Content Marketing is creating quite a buzz these days and most businesses are trying it for themselves. In Canada, content marketing is becoming a priority. According to a 2016 survey by Ignite Digital, 69% of marketers are doing content marketing activities, and 29% believe that content marketing will be the most important activity over the course of the year.
However, while many businesses are doing it, it’s not the easiest thing to do. According to experts in the field, many businesses make the mistake of focusing too much on their own product or service and forget that it is all about the customer and their wants, needs, interests, aspirations and habits. An effective content marketing piece should educate an audience about a specific issue of interest and create a lasting impact on their daily lives.
What’s interesting to the reader?
Your customer is the first thing to consider, and the piece should be interesting enough for them to start reading and continue through the end of the article. The article should be about a subject that they care about. Who are they? What lifestyles do they lead? What are their goals and values, and what inspires them?
Once you have the answers to these questions, find the subject that you are passionate in and educate your audience about it.
Who is the “Expert”?
Often, one noticeable aspect found in articles is businesses are blatant “all eyes on the prize.” Their focus on return on investment is so obviously pointing the reader to a specific product or service, the readers quickly tune out, knowing they are being sold rather than educated. This article risks being rejected as disingenuine advertising and a waste of the reader’s time.
Content can be an effective promotional tool without sacrificing being informative or risking the trust of readers. If the article is written in the third person, the writer can position the expert within the article and is often the owner of a business specialising in the subject matter. The writer can achieve this by citing the expert in the article as a knowledgeable person in the field, with links back to their website.
An example would be writing an article about a pizzeria and how great they are, as opposed to the preferred: a great pizzeria educating the readers on how to make a fantastic pizza. The latter, when credit is properly afforded to the expert, is much more valuable for the reader.
Giving something of value
Gone are the days of advertorials. Educated customers are buying rather than being sold and consumers are much more savvy about the content they are reading and they know if they are being sold. The way to gain their trust is to provide valuable information to freely take away. This also often eliminates the need to discount the price of your product or service to get their attention.
Marketers work hard to create viral articles and by experience, a good article will spread well on its own. When a consumer finds value in the article and gains knowledge from it, they are more likely to share this information with people in their circle.
Does your content tick the boxes?
What are your areas of expertise? What have you done to promote your content? How can the information you have be of help your customer?
Answering these questions and writing what you are truly passionate about will resonate with your audience and leave a positive lasting impression.