In this guest post, Chloe de Ridder (pictured below), managing editor of www.realestate.com/lifestyle.com.au, offers three easy tips for brands wanting to grow an engaging, accessible and relevant content strategy…
When we launched Lifestyle on realestate.com a year ago, we set out to reimagine how we could broaden our reach, and connect with people on all stages of their property journey.
We knew realestate.com.au already had a highly engaged – but largely transaction-focused – audience. The existing content had a strong appeal to anyone buying, selling, renting or investing in property. There was, however, a largely untapped opportunity for us to capture a different audience segment – existing home makers looking for inspiration on how to renovate, decorate, organise their space and everything in between.
The foundations for our content strategy were formed on the basis that this audience needed informative and inspiring home lifestyle content that was at once entertaining and personable, and also easily digestible with a strong outcome focus.
Fast forward a year, and we’ve identified a few key learnings that will help ensure our content strategy evolves and continues to engage and connect with our audience in today’s ever-changing digital landscape.
In the world of native content, authenticity is key
We’re working in a media setting where it’s becoming increasingly difficult – and therefore increasingly important – to make your message stand out from all the noise, whether that’s native or purely editorial content. It’s harder to create real impact without comprising on brand authenticity. Brand partnerships and sponsored content works well when both brands are clearly aligned to achieve the same goal. Even if the content you’re creating is paid, it’s essential to hone in on angle that works for your platform from an editorial perspective, too.
Success also comes from having a skilled native content team. We have content editors and producers who are focused on driving our native content strategy to deliver on all key objectives. They work closely with clients, have a solid editorial background and understand the importance of commercial content. Importantly, we have a mindset that native and editorial content shouldn’t conflict: Rather, when executed correctly, the two streams can will absolutely complement each other to drive results for both publisher and advertiser.
Capturing the moment / Being part of the conversation
Of course, it’s important for any brand producing content to look at how they’re executing an evergreen strategy to drive long-term organic growth.
But it’s about leveraging this by responding to key moments. Brands and publishers need to be part of the conversations their audiences are already having – that means tapping into social and cultural narratives.
For Lifestyle, that’s meant a balancing act between the always-on strategy where we produce daily content and generate around 120 bespoke articles a month, and engaging with significant events and pop culture moments. If the audience is talking about it, we won’t ignore it.
We aim to create and produce a range of timely stories to remain topical, relevant and first to market. By publishing newsworthy stories in the Lifestyle space, we can contribute to the conversation in real time, or new collections launch, and ultimately connect with our audience with greater currency at a time when they’re more likely to be engaged.
Test, learn & know your themes
Probably the most important thing you can do when executing a new content strategy is to test and learn, and then repeat! It’s crucial to drill down and deep dive into your results to figure out what really works for your audience and your brand.
We’ve identified a few key themes that are big traffic drivers for Lifestyle and that are consistently successful.
One of the benefits of entering an already-cluttered market is that the demand is already there – it’s really about engaging with that existing audience and offering them an alternative to what’s already available.
Like any other commercial strategy, the fact Lifestyle has managed to take a share of the market reflects the editorial direction and strategy and the team who’ve delivered it.
Our overarching aim is to reach, engage and connect with everyday Australians who love visiting Bunnings on a Saturday, discovering the latest homewares or recreating something they’ve seen on realestate.com.au Lifestyle.