Content Marketing: The Human Answer Machine
Content Marketing rocks despite being around for years. Content marketing consists of human communication transmitted from one person to another.
While leveraging social media’s ability to distribute and promote your organization’s information, you can engage with targeted individuals interested in receiving your content.
At its best, content marketing provides solutions your prospects feel are personal and respond to their questions.
Don’t take my word for it, here’s what seven content marketing rockstars said about the subject at Content Marketing World. Whether you attended or not, print out these seven take-aways and tape them next to your computer to inspire you while you’re creating content.
- “Write human.” Mike Stelzner of SocialMediaExaminer.com. For a man whose blog thrives on 1,000+ word pieces, Mike’s advice is short and to the point. Skip anything resembling a sales angle in your content. Understand that consumers can smell a promotion a mile away. Even worse they don’t trust advertising.
- “Be flawsome.” Ann Handley of MarketingProfs. Leave it to Handley, co-author of Content Rules to create a new word to describe content marketing. Forget the concealer! Your blemishes make your organization and content unique and make you sound real. The challenge for content marketers is determining how to work with what you have.
- “Content marketing isn’t B2C or B2B, it’s P2P.” Heather Meza of Cisco. In our rush to create the perfect piece of content, we often forget that we’re crafting our message for our target audience and that audience is composed of real people. Our content marketing needs to be person-to-person.
- “Customers don’t share stories about you, they share stories about themselves” Chris Baggott of Compendium (via Twitter) One element that makes social media so powerful is the fact people can tell their personal story to a wider audience in real time, whether it’s comments, tweets or images. We document our lives for our family, friends and colleagues. Listen to the stories of your prospects and customers so that you can engage with them and discover their pain points and needs.
- “People look for a solution to a problem so optimize for people and search.” Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer. To create stellar content that ranks high on search, use your customers’ language. Gather insights regarding the terms and questions your prospects are asking. If you don’t know what your customers want, ask them. (Here are fifteen tips to improve your search optimization for content marketing.)
- “Your customers define sexy content not you!’ Marcus Sheridan of TheSalesLion.com. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What information are your seeking? Ask your front line customer engagement team including sales, customer service, retail employees and others what questions they get asked by your prospects and customers. Until you answer those queries, prospects won’t close the deal. This includes comparisons with your competitors and your price.
- “Your blog must serve your business goals or it’s not worth doing.” Brian Clark of Copyblogger. Blogging or any other piece of content marketing must help you move closer to achieving your goals. Translation: Determine what you want your business to accomplish. Whether it’s acquiring new customers, closing and/or supporting sales, or retaining customers, your content must move your audience closer to this action. Knowing this objective helps make a stronger case for content marketing and selecting the appropriate metrics.
Create content that reflects your organization’s DNA. To be effective as it can be, your content should be human and answer your prospects’ questions.
What other tips do you have to create content marketing that succeeds?
Note: These quotes are from my notes and tweets. Any mistakes in these quotes are the author’s.
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