Obviously we can wang on for hours about content marketing because it’s our thing – but it might not be yours, yet. If you’re just dipping your toe in the market, here are some pointers.
1. Who are you writing for?
The answer is rarely ‘myself’ – or at least it should rarely be. It’s unlikely that, as a service provider or product seller, you’ve got the same priorities as your customers. So you need to find out as much as you can about all the different types of potential readers of your content and write for their interest. Telling them how great your product is won’t be enough to convince them to buy it – yes, they will need the product details, but first they need to be open to the idea. You need to solve their problems, not yours.
2. What language do they speak?
Make sure your language matches theirs. If it’s unlikely that your customers are familiar with acronyms or in-house shortenings, don’t use them. Stick to clear language, don’t use abbreviations without referring to them in full first, don’t overcomplicate a simple process. Be a helper for them, not another hindrance to getting their job done.
3. Don’t be dull
Keep your corporate personality interesting. Consider a magazine which people have to part with their hard-earned cash to be able to read beyond the enticing headlines. The articles inside give interesting perspectives, challenge beliefs, make recommendations – all things that you can do via your content. Being dull might seem safe, but it’ll always be dull.
4. Have a content strategy
Blogs don’t exist for you to fill them up on a regular basis with words. They are there to fulfil a wider business strategy, and your content strategy is your roadmap to achieving this. It gives you direction on what to write, what key messages to reinforce, what events need support, what misunderstandings you want to address …. so many things! But if you don’t put the time into creating a purposeful strategy, you will just have a blog with words, and for that you can be penalised by Google and pushed further down the search engine findings.
5. Check your URLs
If you are creating content for your blog, but your website URLs look like this www.mybusiness.com//all.php#!/ c/2583613/offset=0&sort=addedTimeDesc then you’re missing a trick which will help you to be found via search engines. When you’re creating new blog posts or pages, look into how you can change the url so it is short, readable, searchable and includes your keywords, eg www.mybusiness.com/content-marketing-security-top-tips. Then, if someone is searching for ‘content marketing tips’ in Google, you’re in with a shout of being found for what you do.