Lovely… a clean, fresh new year to step hopefully into, full of the promise of content marketing perfection.
What are the top ten ideas to harness for content marketing success in 2015? I’ve trawled t’internet – and this is what I’ve found.
10 things to remember for content marketing brilliance
- Remember the best content marketing means creating and sharing valuable information to attract people and persuade them to buy. In other words educating people so they feel they know, like and trust you enough to send their hard-earned cash your way. It isn’t about blowing your own trumpet or telling people what you want them to know.
- Know your USPs. Why are you better than your competitors? What makes you different? Having a firm grasp of your business’s competitive status helps you build an informed framework on which to hang your content marketing efforts.
- Target demand. If you know 80% of your customers purchase a green widget and the rest buy one of the other fourteen colours, the demand for green widgets is probably greater. Focus on them and roll your offer out to a bigger audience.
- Know your keywords. Research suitable keywords for every piece of content you create. Broaden your reach and improve the number of keywords you’re being found for by adding longer tail terms to your list. Attract more people, later in the buying cycle, by including the search terms people use when they’re about to make a purchase.
- Remember 95% of those who find your website won’t buy from you. But hey, 5% will… assuming they like what they find there. It’s your job to fulfil the needs and desires of the 5% whose hands are already in their pockets. But it’s also your job to give the non-buying 95% a nice, warm feeling about your capabilities, expertise, trustworthiness and credibility. With luck they’ll come back later.
- Even if the information you’re putting across is dull and boring, make it the best it can be. Frame necessary yet boring information in a more user friendly way than your competitors. Lead with the benefits when they’re leading with the features. Tell it like a story. Turn a deadly dense document into a suite of neat, succinct bullets. Or transform it into something genuinely useful by editing it into plain English. There’s always a way to make dull content interesting.
- Create regular new content. Diary it. Set aside time every week or every day. And stick to it. Too many business begin content marketing with the best intentions but fall by the wayside as soon as they encounter a hurdle. If someone else is generating brilliant content once a week and you are only adding to your brand’s perceived value once a month, they will eventually win your audience’s attention. Marketing isn’t something you should pick up and drop, either. Because the whole tends to end up much more than the sum of the parts, you risk missing an important trick when things slide.
- Think about LinkedIn. If, like me, you only use LinkedIn as somewhere to deposit your CV, it’s time to think again. I’m hearing great things about the advantages of using the network’s publisher option to create and promote content.
- Content is storytelling. Just like the best TV series, films, best-selling books, multi-million circulation magazines, newspapers and blogs, the better you tell a story, the more chance your content stands of being loved and shared. You’re a human being. You know what’s boring and what isn’t. If you think it’ll make your readers lose the will to live, don’t bother with it.
- Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. None of us operate in a vacuum – everything we do online affects everyone else. All you need to do for ready-made marketing wisdom and inspiration is take a good look at the top 5 businesses in your sector on page 1 of Google and see what they’re doing that you aren’t.
Content marketing ideas
What are the best content marketers creating? Here are just some of the exciting things content creators are making into unforgettable – or at the very least seriously useful – content. Can you make an outstanding job of any of these for your website?
- Detailed brand and product information
- Useful buyer’s guides
- How to store, care for and maintain items
- Instructions for assembly and use
- In-depth technical stuff
- Extremely comprehensive FAQ
- Trend-watching / predicting the future
- New product development
- The science behind products and services
- Environmental impacts
- Aggregating a variety of opinions to create powerful discussions
- Talking about common problems or misconceptions
- Collating the best and worst reviews into something well-rounded
- Research and analysis