Why your brand needs a content marketing strategy

The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as a “… strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” To be perfectly clear, we are not talking about ads. In it’s purest form content marketing does not have a sales focused call to action, sometimes it is not even branded. It’s aim is purely to inspire an ongoing relationship by adding value to peoples lives.

Ever since the rise of the major social media platforms, brands have been able to communicate directly with their customer base, as well as prospect customers. Where traditionally media outlets would have been used to communicate a brand’s message, companies now have an opportunity to become media outlets in their own right. It didn’t take long for marketers to realise that pushing a “buy now” message in every social media post turned followers away.

How your content is distributed

Content Marketing covers all avenues where content can be applied. This can be on social media, in email newsletters or even on offline mediums like product packaging. For instance printing a recipe on food packaging could be regarded as content marketing. The actual recipe does not have a sales message but it provides advice on how to use the product, thus adding value for the customer and making a sale more likely. While content marketing can be applied on any platform, digital as well as in traditional mediums, the best platforms for your brand and product ultimately depend on your product and how people use it.

Why should you create content?


1. Lead the conversation about your brand

Today, more than ever before, purchase decisions are influenced by our peers, who are voicing their opinions about products and services in a social media environment. We have little to no control over how people speak of our brand or our products. These public conversations and opinions about our brand, even when they are of a positive nature, are not likely to be aligned with our corporate communication strategy. In order to maintain consistency in our communication and brand message we have to become (or remain) part of the conversation – better yet, lead the conversation. Creating your own content is one way to stay involved and retain some control over the public conversations about your brand.

2. Let’s not forget about our competition

When we are talking about staying front of mind, we often assume that there is only one ‘seat’ available in that space. Though, realistically we are sharing that space with other brands with similar product or service offerings. The void we create here, by not being present in this space, will most likely be filled by one of our competitors. A well planned content marketing strategy will help you create relevant content that will keep your brand front of mind.

How to get started

It seems like an easy task to handle in-house, but DIY content marketing efforts often fail due to poor planning. Your expertise in your field is at the core of your content marketing strategy, but you may need assistance with planning a strategy that is sustainable long term and to give you a frame that will help you create new relevant content on a regular basis. If you require assistance setting up a content marketing strategy APR Creative can help.

How to use Instagram effectively for your business

Don’t they say a picture is worth a thousand words? No statement could be more truthful, if used effectively your business Instagram is a great way to publicise, market and sell your business to your clients. Whether you are directly selling products or creating a mood for your business, its essential to work out how you want to be portrayed.

The biggest mistake people make with Instagram, is not creating a look and feel from the outset. It’s best to find your ‘voice’ by creating mood boards and looking at other examples of how other businesses run theirs. It’s also not fair to say that it doesn’t suit your business, one look at the newly formed Instagram business blog will change your mind. All the big guns from Coco Cola to Audi to Qantas all have their place in the market.

Here are a few pointers to help you get started:

Have a variety of images and be sure to balance this with ‘fun’ images

Take advantage of the increased real estate you have and tell a story with your images. Be fun, create a voice for your business by having a healthy balance of fun images and business or product pictures.

Create a following

Make sure you connect your Facebook account to your Instagram to ensure you are getting the most out of every post. Use relevant, popular hashtags and use your imagination to come up with your own. Many businesses create unique tags to do with their posting plan. This may be something like “Tasty Tuesdays” ( thedesignfiles.com.au) or Motivational Monday. It’s also a must to engage by following others and liking their photos. It may seem minimal but it really does help to broaden and promote your brand. There is also opportunity here to create competitions and ‘regram’ posts once you build up this following base.

Have a flexible posting plan in place

The ‘feed speed’ on Instagram is still somewhat slow paced compared with FB, so don’t feel like you need to post every day, as this can saturate your followers’ feeds and create harmful clutter. Decide what you have ready to post and create a schedule to help you remember what to post when and to track what is working once you get going. Have a backlog of posts too so if you are busy, you are ready to go and wont be absent from your feed.

Share your business view of the world

For brands to be successful on Instagram, it needs to not just be about selling and instead share a distinctive view of the world. You want to create a visual story board of who you are, what you do and what you as a company ‘look like.’ Cultivate a unique visual sense and capture things that are interesting to your brand and most importantly, the core target customer. Last but not least, make sure your Instagram account is managed by someone in the organisation who understands how to align images with the interests of your target customer.

Happy Holidays from APR Creative

We had lots of fun pulling this video together, we hope you enjoy it! A special thanks for Oliver for making this happen.

