What do barbecue sauce, your favorite pair of Chucks, and a bottle of Windex have in common? They’re all Consumer Packaged Goods (CPGs)–tangible products that you can see, touch, and in many cases taste and smell. So naturally, when it comes to creating content for CPG brands like these, the clear route is to make it all about the product.
Product-focused content has its place. But being that we’re in the business of serving people (yes, that’s what we do, errr, should be doing as content marketers!), ask yourself: Does my content truly provide value to those I hope to keep engaged and coming back for more?
If you’re shaking your head halfway between a “kinda sorta” and “probably not”, here’s a quick guide on how to enhance your existing content efforts and be best set-up for the future.
Embrace Your Authenticity
The norm when telling your story is to focus on the WHAT – “We are (this). We make (this). Etc.” That information may not be filling an audience want or need, especially on social channels where your content is surrounded by very personal stories, such as lunch updates and impassioned political discourse. Being authentic is being transparent, open, and honest, even if it’s not perfectly polished. As examples, stories of a founder’s trials and errors or glimpses of future plans can add personal elements that make content more relatable to the audience.
Key Takeaway: Focus on the WHO, WHY, and HOW aspects of your brand story to create a deeper understanding and relationship with your audience.
Show More, Tell Less
Similar to the point above, simply telling people about your product, regardless of how awesome it is, is most likely not providing value. In a world where nearly 420 million people block ads on their smartphones, avoid deliberately selling, and instead, make the primary purpose of your product-related content to give something to your audience.
Key Takeaway: Share interesting and intriguing ways of using your product and have fun with it in the process as a way to educate, entertain, and inspire your audience.
Focus on a Lifestyle
To have the largest possible appeal, the tendency is to cast content with a wide net in an attempt to connect with everybody. However, people are looking for content that fits specific aspects of their lifestyle.
Honing in on these aspects, shows that your brand understands your audience and what they go through. This actually leads to better results through more meaningful connections.
Key Takeaway: Identify lifestyle activities that best align with your audience and continually reinforce how your brand naturally enhances or exists within those lifestyles.
CPG businesses are experts on the products they create, and that should stay a constant focus. When it comes to other areas of expertise…say nutrition, culinary skills or parenting, there are lots of sources out there that can be tapped for their knowledge.
Key Takeaway: Collaborate with experts in areas relevant to your brand to create knowledge-rich content that serves the wants and needs of your audience, even if that content does not mention your product.
Invest in Evergreen Content
Creating great content involves a continuous investment of time, energy, and effort. Like any investment, it’s helpful to contemplate both short-term and long-term gains. When you rely on social platforms like Pinterest as a key repository for content, it’s best to consider the long-term potential since content there lives well past the date you publish it.
Key Takeaway: Craft content in a way where the core concepts, information, and visuals have the most potential to be used for an indefinite amount of time.
Enlist a Nimble Capture Team
Before social, brands just needed the perfect single look to represent their seasonal promotional effort. Now, brands need to evolve their seasonal narrative – sometimes daily – to keep up with their audience’s hunger for new content. This requires a consistent stream of fresh new images that are variations of a core theme – something that can’t be captured in a single seasonal shoot.
Key Takeaway: Establish roles and processes that allow you to capture quality images on the fly – be it internally or with an agency partner – in order to stay timely and relevant in an efficient manner.
And above all…
Include Your Audience
A smart content approach will include a mix of creation, curation and procurement, alleviating the need to create all your content from scratch. Inspired, engaged and appreciated audiences can become a great source for content as well, and best yet, this content will be created through their lenses, naturally giving it authenticity.
Key Takeaway: Leverage user-generated content (UGC) to supplement your content creation, bring authenticity to your content, and to learn and collect data from your audience. Who knows? These learnings just may be used to inform your next product decision.
The main concept for any CPG brand to get comfortable with is exploring content that goes beyond simply providing product or company information. Think of your content as a product in itself. Hone in on the ways you can provide value through content to your audience and then consistently deliver.
Are you currently running content marketing programs for a CPG brand? What are some examples of how you’ve delivered value-driven content to your audience?
Luke Garro is the EVP, Content Director at GYK Antler and Creative Director at Noble & Cooley, makers of the world’s best drums. Follow @lukegarro on Twitter, and see him pound drums for Piebald.