Content Marketing Myth 12

No, content marketing is not just talking about what you do. But it is also not talking about spaceships if you don’t make those!

According to a survey conducted by Convince and Convert, more than 50% of consumers absolutely hate companies that are all too promotional with their content. Be it on social media or their own site. The reason being that they come across as too pushy and the consumer is just not able to see the value in their products and services.

And yet, you’ll find a lot of companies making the same mistakes – continually talking about themselves in their content.

While the age old tactic of advertising does recommend cutting the chase and pushing your products/ services in front of consumers, content marketing is not about the ‘push’. It is about the ‘pull’.

Simply put, traditional marketing was all about talking about yourself to people. Content marketing is all about talking ‘with’ them.

There is a fine line of difference.

Imagine attending a social event where you’re meeting a number of new people. There is one person who walks up to you and starts to talk about how he’s a pro, how he’s achieved so much in life, how his company is this and how they are that. Tell me, how long would you stand there to talk to such a narcissist? A few minutes, out of courtesy, at max.

On the other hand, another person who walks up to you starts by introducing themselves and giving you a little background about them. Then they go on to talk about a common topic that brought you both to the event. Now that you know there is a common ground between the two of you, you obviously want to know more about this person.

Content marketing is no different.

The purpose of content marketing is to engage your target audience and educate them about the products/ services you offer, by talking about what’s in common between the two of you.

So instead of writing about how great your product is, what are its features and more, you take the other approach. You start talking about their challenges, offering tips and tricks that have worked for you to overcome them, and then offering a solution that your company ‘may’ have to offer.

Treat every piece like a Quora answer. The best answer on the platform gets more upvotes and wins!

Now before you jump to the opportunity and start to write on practically everything your audience is facing a challenge with – Please don’t write about spaceships and rockets. SpaceX does a brilliant job at it and you are really not needed to explain it all!

In their zeal to write about what their audience is talking about, a lot of content marketers end up writing on topics all too broad. They start publishing content on anything under the sun, that isn’t even remotely related to what their company does.

What’s worse? They start to make these relations to the topics in a skewed manner just to justify what they’re doing too.

But isn’t the idea writing what the audience is searching for? Yes, but you need to know where to draw the line.

Let’s take an example to explain this better.

You offer a product that enables marketers to automate most of their multi-channel activities.

Now instead of writing about marketing automation and its importance over and over again, the trick here is to find ‘who’ looks for marketing automation solutions and ‘why’. Tap into those pain points that make this marketer seek out a solution and add value to that using your experience, before asking them to buy your solution.

This marketer that you’re targeting is also probably overburdened with work. They’re stressing about the next campaign they need to run. So do you write about meditation next?

Umm. NO.

There are two reasons for this. One, meditation in no way ties to any of the goals that you want to achieve through content marketing. Two, you’re no expert at meditation to write about it – you’re only going to end up copy-pasting from what the likes of Mindvalley have done. So why not just let the experts talk about it?

So how do you know what your audience wants to read?

  • Conduct a survey on your existing customers to know what would add more value to them
  • Look into relevant social groups and online communities to identify what they’re actively talking about
  • Validate what you identify by diving into smart SEO tools like SEMrush to see how many people are really talking about something
  • Identify the keywords and the variations of the same (long tail is important) to understand how these people are looking for what they’re talking about
  • Understand their current challenges and goals that are making them talk about what they are in communities and groups
  • Look into the information that is already available to them – both in terms of content and products/ services
  • Take note of who you’re going up against – that is, who’s ranking for the terms that your audience is actively searching for
  • Identify those topics that you can add more value to, without sounding too repetitive and offering actual solutions
  • Tie those topics to the goals you want to achieve with content marketing (remember, the content marketing funnel?)
  • Include the topics that are both of value to your audience and to you in some way, to your calendar

Next, it’s time to get to work and write that content out!

Sounds way simpler and logical now, right?

There’s another way to validate what you decide to write on. Ask yourself if you’d want to read it too!

If the answer is doubtful or no, abort the mission

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