Do you like being interrupted?
Few of us do, yet interruption has become so normalized in outbound marketing that some people forgot that it often leads to rejection and frustration by the very people you are looking to attract to your company.
In fact, there is almost no type of media that doesn’t eventually become interruptive in nature, even if it was once ‘pure.’ Take Facebook. Have you noticed how many ads and sponsored posts now show up in your feed?
The bottom line: Interruptive marketing (interrupting someone’s user experience to get their attention e.g. spam ads, pop up ads, video ads etc.) is a big turn off for many.
Consumers no longer want to experience interruptive marketing, the kind of marketing that constantly bombards you with advertising, promotions and sales gimmicks when you would like to be seeing something else. They have many choices of where to spend time online and they want to see what they expect, not what YOU want to show them based on achieving a marketing goal or a metric.
The key is to EARN their attention first by giving them content that they are actually seeking.
So what should you do?
Rather than selling someone something, create content that is meant to inform, educate, inspire and provide a point of view first. Build your trust and relationship with your audience before you ask for something. Sounds reasonable right?
What is Content Marketing Exactly?
It is a method of creating and distributing valuable content to engage and attract an audience – with the goal of compelling them to take action. Content marketing is non-interruptive marketing that is very informative and engaging. It also speaks the consumer’s language clearly. It can entertain, educate and captivate an audience (all at once) in order to build trust and relationships.
Examples of content marketing effective for small businesses:
• Creating a free downloadable eBook or guide
• Blogs articles
• Informative videos
• White papers
• How to guides
• Help posts (social)
• Email newsletters
• Case studies
• Online articles
• etc. (what would you add?)
Did You Know That Content Marketing Can Jumpstart Your SEO Campaign?
There is one problem that many business owners are facing and that is converting traffic into sales. That’s because if you have nothing to offer, people may not stay on your website.
A common situation we have seen: a business may have a solid SEO campaign with great traffic results, but no one seems to want to buy. That means you are getting people to your site but it is not translating to new business.
Content marketing can help be the glue that keeps your website “sticky”. You need to actively give people a reason to stay on your site. Having a great product/service to offer and a well-designed website is simply not enough these days for many businesses. Good content marketing solves this ongoing problem.
Look at search behavior: the first thing 2/3’s of all online searchers do online is “Google it.” If your company produces engaging, problem-solving content that’s well-optimized, you will begin to get noticed within the search engines. An article you wrote, for example, can be the gateway to your site. You can start attracting people through your content, not just your homepage. This is good for SEO. Think about each piece of content as a potential bridge to potential customers. Better content ranks better. Better written content gets shared more and leads to more traffic. And Google considers a website with valuable content an authorative site. These are all good reasons to start.
Unlocking The Key To Content Marketing Starts With Your Customer
In order to attract people with your content, make sure your blog posts, guests’ posts, ebooks, whitepapers, copy and other forms of content are written with your target audience in mind. In other words, provide them with content they want to hear. This may seem obvious, but many people use content marketing to push a sales message, or in some instances, to impress their peers or competitors. If you don’t know what to write, ask customers what would be helpful, think about questions you have been asked and common problems facing your audience. Write about real issues they care about it and you will be on the right track.
Some Do’s and Don’ts Of Content Marketing
Think ‘reciprocal relationships’: You want to give a little now to get a little later. It is a reciprocal relationship: if you show people how helpful you really can be, they may contact you to talk about your products or services. This process requires one to really know his/her target audience, which is critical to any marketing campaign. In our case, some of our clients want to understand content marketing a little better, so we have written this straight forward article to help. We are serving an actual need: the need for certain clients who do not know where to begin with content marketing to understand it a little better. That makes it a worthwhile investment for us.
Be unique: The content must be unique and original. Don’t use duplicate content or content used elsewhere on the internet. It won’t perform as well in search engines and in some cases can lead to SEO penalizations. If you are an expert in your field, write from scratch based on a concept or theme.
Have the ‘right’ intent: The key is, if your intent is to truly help someone, then you are on the right track. Optimize the content correctly but do not manufacture an article that is unreadable. Read your article out loud and ask yourself if it makes sense. Keep it understandable and “consumable” for them. Overly technical or jargon filled posts may turn away readers. Simple is better.
Make content easy to share: Also, make sure your content is shareable. Content marketing isn’t just about words thrown up on a page. It should inspire and enlighten your audience. When people find your content useful, they will share it on various social media sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.). It can then become ‘viral.’
Make content consumable on the type of device it was intended: If you are targeting a mobile audience, make sure the content your create formats for the browser size on which it will be viewed.
Write just for SEO: Often times, many marketers will just write content for the sake of SEO. This method may have worked out well 10 years ago, but today, that has all changed. Keyword stuffed articles do not work because they are written for search engines, not people. People want well written, clear, original content that makes sense.
Is viral a goal? Your goal should not be to write something viral but to write something so good masses of people can not help but want to share it with people they know.
Don’t just create it, share it: Don’t just write a great article, be sure to announce and share it through your different marketing channels, whether it is on your website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email blasts etc. also think about how you can reuse or repurpose it later to share again if it is not time sensitive.
In sum, be helpful and provide valuable, relevant content that truly helps your target audience solve a problem, overcome an obstacle, or make a situation more understandable etc. Be consistent, fresh, and always stand out from the competition. Your “voice” in your writing is part of your brand so be authentic, but professional; be informational but keep information easy to digest.
We hope this introduction helps you!
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