For a while I was an in-house marketing team of one and equally now as an independent consultant, brainstorming creative ideas can sometimes be a lonely affair. So I definitely understand my clients who are trying to do it all and find it challenging to be creative! I'm always on the lookout for inspiration from other practitioners and brands, which really helps me when I get into a dry patch.
At a loss for words?
This week I was introduced to this great video from advertising agency Hudock Creative, playing on the standard filler text marketers/web developers use before they write in the text.
I liked the way it highlighted the importance of the right words in a fun and creative way, but also conversely, the importance of context. I enjoy going abroad and watching TV in a language I don't speak and seeing how much of the story I can understand from just the body language and tone of voice. This video works in the same way. Yes, words are very important (particularly online when the Google robots find everything through words and written code), but everything around those words is just as important.
This video got me thinking about different forms of creativity and ways of getting the same message across. Sometimes business owners struggle with the idea of creativity and don't think that's for them and that they need specialist help to create great content. It's great to get professional support if it's in the budget, but if not, you already have all the creativity you need.
How can I be more creative with my company's marketing?
In short, think about how you enjoy being creative and work out how it can help you achieve your business goals. When creating content, think about what your customers need from you.
Find your groove
Personally, I love writing, I always have. I started by loving reading and devouring all the books I could get my hands on. Looking back, maybe I read some books a bit too young (I went through a real dystopian phase at about 15 and was scared by the rats in 1984), but it was my passion. Now I have a job in which I get to write a lot, which is great! So writing a blog was an obvious initial creative outlet for me. It also aligns with my goals of helping me establish credibility in my new business among prospective clients, and will support the SEO of my website and help build its authority.
You might be different, you might have always enjoyed more visual forms of creativity like drawing, or something more practical like cooking, gardening or arts & crafts. Think about how you can bring what you enjoy to enhance the marketing of your business. Consistency is really important in marketing, so if you're going to start doing something, you should do it regularly, so you might as well enjoy it. If it becomes a chore, and you start to do it half-halfheartedly, the quality of your content will suffer and your audience will notice.
Your audience and goals will define your platform
Then, consider your audience and your business goals. What is the most effective way of reaching them with this new content and getting them to engage with it? For example, if you sell beauty products and enjoy talking about them, could you create some videos demonstrating the products on yourself, or give tips on how to use them? Would Facebook Live be a good way of sharing these videos with your customers, or is it worth putting them on YouTube, or both?
Create content in line with your "why"
When creating content you should always have your audience in mind - what will they get out of this? Why should they spend their time watching/reading/listening to this? And ultimately, why does my business exist?
I'm running my business for small companies that are looking to grow. They might have a single dedicated marketing person, an overworked marketing team, or an owner trying to do it all. I want to demystify "marketing" for them and give them the tools to use it to reach their business goals. So I'm hoping that this blog will be thought-provoking, provide some inspiration and ultimately be helpful to someone's business. I want them to be able to come back again and again, learning something new or thinking about something afresh each time.
Creativity at work
As an example, check out this video from a local Golden businesswoman Jill Breheny of Lemongrass Spa explaining how to color match their liquid foundation. I like it because it's very relevant to her brand and helpful for customers, but it was also probably pretty easy for her to create and get out to her audience.
Customers respond to brands that are authentic so don't worry too much about it being absolutely perfect, 98% is fine. Do it, get it out there and see what happens!
Initially, videos might not be for you, or your brand, and maybe taking photos sits more easily. And if that's something that chimes with your audience, maybe Instagram would be a good way to reach your customers with beautiful or inspirational images. Whatever your jam and whoever your audience is, there will be a good channel to express yourself in a way that reaches them effectively.
So when it comes to creating great, relevant content, my point is that:
1. You are already creative. Creativity doesn't need to come from just one place and everyone is creative in their own way - you just need to find yours and build on your strengths. If you hate doing it, your customers will notice.
2. Your creativity should be strategic. How you express that creativity in the context of your business should also help you achieve your business goals and chime with your audience. This will determine what platform you use.
3. You're not alone. There is always inspiration out there when yours is running dry and helping hands when you need it. Don't be afraid to ask.
Whatever you decide to do, on whatever platform, keep at it!
Here is some final inspiration:
If you're struggling to remain consistently productive with your marketing, read our new series of blogs for some tips and tricks to keep motivated and keep on creating:
Setting goals; planning activity
Getting your head right; taking out the stressors; using automation to make your life easier