Walking through lavender fields in south London last weekend, I was filled with happiness.
The beauty, the sight, the smell was all a delight.
This new experience wandering through rows of lavender got me thinking — is it possible to give your audience a similarly positive experience through content?
Turns out, yes it is.
Lavender has three qualities that make for an exceptional content marketing strategy.
1. Grow gradually
Just as lavender takes one to three months to sprout, it will take time for your content to attract and engage new readers.
As a business, you will use different types of content across a range of online channels (your website, social media, newsletters, etc.) to draw in prospects, interact with followers and encourage them to take a specific action.
None of this happens overnight and no one piece of content magically makes your company successful. However, knowing which content is used to produce specific outcomes will help you gradually grow your business.
Here’s a quick rundown of content types:
Attraction content helps build a following.
It’s content that:
- Communicates the value your reader will get in exchange for their time
- Is free to consume
- Specific, relevant and eye-catching
Action content motivates behavior.
It’s content that describes:
- What your business stands for
- What your product or service does
- How you solve your audience’s problems
- A clear next step for your reader to take
Authority content illustrates your expertise.
It’s content that:
- Helps your audience by offering solutions
- Shows you are a leader in your field
- Your audience can trust
- Encourages other people to link to and share
Affinity content creates a bond.
It’s content that:
- You and your audience agree on
- Your reader believes in and likes
- Is passionate, genuine and important to your brand
2. Nurture your evergreen
Lavender is an evergreen plant, able to last years after its flowers are dried out. This quality also makes lavender a very versatile shrub. It can be used as decoration, perfume, a deterrent (to pesky mothballs), in tea and much more.
That is the goal for your content: to be long-lasting and to offer a number of solutions.
Always think about how you can extend the shelf life of your content and adapt it across different platforms. Ultimately, you want any future visitor to be able to use, learn and benefit from your content in some way.
You could create a video, for example, on how to use your service and publish it on your YouTube channel. Or write a blog post series on one topic and turn it into a podcast (or vice versa).
The possibilities are endless; just remember that evergreen content will benefit your readers long after it’s published.
3. Prune at set times
While it’s recommended to prune lavender soon after it’s been planted and once a year following that, you’ll want to look after your blooming content strategy on a more frequent basis.
There are multiple ways to tweak and improve your content plan as you go:
- Analyze the metrics to see which content performed the best
- Collect user comments and answer their pain points with solutions
- Ask your audience for feedback, using a customer survey for instance
- Listen to what your prospects are saying on social media
The great thing about content is that it is adaptable and easy to adjust throughout all stages of your marketing strategy.
Taking the time to evaluate what is working and what isn’t, is crucial. It lets you see what resonates with your audience and in turn, gives you the insight to grow worthwhile relationships with your customers.
So, the next time you feel stuck in your content creation process, take a deep breath and imagine you’re in a field of lavender. Its purple leaves now represent much more than a soothing remedy.