If you want to create a Content Marketing Strategy that really works, you need to please Google – the world’s most notorious hipster.
Hipster has to be one of the most ubiquitous words of recent years. But, Hipsters have had a mixed press. Anyone with a bike, beard and checked shirt seems to carry the label these days. It’s a real marmite movement, with the idea invoking either derision or passion. At the heart of Hipsterism, is a desire to see the world in a more traditional and personal way. Hipsters look beyond the mass-produced and formulaic, and seek something more unique. They look for things that are authentic, organic and artisanal.
I expect that most people could stick the Hipster label on someone in the street. But there is a bigger Hipster that we strive to impress and don’t really look at twice. That Hipster is Google.
Creating a content marketing strategy for hipsters
Google, Bing, Yahoo! and the others are the world’s most notorious Hipsters. So, might I add, are your customers. They all want the same things from you. They want you to be authentic, organic, artisanal. They want you to care about the same things that they do; and if you can, if you succeed, then the rewards are enormous.
For a long time, Google and friends have been banging on about creating “great quality content” and for years, marketers have asked the same question. “Yes, but what does that mean?” It means creating content for your users that is authentic, organic and artisanal.
Authenticity is about openness, approachability, trustworthiness and being human. So often, as marketers, we write and create content like marketers. Your audiences can see through the bullshit that are “industry-leading service levels” or “quality manufacturing”. They read it from everyone else and it means nothing to them. No-one is saying that you shouldn’t be professional. But, your marketing must represent who you are, not who you think you should be. Take a long hard look at the content that you produce. What stands out as different from your peers and competitors? If you can take the last three social media posts from yourself and your main competitors and not really tell them apart, it’s time to change.
This is not about content for organic search. That’s not why you are creating the content. What we mean here is content that flows naturally through your business and to your customers. Listen to the people around you. What questions are you being asked? Why are you making the choices that you are? What keeps coming up time-after-time? Those questions are the answers to your content strategy questions. It’s content that comes naturally and you can create without the need to think too hard.
It’s a bit of a divisive word – artisanal. Some people who hear want to throw their arms around me and hug me forever. Others want to squeeze the life out of me and worse. But stick with me here. Artisanal means something hand-crafted, made in the traditional way. In an age of marketing automation and force-fed click bait rubbish, content produced with a degree of TLC is a wonderful thing. The trend towards automation is so great that the businesses which are not using these complex systems are seen as oddities. Yet at the same time, we flock to traditional bakers, butchers and cobblers and revel in their application of time-honoured skills.
Your business does what it does better than anyone else in your sector. You are, by nature artisans, regardless of what you make. Your content should reflect this.
If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth watching Nilofer Merchant’s TED X Houston talk on Onlyness. What is your onlyness? Focus on that and you will become artisanal.
If you can create Hipster content, then you will reap rewards in search and social media. Content is king in search, and the more really high-quality content you create, the happier the Search Engines will be. The more your content is shared through your social networks, the more the Hipster Search Engines will reward you.
Your customers will be the real beneficiaries though. They will get to know the real you: the real brand, the people and the activity behind the curtain, and if you can get the tone and approach right, they’ll reward you with their money, loyalty and advocacy.
Breakfast cereal cafes and fixed gear bikes are going to be a fleeting fancy; but authentic, organic and artisanal content will always be rewarded. So get the sleeves of your checked shirt rolled up, beard groomed and tie your hair in a bun, because it’s time to create something to please your inner Hipster.
We’re far from bearded Hipsters, but we do know how to take your brand and your content and create marketing strategies that have a real benefit to you and your customers.So, if you want to grab a flat white and organic honey flapjack and have a chat about how we can help, well, just give us a call (on a traditional rotary phone, of course).