Is your content marketing working? Are you getting the results you want?
When it comes to marketing your material, you must know who your intended audience is. This will be a determining factor in the success of your material.
Once you know your market you can begin creating content that they want. Of course, you may know that they need one thing, but they may not know that. Meet them where they are and create content that helps them solve the problems they believe they have – then, only then, can you give them what they need.
Understanding your market also allows you to post your content in locations that are visible to them. This means that your content will be extremely focused and drive the most engaged potential customers to your site or product.
Once you have a good understanding of your market and their needs and desires, you’ll find it easier to come up with a constant stream of content ideas that will genuinely help your market.
Creating content is great, but do you know what you want each specific piece of content to do or what action you want your customers or clients to take? Many business owners know that they need content, so they begin creating content and posting it.
Unfortunately, there is much more to creating content. When you create content with a purpose, your company will receive more benefits from it. It is important for your business – and your sanity – to create content with a plan.
Having a plan allows you to know what type of information to include – or not include – in your content. An article created for your website that is intended to direct your clients to a download or sales page is going to be much different than an article created to help walk them step-by-step through a process.
Another of the most common content marketing mistakes is simply not being yourself.
You need to be yourself – it’s that simple. How many times have you thought the person you were working with was one way and later discovered what you though you knew wasn’t true at all?
You do not want to leave your customers and clients in this situation. People trust those who are trustworthy and honest. One way to show this is to be yourself. If you are a jokester, it is okay to add some humour. Let your quirkiness shine and set you apart from everyone else.
The best part about this is you can stop trying to be perfect.
Nobody is perfect and by accepting that and being yourself, you’ll usually find the “right” customers are more likely to be attracted to your business. Those who don’t connect with your personality will probably go elsewhere and that’s quite okay. You most likely weren’t a good match for each other.
There are so many techniques for the perfect marketing strategy. Everywhere you look, you see and hear something that “you must” do to improve your marketing and grow your business.
Most small business owners do not have the funds or time to do everything. Therefore, it is important that you find what works best for you and do that. It may be a combination of what others are doing, or a strategy all your own.
Doing what everyone else is doing, is not always the best strategy. One of the quickest ways to get into the front of your niche is to do something different.
The internet has made it possible for anyone to post anything. How much of that content is high-quality content? Not very much.
It is important that you create high-quality content that gives value to your customers. Filling your blogs, videos, and tweets with “filler” content is not going to give you the results you desire. People will look for people they can trust to give them content that has value to them.
Remember that value doesn’t have to be boring. You need to keep your potential clients interested while giving them information they can use.
Writing and publishing great content are only two of the steps in your content marketing pan. Many small business owners believe their content fails because it lacks quality – this isn’t necessarily true. Most of them time it is because they forget to promote it.
Promoting your content can seem scary when you only think of it as selling. Promoting your content simply means that you’re sharing it with your potential clients on purpose.
It is important that you use all your resources to promote your content. You can use social media platforms, blogs (yours and other bloggers), website owners, paid ads and other business owners to help promote your content.
A successful content marketing strategy can lead to strong relationships and a sense of community with your customers and clients. It allows you to become an authority and thought leader within your industry.
A strategic step in content marketing is tracking your results. You need to track your content from creation to distribution to ensure you have the correct plan in place. Tracking your results enables you to see where you are succeeding and where you may need to make a few changes.
If you’re making any of these 7 content marketing mistakes, make a commitment to change that … beginning from right now. You’ll soon start to see a great improvement in your content’s engagement and the results its getting, among other things, and the extra effort to get this process right will soon be well worth it.
Content can take you and your brand from an unknown nobody to a credible expert, that people trust and buy from to better themselves or their business. So it’s important that you correctly use your content to shine the best light on you and your business. Your content can truly make you or break you and your business.
Content is how you share your experience and knowledge with the world.
So, how exactly do you use content to build your brand?
There are various methods, techniques, and strategies for using content to build your brand. These can be simplified into three steps: creating, distributing, and tracking your content.
Using these three steps properly will help your content to build your brand for you.
There’s an enormous variety of content that you can create. The goal with this step is to determine which type you want to create, the purpose for creating it, and who is going to receive it. It’s essential here to understand who your ideal customer is.
What content are they looking for?
In what format do they want that content?
Types of content you can create include:
Your purpose will help you determine which type of content you want to create. It will also help you determine how you want to deliver the content. Ask yourself, “What action do I want my audience to take afterward?”
Who is your Audience?
Depending on your audience, you may decide a specific type of content is better suited. If they are beginners, a step-by-step process may be best. If they have purchased from you before, letting them know why the next product may help them go even further and how it may benefit them.
Once you know what type of content you are creating, how are you going to distribute that content? The answer to this question will determine which type of media you use and again, who your audience is.
Types of Distribution Media include:
The type of distribution media you use requires that you know your audience well and that you are clear about what you want to share with them.
You may even decide that you can share the same thing three or more ways to connect with even more potential clients.
As a generalisation, if your content is directed towards millennials, you may want to use more videos and audios. However, if you are targeting the baby boomers, a whitepaper delivered in the mail often works well. Although this is something you may want to test as it can vary greatly from one market to the next.
In this example, the goal of using content is to build your brand – this means that you need to know how your business is growing.