Bloggers, the new key influencers

In recent years many bloggers have left their 9 to 5 job to make a career out of blogging full time.  Whether they are blogging about fashion, beauty, lifestyle or food they have large readership numbers along with lots of followers on their various social media accounts.

Marketing Spend

Brands have been paying attention and are now leveraging off the popularity of bloggers, as people now spend more and more time online.Whether it is advertising, sponsorship or paid content marketing, brands are spending more of their marketing dollars in this space.

Influential People

The rise of bloggers as influential people is obvious, Lucy Feagins creator of The Design Files is case in point.  The Design Files is regularly ranked as one of the top 5 design blogs in the world with over 1,000,000 monthly page impressions. Brands and products featured on her blog often see a large increase in demand due to this exposure – this has in turn become known as The Design Files Effect (TDFE).  Big name brands such as Dulux, BMW and Bank of Melbourne have all been major sponsors of various Design Files events over the last few years, so they are clearly seeing the benefit of this exposure.


As well as sponsorship and paid advertising, brands are now taking this a step further.  Last year Foxtel created a new show featuring some of Australia’s top fashion bloggers, which followed their journey as bloggers and the different products and brands they collaborate with.  These bloggers have since gone on to create marketing campaigns and become brand ambassadors for major brands such as Schwarzkopf, Holden, OGX, Tony Bianco and David Jones.

This is a trend that is only going to increase given the way in which media consumption is shifting further and further into the digital space.  The value of blogger sponsorship, advertising and paid content marketing is certainly something that should be evaluated when reviewing your digital strategy.

Web Fonts VS Desktop Fonts

Being consistent in the use of your corporate fonts, online and offline, is important for your brand.

­­The ever-expanding digital media landscape has given birth to new font formats commonly referred to as ‘web fonts’. In this article we aim to guide you through why it is important to distinguish between web fonts and desktop fonts.

Differences in Application

Desktop fonts live on your computer and are either pre-installed or can be purchased and installed onto your machine. Once a desktop font is installed it will always remain on your machine. Web fonts are used online and are embedded in websites. They are transferred/downloaded by your browser every time you visit a website.

Format Differences

The most common desktop font formats are TTF (True Type Fonts) and OTF (Open Type Fonts).

In the online world, different web browsers support different standards. To achieve consistency across different browsers, web fonts have to be made available in a variety of different formats: EOT, TTF, WOFF and SVG. The web font formats are optimised for fast transfer/download and are therefore significantly smaller in file size. They achieve this by excluding elements that are not required.  For example characters that are not likely to be used on your site or font weights that not required for your specific application.


Today, most desktop fonts are also available as web fonts, but often have to be purchased separately to be able to use them legally.


Before deciding on a corporate font for your business, check that it is available as a web font.

SEO is dead! Long live SEO!

In the past few years the debate about whether SEO is still worth your marketing dollars has gotten increasingly heated. While some experts maintain that the practice of keyword-centric SEO is here to stay, an ever-increasing number of industry veterans  have changed their tone.

The issue is by no means new. In 2013 industry guru Jill Whalen quit her 20 year career in SEO with the words:
“Finally, … Google put their money where their mouth was …  At last the only real way to do SEO was what I had been espousing all along. And it’s a beautiful thing! Today’s SEO blogs and conferences are bursting with SEO consultants talking about how, when you create amazing websites and content for your users, the search engines will follow. … Which means, my friends, that my work here is done.”

How did it come to this?

In the search engine space, Google’s business model has always been to improve the quality of search results. They have largely achieved this by developing systems that process website data better; based on the actual content of  a page or site, rather than meta data. For marketers in 2015, this means that relevant content is the only way to achieve high rankings in organic searches. As a direct result more and more marketers are shifting their budgets towards measures like content marketing, in other words: creating content to acquire a relevant audience.

What does this mean for SEO?

Is SEO dead? Well, it depends on how you define SEO. If we are talking about practices like keyword optimisation and placement, then it is probably fair to say that it is on its way out. But let’s not forget what the term SEO stands for – Search Engine Optimisation. That encompasses all means that improve the search ranking of your website, and that does not end with keywords. There are other factors, of a more technical nature, that influence rankings – page loading times, performance on mobile devices and accessibility, for instance.

SEO, in a broader sense, will remain a vital practice in the online space for the foreseeable future. While content marketing will do its part to help your brand stay relevant, the SEO of the future will be dominated by solving rather technical issues. SEO is dead! Long live SEO!.

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