Content marketing provides an invaluable opportunity to show your company’s human side, build trust, loyalty and cultivate an audience receptive to your message. It can also drive traffic to your website, increase revenue, improve your search engine rankings (SEO), and even provide customer service. Content marketing entails giving your target audience something valuable, hopefully in exchange for something else that is valuable. Despite its simplicity, there are a few pitfalls to be avoided.
One of the most important things that creators should consider is their purpose. No, we are not talking about the meaning of life; we mean the thoughts and intents that the author is attempting to convey. It is essential that the author or authors know what they are promoting, and that they are certain of the identity of a target audience.
Once you have decided on the purpose, it is necessary to choose goals for the content. Ask yourself what results should be expected from the content, how you expect your audience to react, and what you would consider a success for your content marketing. Depending on your niche, your goals will probably fall within three categories: sales, loyalty, or business goals.
For an effective content marketing strategy, you must combine your purpose and your goals to identify your mission.
Questions to ask:
- What is the purpose of this piece?
- For whom am I writing it?
- Is this audience a narrow niche, or a broader spectrum?
- What is the goal of my content?
Relevant and Meaningful
Content marketing is all about, well, content. If the content is not relevant, and the viewers do not find it meaningful to their lives, they are apt to take their views elsewhere. Therefore, content marketers must ensure that their content is engaging and informative, accomplishing the goals set out before. This can sometimes come down to the difference between good and bad writing. If you do not possess the writing skills necessary to create great content, it is wise to hire someone to ghost write your articles and posts. However, if you are in the content marketing industry, it is likely that this step is unnecessary and you can create excellent content yourself.
If this is the case, be sure to pay careful attention to word choice, grammar, and spelling. One typo will probably not kill your content’s message, but if it is too much, you risk losing a significant portion of your client base. Spelling is essential; if you do not know how to spell a word, Google it, or choose a different word. This mostly boils down to professionalism; your audience does not want to trip over every other word or be confused by a run on sentence.
Try not to wander. Stay focused on the topic you are presenting to your audience, and emphasize the benefits you (or, if you are advertising a product, it) can provide. This adds meaning to your content and makes it relevant. It is far easier to sell a pair of tennis shoes to a person who is looking for comfort than to sell a pair of heels to a gentleman who is looking for a new pair of dress shoes to match his new suit. The number one rule is relevance.
Questions to ask:
1. Should I hire someone, or write this myself?
2. Is my spelling, grammar, and punctuation correct?
3. Did I use appropriate diction for the target audience?
4. Am I emphasizing the benefits of this product in a way that is relevant to my audience?
When you meet up with a friend the first thing many people say is “hey, how’s it going” or something to that effect. It’s a genuine greeting that asks a question. For the most part, the response is going to be just as authentic simply because you have nothing to hide from one another. That type of greeting is going to lead to further dialogue between the two in the form of a conversation.
This is exactly what you want your content to do; produce engagement. Why? It shows that what you are saying is resonating with the person listening and they are giving you feedback. This is key. No one wants a one-sided conversation or an insincere message (which isn’t really a conversation at all).
By having a continued and genuine conversation with your audience gives you a better understanding of what it is that they are looking for; which in turn, allows you to better respond to their needs. As such, you can provide solutions to their problems because you have not made the conversation all about you.
Choose Vivid/Lively Words
Using vivid and lively words gives your readers a way to picture or visualize what you are saying. This will keep them engaged with your content. Take full advantage of painting a picture that makes your reader use all their senses. For example, they should be able to taste the cool strawberry infused water, hear the rainwater beat down on the rooftop, smell the deep-roasted coffee beans, or feel the bite of the cold wintry weather.
Once you’ve created vivid and lively words that paint a picture in the minds of your readers they will be hard-pressed to forget your brand.
Create Potential to Motivate Your Readers to Action
Nearly all Christmas day messages are designed to get prospects to make a purchase for all the people on their list. For example, don’t know what to get for your picky teenage, purchase a gift card instead. Or, worried about shipping costs? Make a $100 purchase and your shipping is free. Both examples demonstrate a specific call-to-action. That’s what you want your content to do. Take the guesswork out of what it is you’re trying to say and speak directly to your potential customer’s need(s).
This even works if you want them to leave a comment, answer a few questions, or share your message with their friends and family. Whatever it is, be clear and direct so that your visitors know exactly what you’re asking and what steps they should take.
When applied in the right way, words have a great deal of influence and persuasion power. Use these tips and tricks to create the best content for the most sales, and don’t forget the number one rule: relevance!