, although it also takes place there.
Small and large companies are affected by digital trends in advertising. Customers are less and less interested in online advertising, instinctively hiding them or using ad blockers. Companies must therefore find other ways and means of reaching their stakeholders - regardless of whether they have 10, 1,000 or 100,000 employees. The advantage: content marketing measures can be individually planned, adapted and implemented. This opens up new perspectives for all company sizes.
Clarification of terms: content marketing
The classic customer journey has long been history. Content Marketing takes this into account by trying to win the interest of the stakeholders in different touch points and in different buying phases. At the same time, the goal is to skillfully launch communication with the target group. For me, all marketing measures that focus on content fall under the term "content marketing".
However, it is important that companies optimally use the various channels to reach their stakeholders with personalized content. Only those who directly arouse customer interest have the chance to place their brand messages in a sustainable manner.
What you can achieve with content marketing
All companies that focus on content marketing have recognized one thing: It is important to establish a connection with the respective stakeholders by seeking dialogue. Transparent communication is the basic requirement for the loyalty of the target groups. At the same time, it strengthens the online reputation. If you are open to your stakeholders, you can build a trusting relationship faster.
Trust is one of the best currencies online brands can use today. Because trust helps build regular customers and more positive consumer opinions. This also pays off in the event of a crisis: customers know which companies they can rely on. The same goes for journalists, bloggers and other influencers that you gain through content marketing.
Customize content marketing
Depending on the operation and orientation of the content marketing activities, classic B2B stakeholders such as applicants or suppliers can also be addressed. The bottling plant manufacturer Krones is already doing this very well. The company creates closeness with owned media formats such as a blog or Krones TV. It goes without saying that Krones AG is also present on a wide variety of social media platforms.
The different formats can be helpful as sales support. The more background information sales staff know, the better they can answer customer questions in sales talks or anticipate them directly. Because they are the ones who work with different customers every day; they know about their problems and questions. If they can even illustrate the solution with a short video, this often helps them more than cumbersome explanations.
Companies recognize the importance of content marketing
Well-known examples such as the CocaCola Journey, Red Bull or Curved are now old hat. However, more and more brands are showing that content marketing has arrived in companies. For example, Deutsche Bahn, Vodafone and Allianz have been attracting attention for some time now with completely redesigned online presences.
Often, content marketing is not just about major structural changes, but about clear responsibilities, personalization and, above all, creative ideas. The LMU Munich, for example, has shown how companies can react spontaneously to reports. The satirical magazine "Der Postillon" reported in early July that it would be the first university to offer the subject "Emojilogie", a course in interpreting emojis. The LMU reacted promptly and published a few suggestions about the exam time - in emojis, of course.
A second nice example of how you as a social media team can react to current trends if you can act quickly and independently is #FollowMeTo. Under this hashtag and with parodies of a well-known travel couple photo, various brands follow each other on Facebook and construct a joint excursion. It starts at IKEA, continues to Tchibo, Sparkasse, Rossmann, to the zoo and other stops.
Felix Katzenfutter has installed video cameras at 32 influencers at home. They filmed the house cats while their owners were not at home. The result is several videos that are shared on the blogs of the participants and thus attract attention. In addition, there is also a cut best-of video for Felix's social media channels.
Online magazines are also part of content marketing. That is why the Thalia bookstore takes the logical step back to its roots with “Stories”. It tells good stories in the form of interviews with authors, portraits of booksellers and workshop reports, thus providing interesting insights into the world of books. At the same time, customers and influencers also have their say. Also not to be missed are reading recommendations that can be found in the “reading time” category and come from readers as well as Thalia booksellers.
Anyone who provides their stakeholders with any interchangeable content is not classified as relevant or interesting. The only alternative: Companies have to offer high-quality, individual content. But it cannot simply be created on the side. You should pay particular attention to the following points when starting:
8 content marketing tips for small businesses:
- The best content is the one that your customers like. Therefore, you should question them again and again and thus carry out a kind of content controlling.
- Rely on your own authentic language that takes customers seriously.
- Assume the needs of readers or viewers. Be relevant by answering the questions of your stakeholders with your content.
- Take responsibility for your content by naming real people as senders. More and more employees act as brand ambassadors for companies.
- Tell stories from your day-to-day work that show how you work. Storytelling creates closeness to the customer.
- Your content contributes to the reputation of your brand and strengthens individual employees as brand ambassadors.
- Publish your content regularly and make it subscribable via email.
- Establish a corporate blog or trade magazine with relevant industry content so that it can be better found in the search engines and perceived as a contact person for certain topics.