Despite their relatively tender age, millennials have been credited with killing just about anything you can think of. From diamonds to fabric softener and the napkin industry, precious few industries have escaped their ire.
While the accuracy of these reports should be taken with a pinch of salt, there’s one industry millennials have forever changed, dispensing with the age-old way of doing things in favour of a more dynamic and exciting landscape. That industry is advertising.
Millennials Don’t Like Ads
It’s been demonstrably proven millennials don’t react well to the hard sell. In fact, a study conducted by the McCarthy Group suggests 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional marketing. This has prompted an existential crisis for marketers; How to get the message across to a generation immune to tried and trusted methods? For many, content marketing is providing the answer.
Avoiding Content Marketing Mistakes
“Content Marketing is like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date,” David Beebe, Vice President, Global Creative + Content Marketing, Marriott International.
The good (or bad news depending on your perspective) is that content marketing is a relatively new phenomenon, so we’re all learning together. That being said, there are still some basic rules to follow to ensure you aren’t pushing potential customers away.
Settle on a Voice
One of the most important questions to answer before embarking on a marketing strategy is: What’s your brand’s voice? This question might seem like an open-ended one, but it’s quite simple to establish. Start by developing an avatar of your ideal customer. Put yourself in their shoes and think of what they are looking for. What is the best tone to use when addressing these people? This is your brand’s voice. Stick to it, but don’t be afraid to tweak it as time goes by and you feel more comfortable with your brand.
Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail
Content doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It needs time and preparation to flourish. This is why a content calendar should be considered a must. Don’t have one? It’s time to sit down and make one! A content calendar acts as a roadmap for your content strategy. It allows you to plan content around events such as National Ice Cream Month, Star Wars Day and more traditional favourites like Canada Day. Savvy brands have long realized the value of content like this. Preparing a calendar doesn’t need to be time intensive. Seek out one of the many templates online and think of content you can craft organically around these events. If you’re trying to sell surfboards, a hypothetical National Beach Day should be considered Christmas Day for your content calendar.
Consistency is Key
Ever wait forever for a bus and then three show up at once? Frustrating, eh? Make sure your content is scheduled to go out regularly and not in sporadic bunches. On our blog, we’ll post a new piece of content weekly or bi-weekly. Two of the most important factors that determine SEO (search engine optimization) are the quality of your content and the frequency you post it. A consistency in your posts shows your blog is well maintained and your information is up to date. It also has the happy side effect of giving you fodder to update your social media feeds with.
Don’t Take Unnecessary Risks
Michael Jordan is known as perhaps the best basketball player of all time but he’s also a savvy businessman. When asked why he never uses his platform to take a political side, Jordan remarked, “Republicans buy sneakers too.” I’m all for tailoring content toward a specific group, it’s the hallmark of good content. However, it’s possible to go too far, alienating potential customers along the way. Perhaps the best-known example of this is Pepsi’s poorly thought out advertising campaign featuring Kendall Jenner. In the ad, Jenner brings two sides of a protest together over a can of Pepsi. Considering the sensitive political climate at the time of the ad’s release, it was a monumental misstep. It’s possible to take risks without straying too far from your lane.
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