This is a quick post about content marketing and how to get great results from it.
Millions of small business owners (including me) use content marketing as a way to market their services. They produce content for; newsletters, blog posts, articles, audio, video, social media sites etc. The idea is that their content will engage prospective clients or customers and generate enquiries sales and also position them as an expert in their field. Make no mistake, content marketing is extremely powerful when used correctly.
However, as many small business owners discover, there’s an enormous difference between producing content and producing content that actually helps them grow their business.
In marketing, we know that the messages that resonate with us most powerfully are those that make us think or capture our imagination in some way. Generic messages do the exact opposite. They pass us by, undetected. They wash over us, because they’re predictable. Yet these generic messages are the stock-in-trade of most of the content marketing pieces we see each day from small businesses.
I believe one of the reasons, is that it feels a lot “safer” to toe the line, follow what the crowd are saying and just blend into the background. It takes courage for a blogger, for example, to offer their unique perspective on a topic or allow their personality to shine through their work. After all, what if they are wrong? What if their point of view generates negative comments? It would surely be the end of their world as they know it! So, rather than risk ruffling too many feathers, they opt to rehash generic ideas, which feel safer, because most people seem to agree with them.
Here’s the problem with that approach: It acts like camouflage and stops you getting the visibility you need!
To be visible, we first need to have something to say, which is worth listening to and sharing. People only pass on content to their friends or network, if they find it useful or interesting and believe that others will too. In short, people share the good stuff! The most successful content marketers never seek a full consensus. They just try hard and deliver content, which will be as valuable as possible to their target market.
Some important content marketing questions
- Who am I writing to? You need to know your target audience and focus your content exclusively on what they will find value in.
- Why am I writing to them? You need to know your desired outcome or outcomes, so that you can check if you are on course or not. You can’t manage, what you can’t measure.
- Does my content showcase my expertise? Give genuinely useful information to your readers for free (and do it with a smile)! Don’t send a watered-down version of your expertise into the marketplace. Why? Because how on earth are your readers supposed to know that you are any good, if all they see is a half-assed, diluted version of how great you are?I give away tons of free information on this blog, which encourages my readers to share my work with their friends. As a result, I get business enquiries every day, from people who want to work with me. This post, for example, gives links to over 140 marketing tips and ideas.
So, what are your content marketing tips or experiences?
Whether you are new to content marketing or a seasoned campaigner, it would be great to hear your feedback.
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