When you post a new article on your blog, make use of social media to get the word out about your company or upload a video to your business channel on YouTube, you are engaged in content marketing. Here are just a few tips to maximize your content marketing efforts.
Know Your Audience
Perhaps no other factor is more important to marketing than audience identification and selection. All of your efforts should focus on pleasing your customer base. This means you need to discover what they need to know and what they find interesting rather than guessing or using your own opinions. Be especially careful when turning content production over to writers. Make sure they understand who you speak with and how to communicate with them most effectively through word choice and sentence structure. Even though this is one of the most basic skills learned, it also is one of the first to go.
Talk to Your Audience
You are in business to solve problems for people. But what are those problems? The content you publish should, in some way, address the struggles your customers endure and help them to overcome limitations. Successful content is not aimed at beating your own drum and presenting your amazingly wonderful company to the world. Successful content answers a question or solves a problem, and your company can be featured as a helpful resource. So, be sure to talk with your audience to discover what questions they need answered and what problems they need solved so that you can better yourself as a helpful resource for them.
Present Solutions Plainly
Few people love to read academic papers, but cartoons are wildly popular. This goes to show that when your content is easy to grasp, it is easy to love. You can learn a lesson from cartoons and include graphics, photos and videos to more plainly convey your point and engage your reader. However, never include an illustration just to throw something on the page.
Also, be sure you have rights to the material you use, and always credit the creator properly. Normally, it is much safer to use stock photography than to pull something from an online community like Flickr. Using rights managed property can get you in big trouble quick.
Use Titles to Attract
Most people know the title or headline serves to attract an audience. The old-school example is whether more people would stop to read a story captioned “Dog Bites Man,” or one that proclaimed “Man Bites Dog.” The caution here is to be intriguing, but never misleading because your headline is a promise that you must always follow through on. Furthermore, your title should circle back to your audience and how you are solving their problem. Your headline should attract your audience because it will give them valuable information, which then helps you become a trusted expert.
Overall, content marketing is not as complex as it seems. All you need to do is to identify your target market and answer their questions or solve their problems. If you do this, then you will be sure to attract more customers, and your business will thrive.
What’s Your Favorite Content From 2014?
Share your favorite post from your blog in the comments below!