In case you’re unfamiliar, content marketing is generally regarded as text, audio or video—usually text heavy—that’s used to influence a target market. Because Google’s latest updates have rewarded content creators by downgrading heavy back linking and upping the influence of shared content, the marketing world is flush with new ideas on how to create great content.
It may seem tricky, but it’s not. Does anyone out there really think that using relatable stories (a common theme for most content marketers) targeted at specific (potential) customers ISN’T a good idea? Nope, but until quite recently, the SEO industry was far, far better at getting their keyword-laden sites ranked far ahead of everything else.
Those days are over, at least until the SEO industry finds another way to exploit the Google algorithm. Until that day, content marketing reigns as the absolute best way to gain attention.
But what the heck does that even mean?
It’s just stories. Content marketing is marketing without the pushiness, without the jargon and without the sales talk. It’s no different than a great public speaker giving a good speech, and far better than a sales guy quoting estimated numbers.
And it’s nothing new. Stories have always been the best way to sell products, right? Haven’t you used customer success stories in pitches? Have you ever taken customer testimonials and put them on your site?
Then you’re a content marketer. Congratulations!
Now, if you want to be successful, here are some tips that anyone looking to sell something online should have ALWAYS been following.
Keep It Targeted
If you’re writing for teens, moms, dads, single dudes in their 20s and octogenarians, you’re likely not going to appeal to any of them. Our target market is corporate event planners, likely between 30-50. While The Avengers may make them laugh, we’re pretty sure stories about Justin Bieber would not.
Keep It Conversational
We can always tell when someone is trying to sell us something. Direct questions like “what are your pain points?” and “What would you like to do better?” are great for people who already believe in your product or service, but not so great when they’re still on the fence. By talking about people just like them, content marketers are better able to answer sales questions without being so direct.
Keep It Helpful
Most customers don’t care about your sales last year, your huge client list or how awesome the latest build is. They want to know what you can do to improve their business and/or make them look good. When we work with InfusionSoft, we focus on how we can make their events easier, not how cool it is that our registration software was built from off-the-shelf parts (though we do throw that in eventually).
Make It About People
It’s human nature to want to know about other people just like us. People magazine has built an empire on the ‘celebs are just like us!’ idea, and content marketing is no different. Make your customers the heroes of your content marketing strategy and not only are they likely to talk you up, potential new customers will see themselves as the main characters in their own tale.
Maybe content marketing is just another buzzword, but it’s a technique that’s been around for a lot longer than most would admit. And it works.