THE BRAVE MARKETER
4 Powerful Ways Writers Can Leverage Marketing in 2021
Does anyone like to take a stroll down memory lane this time of year? Just me? There is something enjoyable in looking over what has been happening over 365 days, not just when it comes to the Medium micro-cosmos, but the overall marketing landscape.
“Marketers are forever students”
a wise marketer once said.
Still, marketers love to look back (and forward in equal measure) not just because they are sentimental beings. It’s incredibly important to analyze patterns, see what has been working (and what hasn’t), and reflect on what you should focus on for your overall strategy going forward.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be discussing upcoming trends, an essential to-do list ahead of the new year, and some all-time hitters from 2020.
In this piece, I round up a few interesting trends writers should look over, as well as a handful of interesting ways to be ahead of the curve.
Warning: please do not hop on the trends for every single item in this list. Make it a conscious decision to choose one tactic, action step, or focus on the ones outlined. Far too often I see people jumping on the trend-wagon with an endless to-do list, only for giving up due to overwhelm.
Short-form content is here to stay
You may want to invest time on TikTok, or maybe Instagram is your jam and you’d like to explore Reels.
The amount of pressure we put on ourselves as creatives to show up on social media can be immense, and having a little corner of the online world where we can just be, well, ourselves and showcase our fun and the relatable edge is key as creatives. Taking up a whole new concept can be daunting.
Yet, formats like Reels are increasingly popular, so much so that Instagram is spotlighting that content on users' feeds.
Instagram recently gave Reels has a dedicated landing spot at the top of the Explore page, which means you can tap into loads of ideas.
Just tap the first reel at the top, and you can access the Reels feed. From there, you’ll see Reels from popular and trending accounts on Instagram.
More of a TikTok kind of person?
The platform has become a digital destination for communicating about various categories of your everyday routine, and here are a few examples of unexpected successful TikTok users (see doctors and firefighters).
The goal of pretty much everyone on TikTok right now should be harnessing brand awareness. It also has the upside of connecting you with an audience you may have not tapped into as much due to demographics, for example.
Another thing I love about these formats is that you can easily repurpose your existing content and create something new without any extra work.
Action step: when in doubt, start with educational content. You can get yourself in front of the camera, or maybe you can find more creative ways to educate your audience and build your confidence. Head to your explore page (on either TikTok or Reels) and look at what fellow writers are up to. Here are 3 creative ways you can use Reels as a writer.
To guide or not to (Instagram) guide
Instagram guides have just been released to a wider audience, and that is quite exciting.
The Guides feature will enable writers to highlight recommendations and tips. Moreover, it will present the content in a new, dedicated tab. By selecting an Instagram Guide, you’ll be able to create a curated list of posts and put them together in a scrollable feed.
This means you can use guides to highlight a specific topic, or showcase your expertise through Instagram in a fun, new, engaging way and drive traffic to your old posts as well.
I think this could be an amazing opportunity for a variety of writers. From education to inspiration, you can almost take your Instagram content and re-create your blog posts in a visual form.
Action step: new to guides? Head to your Instagram and try to find some examples, or head to Instagram’s blog to have a look for yourself and see if you can access the new feature!
Pinterest is taking the lead for traffic building
If you were waiting for the divine inspiration to take some time for your Pinterest strategy, here you have it.
However, as a writer, you can use Pinterest with one very specific aim: create fresh graphics to promote your latest articles.
While Pinterest is often called a “social network,” its social features don’t change the fact that it’s a visual search and discovery platform. Pinners use it for solitary inspiration and planning.
There are ways you can supercharge your strategy by simply setting up some streamlined systems and schedule your content.
When it comes to sharing content, I always apply the 80–20 rule:
- 80: share your content, both on personal boards and in group boards. Repin your pin a few times to ensure maximum reach.
- 20: find content from other Pinners — remember, it must be relevant and in line with your own branded content.
Work to create a branded Pin image style template that you can reuse for future articles — even better, my friends at Tailwind have released an amazing new feature called Tailwind Create, that allows creatives to create dozens of fresh pins in just over 10 minutes.
Action step: New to Pinterest? Sign up for a business account to have access to in-depth analytics about your pins. If you’re also pinning from your own website, you can verify your website. You’ll be able to see how many people head to your website from Pinterest from any pins posted on the platform — not just your own.
Invest time in video content
Yes, you are a writer — and yes, I am asking you to invest time in video content. Have I gone mad? Not exactly.
We are in uncertain times, after all. This may require you to get out of your comfort zone. This may push you to try something new and explore new media.
Video is a great way to build your personal brand and expertise if this is the kind of writer you want to be known as. Which format works best for you? That is not for me to decide, but you have 4 incredibly valid options to explore.
Personally, I have been going live loads this year as it’s another form of interviews.
More than ever right now, people are looking for connection, inspiration, and motivation from creatives they are engaging with online.
People are looking for IRL experiences through the online world, and video can just provide that.
Action step: create a simple video strategy for your content. Most people head over to Instagram when getting started with video content, but TikTok has also proven to be popular.
No idea of how to get started with your strategy? Here’s a 5-step solution to help you.
How about you, which trend are you looking to tap into? Will you be investing time into your Pinterest strategy?
Working on your content strategy to strengthen your personal brand can be fun, even as a writer — a person known first and foremost for being exceptionally good with words.
Always start with the first step in mind. Maybe you should be mapping some ideas for videos, or jumping on TikTok? Let me know in the comments and watch out for more end-of-year goodness from yours truly.
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