Content marketing is a game with winners and losers, those that win the content game engage more of their audience, attract more customers, retain and upsell to existing customers and ultimately improve their bottom line. I’ve been content marketing for years and the following are a few rules which should help you.
It never ceases to amaze me the number of people that obviously spend a great deal of time producing content only to publish it on a mediocre website, which doesn’t work properly on mobile devices. You want the content that you distribute to live on your website, which should be the hub of all things. But, if your website is not responsive (mobile friendly) then over half your potential audience cannot easily consume the content and all you will do is drive over half your audience away.
By making your website responsive, you’ll please all of your audience and you’ll also get an search engine boast as Google now identifies mobile friendly websites within its search results.
Do you like to read boring content? Of course you don’t, nobody does. Dry and boring content happens when you don’t know your voice, learn what your business voice is and start trying to produce interesting content that speaks and shares opinions in that voice. The days of keyword rich content production, simply to fill the content slots for the search engines are over and long gone. Google is dedicated to serving the best and most relevant content to its customers and it’s your job to deliver the most relevant content so that your customers want to find it and so that Google can send these people to you.
Many business owners wrongly assume that the more promotional content they produce the more sales they will make, thus fulfilling the needs of the business. In the real work though all you will do is bore people to death. People do not like being sold to and will not be engaged by that type of content on a daily basis. This is not to say you don’t want to promote yourself and your products, you do of course, but you want most of the content you product to be able stand on its own, enough that your audience wants to find out what you have to offer by reading your bio and clicking through to your sales pages.
Generic, “do nothing” content is old school and boring, ask yourself as you produce your content whether it’s useful and engaging to the reader you intend to read it, whether it solves a problem for them, and whether or not it’s about them and not you. Remember, the aim of content is all about them, all of the time.
Some of the very best and unique content answers a question that someone in your audience either may have had, or that you can assume that they have due to your study of the audience in relation to your product offerings. Providing content that doesn’t do this is just going to be lost in the shuffle and never read or cared about. That’s where you see “bounces” in your analytics.
When asked by clients about content and what to produce, I always answer by stating that you should think of every single question you have ever been asked about your products and services, both sales, technical and customer service questions. Then to get content all you need do is answer these questions in as much detail as possible, the end result being lots and lots of relevant content that is unique to your business and that will engage your audience.
Grammar matters. Sentence structure matters. But, not in the way you may think. If your content is too stuffy for your audience they may be left feeling like what they are reading is dry and drones on and on. Instead, find a good balance between propriety and entertainment and you’ll have it made. Just think about the content I produce, I’m the first to admit that my grammar isn’t the best, but my content is widely read because it engages and entertains people.
While content is all about your audiences needs and wants, there has to be a point to your content that ultimately represents your business goals and objectives. If you can keep your business goals at the forefront of any new content creation and understand how and why it fits in with your objectives while also answering the needs of your audience, you’ll ensure its success.
If you have an opinion share it, your audience want to get to know you and sharing your opinion is one of the best ways to engage your audience and make your content draw people in, because even if the majority of your audience doesn’t agree with your opinion you’ll make them think and engage with your content.
You may be famous in your own right, but the truth is, people like seeing proof in the form of quotes from well-respected industry influencers that they know and have heard about.
Finally, you should know your audience well enough to know what time they are more likely to read your content, where they might be more likely to find it, and in what formats they prefer to consume it. If you follow these tips, and keep studying your audience, you’ll be successful with your content strategy and remember most businesses fail at content marketing because it’s hard work and people are lazy and are always looking for shortcuts to success.