According to the Content Marketing Institute, only 9% of B2B Marketers consider their content to be very successful. Yet 94% of small businesses, 93% of B2B’s and 71% of B2C’s are currently doing content marketing. That is a whole lot of companies. With only 9% hitting their mark, many bloggers, copywriters and business owners must be feeling frustrated.
Is Content Really King?
You hear the same old propaganda that “Content is King”. If you are like me you have to be thinking that whoever came up with that slogan must be daft. So, what is happening to content marketing that is making it so ineffective? That my friends is the $64,000 question!
CEO’s began challenging the time and expenses being dedicated to content marketing and started demanding metrics to justify the expenditure. So the fad became capturing metrics to justify the ROI. Next we started content schedules and policies to become more organized. Then we repurposing content in a variety of formats to assure that the message was getting out there.
There is an old saying that too many cooks spoil the broth. I think this applies to the problems content marketing is experiencing. There are thousands of self-proclaimed “experts” stumbling over each other, serving up the same basic information. Pardon me for being bored silly!
I read a lot of content in my position, to see what is out there. This allows me to create something that is different and unique. It also helps to steer clear of topics that have been trampled on by the hoard of marketers. There are way too many offerings out there that are the same.
Duplication of effort is killing content marketing! We are drowning our readers in a sea of the same old, same old. When you have this many similar offerings, writers appear to be more of a parrot than a thought leader. There is only so many ways to say the same thing. So what can help you set your content apart?
The content that I feel the best after reading, are those with a fresh perspective. Those written with a sense of humor. Topics that have not been covered before. If you want to set yourself apart from the crowd, then find something unique and different to discuss.
Get to know your customers and target market. Become an expert on:
- what makes them tick
- what gives them headaches
- how they go about researching solutions to problems
- how they view the sales funnel.
There is a lot of discussion today about personalization. Well, to me, this is personalization at its finest.
Partner with your sales people. Learn what they know about these topics. See if you can go on sales calls to local customers. At the very least, get permission to call selected customers. “Hey, Jim, I’m writing a report on your industry. Could you please help me out by spending a few minutes answering some questions? I’m not a salesman, so I promise there will be no sales pitch.”
After you have a few customer interviews under your belt, you’ll start to see patterns form. This will be helpful in making your content sound more expert like. It also will help generate a greater response from you audience. The better you know your target market, the better your content will become.
The second biggest mistake that content marketers make is not promoting their work. They put their time into writing it, but forget that writing is just half the battle. You need to get word out to a relative audience by sharing it on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. Try emailing a newsletter or an abstract to followers, directing them to a landing page. You can also pitch bloggers and website owners who share your audience, asking them to share your content. The worst they can say is no, and you don’t know unless you ask.
Attitude is Everything
My last piece of advice is to have fun with it. If you aren’t having fun, then there is a good chance your content may sound boring. Fun, excitement and enthusiasm should resonate through your content. Your writing style makes a huge difference in whether someone invests the time to read you again. So have fun!
Additional Reading on the Topic