Whether you like to crunch numbers or not, you will need some form of tracking to see how effective each type of content and distribution method is for you.
It will take time to generate useful data, but don’t let that dissuade you from trying something new.
There are many free analytic tools available to you. (Google Analytics is a good place to start). You can also hire someone to do the tracking for you. Whichever route you take, you need to know your end goal. You will need to determine what it is that you want your audience to know or do once they consume your information.
At first, the idea of creating, distributing and tracking content may seem overwhelming, so much so that it doesn’t get done. But once you get started – in even the most simplest way possible – you’ll soon start to get a better understand of what your audience is looking for and how to give this to them, without your content marketing taking up all your time and money.
Whether you are speaking with your clients through social media, blog posts, emails, websites or other forms of media, you want to be able to make a connection.
There’s various ways you can do that, but the most important thing is to speak with them in a way they can understand. Don’t complicate your message with big words that make you sound impressive or with technical jargon that’s not relevant to your readers.
Here’s how you can do this in a way that will compel them to act by following a few simple steps:
Knowing who you want to read your tweet, blog post, book, email or whatever it is you’re writing will determine what voice you convey and which information you share. If you are writing to women who are in their mid-40s and want to change careers you will need a much different conversation than you would with those in their 20s who want to make a career change.
In a similar way, you’re writing style for holiday travel ideas for students will need to be different to how you’d write – or communicate in general – with a group of science professors interested in the latest industry technology.
So understanding who you’re communicating with is the first step.
This focuses your writing on where you will be publishing your work. Will it be published in a periodical, online, in an email, as a blog post, or as a social media post?
Will there be a possibility that a potential client or potential peer will see the article or visit the site?
Knowing how and where it will be published will help you find the voice of the writing more precisely and help you connect with the correct audience.
Before you begin writing you also want to know what the concerns or problems are that your audience is facing and what you want them to do as a result of reading the article or post. This allows you to speak directly to your intended audience when you focus on solving one problem or concern.
Once you know the who, how, and what of your writing you need to begin building a connection by grabbing their attention, engaging them and entertaining them all while maintaining your professionalism. Use vivid imagery wherever possible and allow your personality to show.
It may seem like a lot, but as you practise you will find that these aspects are all found naturally in your writing.
You need to grab attention as soon as possible so that your readers will continue reading.
Having life changing information in your writing will not matter if your intended audience doesn’t read it. Use a title that catches their attention and causes them to want more.
Where appropriate, include images or videos too.
After you have gained your readers’ attention, engage them in the writing. This is going to differ depending on what you’re writing. The general concept here though is to create a scenario where they answer questions and begin to relate the material to themselves.
Now that you have their attention and they are engaging with your content, entertain them. Unless your audience is looking for only facts and numbers, giving them the information in an entertaining way will keep them from falling asleep.
Stay on topic and use vivid, descriptive words – where that’s appropriate to do so.
Although you are connecting with your audience and working on building a relationship, you still need to remain professional. You want them to see you as an expert in your field and trust that you can help them. One of the quickest ways to lose trust is through poor grammar and spelling.
So make sure you double check or have someone else check your work before publishing. You want your audience to easily read your material and get the meaning and answer they need.
That said, I wouldn’t be too concerned if there are one or two minor errors once in a while.
Yes, I know this is going to upset some people but hey, nobody’s perfect! 😉
Mostly, readers will forgive the odd typo, especially if the content is worthwhile. But content that is full of errors doesn’t exactly scream professionalism.
I also recommend keeping yourself professional if someone posts something you don’t like in reply to your content. Sometimes misunderstandings happen … and sometimes you’ll come across someone who’s just downright nasty! Either way, you can address their statements or complaints without getting into an online slanging match.
There are ways to disagree with people in a polite, adult way and you should always make sure you don’t let your emotions take over and start saying things you may later regret.
One way to keep from boring and losing your audience is to let your personality through. Your readers will be able to build a deeper connection with you when they feel they know you. If you are a bit quirky, let that show through. If you are more serious, let that come through in your writing.
Your audience can feel your honesty in your writing. When they feel you are not being honest, they will lose their trust and connection with you.
Not everyone is going to like you or appreciate seeing your personality shine through in your content. That’s perfectly okay! You will attract more people who DO like you and feel they connect with you and these are the people you want around you.
The most important thing to remember is to get to know your intended audience and to write directly to them.
I know a lady who curses constantly throughout her marketing and makes no apologies for it. She’s also very spiritual (which is just a little too ‘woowoo’ for many). Some people are offended by this or thinks she’s off her rocker and don’t want anything to do with her.
But for others interested in her area of expertise – particularly others who curse a lot and are more spiritual – they absolutely LOVE her. Where some had felt they didn’t fit the stereo-typical “professional” within their niche, they see her as an example that they can be successful without having to change who they are or how they behave.
This lady has built a huge following and has earnt millions from being herself and connecting with others like her. These are the people she focuses on, not those who don’t like her or think she should change her behaviour.
It can take a little practise to get this right. Over time though, you’ll find it easier and easier to write in a way that best suits your particular audience(s). Following the guidelines above will help you to be able to build a solid connection and understanding with readers. With this, those people will keep coming back to hear more of what you have to say.