What Content Marketing Can Learn From Your Closet

What?  You don’t have time to go to the Container Store?  You can’t dedicate an entire long weekend to cleaning out and revamping your wardrobe?  Oh, yes, you’re a small business owner.  I see… Okay, then, don’t worry about the closet.  You can work on it after your company’s IPO.

Today, let’s take a look at your closet from a content marketing perspective.  Somewhere in that mess of heels and scarves you’ve only worn once there are a few lessons you can learn for your business’s content marketing strategy.  We’ll let you handle the actual closet on Labor Day weekend – or whenever you get around to it.

Staying In Style

Your closet can say a lot about you.  Yes, you may wish that it wasn’t so, but the fact that you still think Gloria Vanderbilt is at the top of the denim food chain is quite apparent from a quick glance into your closet.  The Gloria Vanderbilt issue is really none of our business, but if your content marketing strategies are that outdated, then you probably could use a little bit of help.

For most industries, AM radio advertising is the Gloria Vanderbilt of marketing.  If you’re looking for something new and hip to update your “advertising wardrobe,” you need content marketing.  Through effective content marketing, you can reach a broader audience in more effective places.  It’s not “just stylish.”  It gets results.  If you’re interested in just how prevalent content marketing is, you should know that in 2010, nine out of ten B2B companies used content marketing strategies.  These organizations used about eight strategies apiece on average.

Oh, and the results?  It’s estimated that content marketing can replace the first 80% of your sales cycle!  Big businesses are using it, too.  And, we’re big believers that content marketing delivers the same results for small businesses as it does for Fortune 500 companies.

So, ditch those “old jeans,” and pull up your content marketing pants.  Here we go…

Knowing What to Throw Away

A major part of any company’s content marketing strategy and closet-cleaning strategy is knowing what to throw away.  Just because a certain approach falls under the umbrella of “content marketing” that doesn’t necessarily make it a great strategy for you.  Are you spending an hour of your time everyday trying to reach an audience on Facebook?  But, three months later, you still only have one hundred Facebook fans?  Perhaps Facebook isn’t right for your business.  And, you know what?  That’s okay.

Neighborhood Notes recently put up a blog post that covers the basics on choosing the right social media platform for your business.  If you’re new to content marketing/social media, take a few minutes to read through their post.  You’ll find some helpful advice on choosing the right platform so you don’t end up wasting your time and your “closet space” with the wrong strategies.

Time to Repurpose

However, you shouldn’t throw away any and every strategy just because it’s not working in its current form.  To go back to those jeans we were talking about earlier… just because they aren’t fashionable now, doesn’t mean they’re worthless.  You could have them repurposed into a purse for your 12-year-old niece.  (This is not fashion advice.  I have no idea what 12-year-old nieces consider “cool.”)

To translate that principle to content marketing, if your blog isn’t working in its current form, don’t feel like you have to ditch the domain, graphics, and infrastructure.  It’s time to put in the extra effort, and reinvent your blog.  Blogging for business is all about continual reinvention.  You have to know what works for your audience, and you have to be prepared to shift the direction of your blog in order to deliver!

Some of our clients, for example, want their content to go after the hard sell, while others just want content that would be of general interest to their customers.  After a period of time, a client may decide that their technique isn’t working.  They’ll ask us to “reinvent” the blog and change the focus of the content, which, of course, we’re more than happy to do!  You don’t have to throw out the whole system simply because it isn’t meeting your current goals.

Changing With the Seasons

Back to your closet… you may have noticed that shorts and t-shirts have made their way to the forefront.  But now, in August, you have no idea how many layers of cotton would have to be excavated in order to find your sweaters.

Your closet changes with the seasons; why not your content marketing?  Last week I started writing “back-to-school” posts for our clients that target parents and families.  Pretty soon I’ll have to start thinking about Labor Day posts.  Don’t let major events and seasonal changes sneak up on you.  After all, if you want your content to be effective, you have to plan ahead.  You can’t expect to sell Labor Day products with a blog post the Thursday before.

Even if your product or service isn’t “seasonal,” you can still have time-sensitive content.  Writing content that is connected to trending news topics is a great way to drive traffic to your blog or other content marketing efforts.  A great website to find trending topics is the aptly named TrendingTopics.com, which provides real-time information.  But, chances are, you already know what’s new and different in your industry.  Build your authority with your audience by writing about it.

Getting Away With Eccentricity

If you spend enough time going through your closet, it’s almost a certainty that you’ll find some article that leaves you speechless.  How could I ever consider wearing that?  However, think again.  At one point in time, those were some pretty cool parachute pants, weren’t they?

You get a few hall passes in the world of fashion.  You get a few hall passes in the world of content marketing, too.  Large and small companies alike are doing some pretty crazy things with their content marketing strategies.  Don’t feel glued to Facebook, Twitter, and your blog.  Looking for inspiration?  It’s everywhere, but here’s an idea-packed interview I found at Forbes.com with the Dos Equis VP of Marketing, Colin Westcott-Pitt.  Dos Equis is doing a great job with their innovative strategies.

Goodwill v. Boutique

Lastly, if you’re like a lot of people, the contents of your closet are probably a mixture of Goodwill finds and boutique items.  When you needed a redneck costume for that cookout last summer, it was perfectly acceptable to go to Goodwill and buy a Dale Earnhardt t-shirt, complete with authentic mustard stains.  When you needed a dress for your cousin’s wedding, spending more money than you usually would at a boutique was fine.  Both stores serve their purposes.

The lesson for content marketing is this: some of your techniques will be easy to research and execute on your own.  But others, like blogging for business, might be better off left to a professional writing service.  If you need a little boutique flair in your company’s content marketing, get in touch with us, and let’s talk about it!

What other connections do you see between content marketing and your closet?  What areas do you think are worth paying “boutique prices”?

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Ben Richardson is a writer based in Nashville, TN. While he loves writing on a variety of subjects, he's our go-to on all things related to branding and the creative aspects of content marketing. Follow him on Twitter!

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    2. […] Bonus: Just like you’ve got to plan your clothes for the fall, it’s important to plan your marketing for the fall. Fellow ContentEqualsMoney.com staff writer, Ben, writes a wonderful post about what your content marketing can learn from your closet. […]

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