Content marketing is the du jour strategy for businesses trying to reach consumers who have tuned out, literally and figuratively, to traditional advertising. To capture their attention, we make blogs and videos and social media posts; and it’s all amounted to a big bupkis.
It should be so easy and yet it’s not. Here are 4 reasons that your content marketing it’s having the effect you need.
You know why that article from The New York Times gets shared? A lot of work went in to making it, it’s comprehensive, and it is approachable by people of a variety of skill levels. Your blog didn’t get the shares because you spent 20 minutes pounding out good, if half-baked, ideas that you might think are interesting despite their complete irrelevance to your customers.
People have an amazing BS detector and know when you’re phoning it in. If you’re going to put out content, think about the value to the consumer and—if it’s out for its own sake—put a pin in it until you have a better sense of what value it can provide.
It has no strategic purpose
Big companies have strategy sessions thinking about what content will resonate, what SME that content should come from, and ways to distribute it outside of hope and prayer.
Content marketing is an execution channel for strategy. If you’re simply writing blogs for their own sake, or because you feel like you have to, then it’s not going to provide any value. Blogs and videos must be part of a larger plan, not the be-all and end-all.
It’s not different
Unless you’re the owner of a frozen yoghurt stand in Antarctica, you probably have competition. Your competition is also probably trying to find a way to reach the same competition. Some companies have managed to do it well, so much so that their products become ubiquitous. Others manage to break out of a largely uniform market—think Apple—to become recognisable by a wide group of people.
Your business, without being rude, probably doesn’t stand out to anyone who hasn’t worked with you. At Interpro, we work hard to remind people that we’re not generalist recruiters but instead focus on very specific niche areas. And yet we get plenty of resumes of people looking for secretarial work.
While cat videos get likes on social media, you need to produce content that matches your brand, highlights your values and expertise, and is entertaining.
It’s not original
As a busy content marketer who doesn’t always have a new idea to write about, it’s tempting for me to find something that’s good enough and copy it.
You need new ideas that, preferably, don’t come from the Internet. Read something new and apply that lesson to something you’ve experienced in business.
Remember that your clients and readers don’t have time for nonsense. Provide value, be succinct, and always look for new ways to engage different people.
Have you ever had anything go viral? What did you do differently that made it connect? Share your experiences in the comments below.
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