Whether your business is starting a podcast, launching a magazine, or just celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, March 2017 is full of opportunities to use content to promote your company and its products.
Content marketing is the act of creating, publishing, and distributing content — such as articles, posts, and videos — with the express goal of acquiring, engaging, and retaining customers. When marketing with content, you can build long-term relationships with your customers, improving their lifetime value to your business.
Here are five content marketing ideas for March 2017, to inspire.
1. Start a Podcast
Podcasting offers multiple benefits, including the opportunity to reach a well-educated, affluent audience in a format that does not require a significant financial investment.
Consider that about 36 percent of Americans 12 years or older have listened to a podcast, and about 21 percent of that same group (around 57 million people) listened to a podcast in the past 30 days, according to a 2016 Edison Research survey.
Podcast listeners 18 years or older have higher median annual household income ($63,000) than the average ($53,000), and are more likely to have a college degree, again according to the Edison Research survey.
Podcasting can also be relatively inexpensive. For just a few hundred dollars on the high end, you can purchase a microphone and a digital recorder, and promote your podcast. If you’re on a tight budget, you might even be able to get by for much less.
Consider focusing your new podcast on providing listeners (potential customers) with information that helps them achieve some goal or solve a problem. This should also be evergreen material that folks can listen to months or even years after you publish it.
Also remember that a podcast is a long-term content marketing strategy. You may have to publish dozens of episodes before you start to see significant returns. Be patient, provide valuable content, and you should get the return you deserve.
2. Tell a Business Story
One of the many benefits of using content marketing to reach customers — new or loyal — is that it can humanize your business, to build personal relationships with those your business serves.
In March, try to tell your audience a business story. You might recount a recent buying trip when you visited a trade show, looked at new products, and made selections for this year.
Or you could tell the story of how you came to be in business. What was the spark that led you to start your business? Or what is the history behind what you do?
Look, for example, at Matthew McConaughey’s short film about Wild Turkey Bourbon. I mentioned it in an earlier content marketing article. It’s a superb example of how entertaining and endearing a business story can be.
3. Start a Magazine, Journal, or Blog
If your business doesn’t have a blog, journal, or magazine, start one.
While you should distribute and broadcast on many sites and via several social media networks, you also need a home base of sorts for your content. You need a hub from which your content can extend.
Your online publication should focus on providing readers with real value. Selling products is the side effect of offering good, useful content.
For examples of what other businesses have done, consider these online blogs and magazines.
- Mel magazine. A bonafide online magazine from the folks at Dollar Shave Club. This edgy publication covers sex, relationships, money, and culture. It aims at a male audience.
- Urban Beardsman. Focused on the beard-wearing community, Beardbrand’s blog includes useful grooming and lifestyle tips.
- Bldg 25. Free People’s blog features lifestyle posts aimed at active women.
4. Spring Buying Guide
Monday, March 20, 2017, is the first day of spring. It is also an opportunity to help your shoppers prepare for the coming season.
In March, publish a spring buying guide, with recommended products. If you sell apparel, you have it easy. You can publish a spring fashion guide, like the one published last March from Racked, an online fashion magazine.
Even merchants that serve other (non-apparel) industries can produce spring buying guides. Here are three ideas.
- Cleaning supply retailer: “The Ultimate Guide to Spring Cleaning Products”
- Fishing gear retailer: “The Spring Fishing Gear Guide”
- Auto accessories store: “The Springtime Guide to Pimping Your Ride”
5. St. Patrick’s Day
March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day. If you’re going to do any content marketing at all in March, it should be around this holiday. In fact, millions of folks, worldwide, wear green to celebrate this holiday, giving your business plenty of things to write about.
Here is a list of compelling content about St. Patrick’s Day. Use these examples as inspiration for your own articles, videos, or podcasts.
- “Bet You Didn’t Know: St. Patrick’s Day” – video from History.com.
- “Favorite St. Patrick’s Day Recipes” – article on Food Network.
- “8 Fashionable, Folklore-inspired Looks for St. Patrick’s Day” – via Vogue.
- “20 Ways to Wear Green on St. Patrick’s Day” – post on Esquire.