Why Create Content for Your Business?
You’ve probably heard of content marketing, and the phrase “content is king”. But that isn’t always an inspiring thing to hear, especially when you’re out of ideas. Customers are looking for content that adds value to their own lives, whether through entertainment or information. This helps customers form a relationship and loyalty with your content, products, and brand, and this in turn tends to lead to loyal customers in general.
This blog is for beauty brands looking to expand their marketing impact with content that is useful for their customers to help increase sales. Let’s dig a little deeper!
What’s the Purpose of the Content You Create For Your Business?
Engaging content is either entertaining or informational, and ideally it’s both. The purpose of this material should be to provide real value, be something a consumer would consider sharing with friends or colleagues, and be true to your own brand. This is content marketing, and serves to increase the prominence of your brand in customers’ minds and ultimately drive business.
Content, in this case things as small as a social media post or as big as an ebook, helps cement your authority on a subject. The subject could be something as basic as your particular product, but it could also reflect your industry knowledge or lifestyles associated with your brand.
Each piece of content should reinforce your brand identity—perhaps you’re playful, colorful, environmentally conscious, etc.—and this will help consumers link your great blog or video to the great products you sell. Creating content is all about reinforcing your presence and quality, without being overly sales-y.
Formats of Content
There are many types of formats for content marketing, including things like social media posts, blogs, videos, live streams, ebooks and other PDF downloads, infographics, and more.
While planning content you can either group in terms of types of formats or subject matters, for example grouping content by how to use your product, or focusing on just producing videos covering all subjects. The way you tackle content is up to you and what you’re most comfortable producing. For some people writing blogs is a walk in the park, and for others videos are easier. The most important part is just to create content!
For this blog we’ll discuss both format and content in their own sections.
Blogs are articles published online and typically are informative, interesting, and personal in a way that stays true to your brand. When businesses talk about creating content, it’s often a blog or video they’re referring to.
Blogs allow readers to take their time consuming content, to come back to it later, to print out their favorite parts, and to easily share with friends or colleagues. As with all forms of content, the goal is to make blogs informative and entertaining, so it’s appropriate to insert your brand’s unique voice. Beauty brands have more flexibility to offer a dynamic personality as compared to a law office whose blogs should likely stay neutral.
Most websites have a blog function built in, especially if you’re using an accessible platform like Squarespace or Wix. WordPress is likely the most popular blogging platform and there are hundreds (perhaps thousands) of plug-ins and designs you can use to customize your blog and connect it seamlessly with your website.
Blog Ideas for Your Beauty Brand
How to use your product(s)
Ingredient spotlights or details
Your brand story and who you create your products for
Creative ways to use your products
Common questions related to skin types, beauty looks, trends and more
Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) that customers bring to you over social media or other platforms
Tools & Sites to Help With Content
If you are uncomfortable writing blogs or simply don’t have the time there are many third party services and freelancers you can hire. It may take a bit of work to find the perfect match, but it may be worth investigating freelancer sites such as Upwork, Contently, Freelancer, Guru, and more.
When you have a draft of your blog ready to go, be sure to edit. Those same sites listed above often have editors available for hire too, but there are programs like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor that process your writing and make suggestions about grammar, syntax, and word choice.
SEO and Your Blog
No matter who writes your blogs, search engine optimization (SEO) will be critical. This means doing all you can to ensure that your blog is easily read and categorized by google and bing so that when people are looking for that type of content, your blog appears near the top of the search results. If you’re using WordPress to host your blog you can download the Yoast SEO plugin which will provide specific ways to improve your content. Regardless of what you use, here are a few standard SEO tips to follow:
- Write good, real content that uses your keywords appropriately (not too often just for the sake of it)
- Write your metadescription so people know if they should click on your blog–if your blog isn’t what was promised by this sentence they will click back quickly and this will hurt your search result ranking (your bounce rate)
- Make the slug, or URL, appropriate and descriptive to your topic
- Choose a rational and intriguing page title (your blog name can be the same)
- Err on the side of a long blog post–there is evidence that the best rankings go to posts around 2,000 words but really anything over about 400 words is great
Videos for your content can be of any length—think 60 second Instagram videos or full on multi-video playlists on YouTube. Videos are the perfect medium for demonstrating how to use your products and show off your personality. If you’re uncomfortable on camera, voice overs can work well too while you either demonstrate on your skin or use animation.
Most smart phones have cameras that work well for creating your own videos. Lighting needs are usually solved by relatively affordable ring lights and these typically have a built-in tripod to hold your phone while you record. You may want to purchase editing software and edit your videos on a laptop or desktop, but your phone’s built-in editing software works in a pinch.
It’s easy to create a YouTube channel of your own to upload your videos and then embed the videos on your own site.
Video Ideas for Your Brand
Using your products
Building routines around your product with supplementary techniques or products
How you make your product or any logistical details
Social media is typically the fastest content you can create. Although, a lot of work can go into a post—for example if you’re posting a blog you still have to write the blog—but a post can be as simple as a single sentence or photograph.
There are many social media programs that let you post to multiple platforms from one place, for example Hootsuite, Later.com, Zoho Social, Sprout Social, etc. If you’d rather post directly on Facebook or Instagram that works well too, but Instagram does not have scheduling built in and it will take a little more time to post on each platform individually. However, this method does encourage you to better tailor your content to specific platforms. What you post on Instagram will not always fit Twitter.
Social media is a chance to show your brand’s personality and really engage with customers, not just post at them. This process can take a lot of time, but helps build brand loyalty.
Social Media Content Ideas for Your Brand
Any blog or video you create should be shared on social media
Demonstrate how to use your products
Show off eye-catching pictures with relevant backgrounds
Lifestyle shots of models (or you!) using your product in surroundings that speak to your brand
Informational graphics or captioned pictures about ingredients or products
Behind the scenes pictures and information
Personal updates that relate to your brand
Reviews and testimonials
Polls about favorite products, ingredients, or what customers want you to create next
Guides & How To’s
All of the above formats should promote guides to your products and how to use them. This is one of the best and easiest pieces of content to create since no one knows your products as well as you. Focus on making clear and authentic content that provides real value. The goal is not to take up time or space—short but useful content is powerful.
How to Promote Your Content
Once you have your content ready to go, it’s time to promote it. There’s no point in creating it if no one will see it! Here are the top ways to promote and deliver content:
Newsletter: Offer a coupon incentive for people to join your list, and then provide useful blog and video content over email
Social media: use relevant hashtags, join or start groups, and advertise posts by paying for them to be boosted or shown to relevant audiences who have shown interest in similar topics before
Displayed on your website: make content easily visible so people quickly understand how to use your product and any other common questions they may have related to it
Paper references to your content and how-to’s as an insert in every order you ship out
SEO tips and tools referenced in the Blog section above are all relevant. However you host or promote content, be sure to make the name of the page match keywords, and make the keywords match what you’re actually talking about.
If you’d like a refresher on digital marketing, check out this blog: Getting Started with Digital Marketing
However you decide to promote your hard-won content it’s a great asset to have on hand. Content marketing routinely ranks as a fundamental and successful marketing strategy, and we’d love to hear what ideas you come up with for your own growing business.