Content Marketing is in vogue. Many companies have realised this and have taken lead in this space. Without a doubt, this is going to be an interesting space in the days to come.
The stalwart of marketing Seth Godin has said, “Content Marketing is the Only Marketing left.”
But this ‘me too’ and desire to get the first mover advantage mindset has spoiled the initial experience. Like as it happens with many things new be it Web 1 or mutual fund industry in its earlier days or the boon of Indian IPO market in the 1990s, early movers overdo it or do it wrong without proper understanding.
In such cases, it is the 2nd movers or 2nd phase which becomes really interesting and solidify the industry.
Content Marketing (CM) is in its 1st – CM 1 – me too/early mover mindset stage. Some companies are doing it but doing it all wrong.
CM 2 is not far away.
Content and Marketing two are different words. Content is for the target audience and marketing is for the company. There is a confusion and it is widely believed it as content for marketing.
Some major misconceptions about Content Marketing especially blogs:
- It’s about marketing so self-promotion like any other marketing
- It’s about the company itself
- Poor quality content will sail through
- Camouflaged content will work
- Quantity will outdo quality benefits
- Poor reader experience like long sentences, long paragraphs, no proper formatting., jargonise language, everything fair in content marketing.
- Interruptions like pop-ups, distractions like much more content on the same page on the left /right everything will work.
Before we discuss how to approach the content marketing, a para from the book Experiences, the 7th era of Marketing is an essential read; “We can’t restrict our efforts to what drives immediate sales leads, because that limits what we can do. Don’t focus on persuading and promoting in order to sell. Rather, think about enabling and empowering experiences.”
Your content should do the following;
- Adding value to target audience ‘s life
- Making the brand popular
- Concerned about the buyers’ journey stages
- Concerned with buyers’ challenges
- Concerned with buyers goal
- Sharing customer success stories
- Concerned with customer experience
- Building the long-term relationship with the customers
Your blog posts should take care of your readers’ experience. This aspect must be given the due importance. This is difficult when the companies are in the factory mode to produce the content.
- Have an intriguing headline
- Write short sentences
- Have short paragraphs
- Avoid technical jargons, explain technical words to simplify
- Use bullet points
- Use stories, examples, and images
- Keep the screen clear of other distractions. If they like they will consume more, don’t push.
- Use different posts for a different purpose. Don’t look like a seller when you want to help. Resist the temptation.
- Really create content to educate, engage with your target audience. Make it interesting but not your sales pitch.
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Jeff Goins is a writer and a blogger. His blog posts are the role model what a blog post should be.
- Bigger Font size
- Clear paragraphs
- Sub Headings
- No distractions
- Simple language
- Use of bullets
- Use of resources
- Internal and external linking
Marketing in Content Marketing Means:
- Keyword Targets: target expected keywords likely to be used by your target audience /persona.
- Long tail Keywords: Long tail keyword attracts more traffic as it has less competition.
- Keyword Competition: Checkout relevant keywords with less competition and more chances of search.
- Blog Post Size: Mix of cornerstone article of 2000 words or more and posts about 700 -800 words.
- Simplicity: Simple and easy to understand language, Short sentences, and short paragraphs.
- On Page SEO: Have backlinks, internal links, proper heading, meta tags, image, CTA and share buttons.
- Promotion: Organics and paid promotion both are important. Good content and bad promotion fail the good content. (Bad content and good promotion fails, it fast)
The problem starts when content marketers mix the two and start writing content as a sales pitch. This is a shortcut and this will boomerang. This will make the phase 1 content marketers reinvest when the phase 2 matured content marketers comes with matured and understood the model.
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Content Marketing is a huge opportunity if the company thinks strategically. It can take the company to a different league. They can do wonders with the relevant and rich content.
“Is the content you create and distribute different than anything else out there” JoePulizzi.
If the answer is no, the result is known.
CM 2 companies will think differently.
- Think like a Visionary: Aspire to be a thought leader
- Think Empathy: Purpose above the profit
- Think Wider: How far can you go on the buyers’ journey
- Think Deeper: What expertise can you demonstrate
- Think Long-term: What is enduring and sustainable
- Think Brand building: What will make the brand loveable
- Think Educating: How to be a mentor
- Think Helping: How to be a friend
- Think Easing: How to make it easy
- Think Out of the box: How to be different
“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice.” Jim Collins – Author of Good to Great and Built to Last.
There are companies who are doing it right. Insurance companies like American Family Insurance have a new site for the content dreamfearlessly.com. Oscar is another example of how best content marketing can be executed. They have Hi Oscar Blog which features short and informative posts.
“The purpose of a business is to get and keep a customer. Without customers, no amount of engineering wizardry, clever financing, or operations expertise can keep a company going.” Theodore Levitt
The purpose of content marketing is to get and keep a customer. Don’t kill the very purpose by the myopic approach.
There’s the kind that no one can possibly like. The popups, popunders, high-pressure, track-your-private-data, scammy, spammy, interruptive, overpriced, overhyped, under-designed selfish nonsense that some people engage in.
And then there’s the kind that inspires us, delights us and brings us something we truly want.
CM 1s are the former types and CM 2s will be the later.
The content marketing is creating and marketing of your interesting content which adds value to your target audience’s life. Lead generation to revenue everything will follow if the right purpose and the right promotion both are in place.
(Content in this post mainly means written blog/website content)
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