There was a time when creating content for the internet was a simple affair. You just had to type out a few well-thought-out ideas, publish them and share the link. Soon enough, you’d have readers and engagement without too much effort. That was a long time ago, though, when most businesses didn’t have a web presence, and the competition online was slim.
Today, however, the internet is noisy. Everyone is competing for mere seconds of a user’s attention. Each of your real-world competitors is online now, and each has its own digital marketing strategy. There aren’t many industries left that haven’t leveraged the power of the internet and content marketing.
Take, for example, the beauty industry. In the early 2000s, when the internet was in its infancy, there were just a few major makeup brands out there competing in the real world, and only a few of them were embracing the internet.
Compare that with today, just a handful of years later, and we’re seeing immense saturation. It feels as though a new makeup brand is born every day, and products are released at a pace that influencers find impossible to keep up with. There is so much noise in the beauty industry and so much competition that it can feel almost futile to try to stand out in the crowd.
The good news, however, is that the internet and a good beauty marketing agency can even out the playing field. On the internet, a small business has access to the same tools and technology as a major brand, which means that if you know what you’re doing, you can compete with the big guys and come out on top.
There is no category where this is more true than in content marketing, especially when you consider that what the experts are saying truly matters in contemporary content.
What to Avoid When Outlining Your Content Marketing Plan
When you’re entering a highly competitive market with a lot of noise, you get the benefit of knowing what everyone has already done. But one thing you need to be aware of is the fact that even though some strategies may have worked previously for other brands, those strategies may have already been exhausted.
For instance, when we’re looking at beauty brands and influencers, one of the main content strategies that has been used for over a decade is the makeup tutorial. There is no doubt that makeup tutorials have worked for brands in the past. Charlotte Tilbury, for example, has capitalized on the makeup tutorial for many years and has been able to amass nearly 1 million subscribers on YouTube with these types of tutorials.
The problem, however, is that today, the beauty industry is oversaturated with beauty tutorials. Thousands of new tutorials are uploaded to TikTok and YouTube each day. As an up-and-coming brand looking to compete in this arena, it would be a true challenge to have your tutorials stand out among brands and influencers who have been doing it for years.
Other strategies to avoid:
- Creating content on topics you’re not passionate or knowledgeable about — people will follow you and consume your content when you know what you’re talking about.
- Prioritizing quantity over quality — It is far better to do one thing really well than to do many mediocre things.
- Taking on more than you can handle — Content marketers can easily become overwhelmed and creative burnout is real. Create a realistic plan based on the resources you have available.
- Targeting every social media platform — instead, choose the platforms that will best serve your brand based on demographics and trends.
This brings us to our next piece of advice:
Find a Unique Angle
As we’ve already established, the internet is saturated. Not just with businesses vying for attention, but also with content creators of all kinds. From ASMR cleaning to racing marbles, it feels like there is something for everyone. The only way to stand out in all the noise is to find a unique angle.
For example, beauty brand Glossier launched a video campaign to introduce their new line of body products, Body Hero. The campaign was in collaboration with players from the WNBA who would walk viewers through their beauty routines using the Glossier products. The campaign was an enormous success, garnering over 30,000 views each for their videos.
Glossier found a unique angle and made itself stand out, and it paid off.
Questions to ask that can help you find your unique voice:
- What makes my brand unique?
- What knowledge do I have that others would find helpful?
- What am I passionate about?
- What unique knowledge, skills or traits does my staff have?
- What are my goals? What is my mission?
Create Something Your Audience Will be Compelled to Share
Shares and engagement are what drive the impressions on your content. But how do you get your viewers and customers to share your blogs, videos, or podcasts? You need to get into the mind of your average customer.
What is it that they would watch or read and then think to themselves, “this is amazing. I have to send it to my sister.” We’ve all come across content like this and felt compelled to send it to a friend or a loved one. It may have made us laugh. Maybe it included helpful tips or little-known facts. Perhaps we wanted to share it because it included insights that hadn’t been covered before. Often we will share content that we find incredibly moving. You need to find out what it is that would make your audience hit that share button.
How Dove went viral
Take, for example, Dove. In 2013, Dove launched a campaign called “Real Beauty.” During this campaign, they released a series of videos called “Real Beauty Sketches,” which featured a police sketch artist. He would sit down with a woman, separated by a curtain, and ask her to describe herself so he could draw up a sketch. When he was done, she would leave without looking at it. The sketch artist would then sit down with a second woman who had been asked to spend a few minutes with the first woman, who she didn’t know. The artist would then draw up another sketch of the first woman, this time based on the description offered by the second woman.
In the end, the two sketches of the same woman would be vastly different, highlighting that women are much more critical of their own appearance than other people. The campaign moved people so deeply that they had to share it, and to this date, some of the videos have over 70 million views. There’s not a single Dove product in any of the videos, but that campaign drove Dove’s brand awareness through the roof.
Some of the most shared content on the internet includes:
- How-tos and DIYs
- Short-form video
- Long-form articles that are informative
This list is not exhaustive and doesn’t apply equally to all brands. The best course of action to find out what your audience will feel compelled to share is to do your research and understand the demographics and behaviors of your audience.
Become a Thought Leader
A thought leader is someone who offers unique insight and expertise on a topic. Becoming a thought leader is no easy task, and it’s best set up for those passionate about their topic. Nonetheless, when you build up your brand to be recognized as a thought leader in your industry, the time and money you’ve invested will return to you tenfold.
Strategies for becoming a thought leader:
- Staying up to date on trends and news in your industry and then relaying it to your audience
- Publishing your own data sets, which you can collect through customer surveys, phone calls, or contracting it out to a research company
- Teach your audience about the finer details of your industry
- Establish transparency
One brand that gets it right is Wayne Goss. Founded by the makeup artist of the same name, this beauty brand is widely accepted as one of the top thought leaders in cosmetics today. Wayne offers simple how-to videos that tackle common problems makeup users face.
Here’s a video that addresses one of the most prevalent complaints in cosmetics: how to do neat and tidy eyeliner. This video has over 12 million views, and there is no doubt that when it comes to makeup application, Wayne Goss is who many people turn to when they need help. He has made a name for himself as a clear and undisputed thought leader regarding makeup.
Content Marketing Pays Off
It’s true that each of the strategies for effective content marketing above is time-consuming and may require some monetary investment. Even more so when you’re looking to rise above the noise in a competitive industry. Still, when content marketing is effective and your content is seen, it truly pays off.
According to Content Marketing Institute, brands that practice content marketing effectively experience 7.8 times more traffic on their websites than brands that don’t. It can feel like an uphill battle when you’re embarking on a content marketing strategy in a competitive market, but embracing strategies that help you stand out can drive your success.
The most challenging part of content marketing in a highly competitive industry is getting the ball rolling. Remember though, there’s a wide range of tools and services that can help with the process. Employing a content marketing planning and scheduling tool, like DivvyHQ, can help you automate parts of your content creation process, which is a real lifesaver.
Pair DivvyHQ with the strategies laid out above: finding your unique voice, getting to know your audience, and becoming a thought leader. Doing so will increase the eyes on your content, helping you beat the competition and skyrocket your brand into success.
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