I have been in the digital marketing profession for more than five years and the one thing that I have noticed is that just about every person out there is hell-bent on taking a similar approach to content marketing.
Yes – I am a marketer and I am saying this. Whether it a B2B business or a B2C agency, an individual marketing consultant, or a mere writer – everyone is doing the same ol’ stuff in the name of differentiation and variety!
No wonder the internet space is saturated with “content”. Seriously – there is so much stuff out there!
So when I recently read that 65% of marketers still struggle to get a better understanding of what content is effective and what isn’t, I wasn’t surprised. And because they don’t “get it”, marketers often end up taking the easier route i.e. rehashing content.
As more companies are pursuing content marketing, it is fair to agree that this form of marketing will generate $300 billion by 2019. But the real question is – “are you ready with your content marketing strategy?”.
When only 12% of marketers believe they have high-performance content marketing engines, it is highly likely that you are unless you belong to that small percentage. So how can you NOT say that your content marketing isn’t f**ked up?
I know you put in your heart and soul into making a strategy but it fell flat on its face. But it doesn’t have to be like that!
Here are five unconventional tips to un-f**k your content marketing:
1. Don’t try to write about everything
Of course, it is! Without blogs, there won’t be any marketing at all. But because blogging is necessary, it doesn’t mean you write about everything related to your industry or field. You have to take a step back and identify what clicks with your readers and how much.
According to Lisa Mattson, director of marketing and communications, Jordan Vineyard & Winery, if engagement is the core of the entire sales cycle for a brand, then it is worth bifurcating the blog in two parts.
This happened with her company blog. Despite having a loyal subscriber base, the blog posts were varied in nature. While one section was completely lifestyle-oriented and talked about gardening, cooking and floral designs, the other section focused on winemaking and construction.
To maintain variety in blogs but to keep both the audience sets engaged, Jordan Vineyard & Winery divided their blog into two parts.
2. Always listen to your customer research
Research would always give you a sneak peak into the future of your consumers’ ideology, and you can’t play field if you don’t know what your target market is up to! Customer preferences evolve just like technology does. Product A may be of interest to them today. But who knows about tomorrow?
You do !
You can study the buying behaviour of your customers through proper market research and predict how their preferences will evolve in the coming months. Create an edge in your content. Always remember – your target audience will be against change. But if you mold your content marketing in the right form, they would convert quickly.
3. Measure content engagement
Content engagement, in simple words, is the emotional, physical or psychological investment the customer or prospect has in your brand.
Unfortunately, this is one metric that always gets left out in all content marketing strategies. It shouldn’t happen as it is important to refine the strategies. If you want a prospect to move forward quickly through the sale funnel, you have to design your content in that way.
And once you have onboarded a customer, your content should change accordingly. The point is if you have been marketing senseless content so far, irrespective of the purpose of the receiver, you need to rethink your strategy.
4. Don’t sell, teach
The focus of content marketing is to educate. If you jump the gun and just sell, your target market isn’t going to connect with you. Your prospect won’t buy anything from you unless you offer a solution to his or her problem.
Check out the Farmers Insurance website, for instance. The American company is an insurer group of automobiles, homes and small businesses.
Getting an insurance gives out a feeling of security and comfort. Those are the exact feelings that its content writers have tapped on. The website content is personal and offers a one-to-one communication with the visitors via text and photos.
The content sparks genuine interest in the visitors by offering a plethora of information on everything related to insurance!
The point is it is about your customers and not you. Here are four phases of the customer journey that are important in content marketing:
- Understanding and connecting with an audience who is not at all interested in your industry or its offerings.
- Being distinctive and memorable through blogs, infographics and videos so that when the audience is ready to enter your industry, it already knows a seller.
- Helping prospects complete the sales funnel through problem-solving content (blogs, videos, social media).
- Re-marketing your brand and its offerings through content long after the conversion happens.
5. No workflow? No marketing success!
In this day and age, it is important to capitalize on technology. Since we have emphasize on data so much these days, it is impossible to keep track of information manually. However, there are still 86% of marketers who manage their content marketing with a combination of Microsoft Word, Excel and emails.
I have just one word to say to them – “you are tiring yourself with all the workload!”
From ideation to publication to syndication – at each step you need tech support. Most importantly, you need to create a process that makes everyone accountable for their respective jobs. Content marketing is not just one person’s job. And even if it is, you need to have a tech-integrated workflow to keep you afloat.
92% of marketers say their brands view content as a business asset. Well if that’s the case, don’t give yourself any chance to f–k it up! Watching small businesses and fellow marketers make lousy content marketing mistakes bothers me oh-so much.
If you need help to remove flaws from your content marketing strategy, get in touch with me right away.