Free Agent Madelaine Gnewski on Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the most intelligent tactics to attract customers in digital business. In 2020, readers crave the best content and this is one the reasons why content marketing has become very popular for businesses as a way to reach and engage with their target audience. Content marketing can help businesses describe specific features of the product or service and at the same time advertise it effectively. It can increase conversions, improve brand awareness, boost revenue, and more.

Free Agent Madelaine Gnewski is a freelance content creative and marketeer, and one the freelancers signed up here at Free Agents™ to get matched with exciting job opportunities. She helps brands create valuable and relevant content across digital platforms, and has previously worked with key clients such as Nestlé, Ford, Nespresso, and The North Face.

At Free Agents™, we had a chat with Madelaine about the do’s and don’ts within content marketing. She provides some best practice examples and elaborates on dangerous pitfalls in the field of content marketing.

What is good content marketing? 

Good content marketing is sending valuable and relevant content regularly and consistently to a well-defined target audience in order to gain their trust. If you send out content regularly and frequently, in the same way and place, with the same design and tonality, over time it will be perceived as your own identity. In this way, you will establish a relationship with current as well as potential customers.

Common pitfalls in content marketing

A common pitfall is that the content you produce is directed to Person A, when you are actually trying to communicate with Person B. As with all forms of communication, it is important to define who you really want to talk to. 

Another common pitfall is that the content you produce does not match the company's way of "talking". If a company has developed a guide for tone of voice and is following it, different people can handle the communication on all platforms. If not, there is a high risk that the company will be perceived as someone with many different personalities. This makes potential customers confused, as they will have a harder time recognizing posts that come from the brand. This will make building a relationship with them much more difficult.

It is also common for companies to create content that is inconsistent with the reason people visit their site. The content you create should primarily be of benefit to your customers. It is therefore important to know why one's customers visit or follow one's digital channels.

Examples of good content

Patagonia has created a content series on its website called Worn Wear where they encourage their customers to fix their expensive Patagonia clothes instead of buying new ones. This is both valuable as well as relevant to their target audience.

Another example is how Nike has handled the Covid-19 crisis. When Nike was forced to shut down their business, they began to publish content that was both engaging and valuable to their customers. They made their Nike Training Club app free so you could take part in workouts and expert tips. They also created content for their digital channels, Nike Running Club app and website, which included tips on how to stay active during isolation. All of this helped Nike establish a stronger relationship with its customers during a difficult time.

Valuable content marketing

Content marketing is about building trust through valuable content. It is important not only to send out content that is focusing on a specific product or service but also to really think about what your customers are interested in and to build a relationship with relevant target groups that last long term. I think that both Patagonia and Nike have succeeded well by focusing on what engages their customers. With a long-term customer relationship, you have the opportunity to co-develop and learn more about what works. Social listening, market research, and SEO are also valuable tools that can help you find angles and ideas for new and exciting content to produce.