Content marketing can be very profitable to a business when it is merged with the right content and the right platform. Content creation is an art. Any marketer who has had any real success in his/her content marketing efforts will tell you that. He/She will also tell you that strategically planned high quality content creation is the answer. However, even after doing everything right, your content is just not cutting through. You notice that the social media platform is attracting its target audience but somehow they just overlook your page. Funnily enough, you will also observe that the same quality content is working better on another platform for the same target audience. What is the problem and the solution?
Content Marketing and the Medium
The problem here is that your content is not “staying true to the medium.” What does that mean? Imagine this: You are searching for a baking recipe for Banana Pecan muffins on Youtube. Since it is Youtube, you expect to see a video of chef actively preparing the muffins. However, when you start the video, you see a series of slides playing one after another, each one describing in wordy detail how to prepare the muffins. What do you do? Do you follow the recipe or do you skip to another more helpful, useful and interesting content? Definitely, you move on. I assume! Right?
What is Native Content Marketing?
This process of tailoring content to stay true to the social media platform taking into account all unique features and functionalities of the platform is called native content marketing. Native content forms an integral part of the overall strategy and content creation plan. Here are some proven ways to incorporate native content in your content marketing efforts.
First Rule: Re-Imagine, Don’t Re-Purpose
In a winning content marketing strategy, re-purposing is a bad word. Simply recycling your Facebook content and publishing it on Twitter with some hashtags here and there is not going to earn you a million followers or likes. Such lazy approach is punished harshly by the social media platform’s algorithms which carefully consider each of the platform’s unique features and how your content corresponds to it. The answer is to re-imagine. For example, if you are marketing an airline, you could run a Youtube campaign about “people travelling abroad for the first time” where the first time travelers share their excitement and joy. Your Instagram channel could be an extension of the marketing campaign where you encourage people to share pictures from their first trip abroad. This way you are re-imagining the content in an innovative and engaging manner making the most of the unique features of both Youtube and Instagram. It drives audience attention and interaction and suits the social media platform in consideration.
Content Marketing and Brand Identity and Personality
No matter what the platform’s unique features and inherent limitations are, your content marketing must stay true to the brand identity. It is important not to get carried away by any marketing platform and start posting irrelevant content that does not reflect your brand identity. For example, if the same airline company which positions itself as a high-end, elegant and friendly brand, comments about political scenario of the destination country in a sarcastic and poignant manner, even though it may spark a few laughs and gather some comments, it does not reflect the brand identity and personality. The target audience expects the brand to behave in a certain manner, if the brand does not live up to those expectations, the audience will be disappointed. No matter what type of post she publishes – text, video, image or gif, each post must reflect the voice and tone of the brand and not that of the social platform. Moreover, the brand voice and tone must remain consistent across platforms.
Content Marketing and Platform Preferences
One of the biggest mistakes in content marketing is trying to be on all platforms all the time. Just because a new social media platform is out there gaining momentum, it is not necessary your brand has to be on it. You need to test and experiment with the new platform to see how its unique features and limitations help your brand engage with its target audience. Your social media strategy for new social platforms will aid you to understand which part of your brand personality is best highlighted through the platform.
Microsoft – Championing Youtube
Microsoft hit a home run in its native content efforts when it released a video Child of the 90s which transports you to the past. Only in the last few seconds of the ad, you realize the actual purpose is to promote the new internet explorer.
Nike – Ruling on Twitter
Nike has always been at the forefront of innovation and creativity on social media. Even though it has several Twitter accounts, the main account @Nike has the maximum number of followers. It does not bombard the target audience with multiple daily tweets but when they do post they have highly engaging motivational content usually with the hashtag #JustDoIt. This main Twitter account mostly contains retweets from other Nike departments such as @NikeFootball, @NikeStore, @NikeCanada, etc. and the main reasons for its popularity – it is main hub for Nike fans to consume content from all departments in one place.
— Nike Sportswear (@nikesportswear) September 1, 2016
Burberry – Leader on Instagram
Burberry is one of the early explorers of the new video feature of Instagram. In less than a minute, Burberry takes its target audience behind-the-scenes to peek into their latest fashion collection or it teaches them to use a make-up product bringing out a more human, artsy, creative side of the brand.
Native content is an art. Your content marketing efforts must add a creative spin to it. Some platforms may reveal surprising results when utilized in an innovative manner. An agile content marketer knows this and always stays true to the medium while crafting content that best complements it.