Crackin Eggs In Content Marketing
Eggs ?? Content Marketing ?? I don't get it ??
Well that's part of the point, but we'll stick with it.. like the title, content marketing is kind of confusing for some odd reason. I mean, given the hit and miss successes in content marketing, maybe it's not as straightforward as it should be when you consider the reality that there are plenty of people struggling to figure this out.
As with anything that means more visibility, more user engagement, more money and more opportunity there are those who will do it great, those who won't and many of us that are caught in the middle desperately trying to compete and get it right. As you've undoubtedly heard, content is king and the perfect compliment to that is the importance of content marketing and your CM strategy.
Content marketing is not everyone's cup of tea, but lets be real.. marketing in general isn't the most exciting thing on my agenda either on any given afternoon, but it's necessary. Necessary if you want to get your content out there, seen, shared and embraced by people that are looking for the kind of content that you are producing. However, while there are many ways to effectively market your content, we're going to explore the mistakes that people make in content marketing to help you avoid doing the same things too.
Even if you think about the big buzzwords these days, we hear words like social media, panda update, penguin update, social sharing, canonical tags, SEO.. that one never gets old, pinterest, snapchat and more. There's so much volatility online and it's a bit of a whirlwind for bloggers and marketers alike. We're all just trying to survive it, in a world where there's so much that we don't control, but thankfully for us, on the flipside there are things that we are very much in control of.. such as the content that we produce and market to others that find enjoyment in what we say and do.
Crackin' A Few
Mistakes are inevitable, but just as well, can be easily avoided too. If there's one thing that I can tell you is a common theme around content marketing is that you have to find your own voice and emotional connection to what you're writing about. You can't be that robot simply spouting facts and think that you're going to make a splash with anyone that's part of your audience. If there's one way to send your visitors packing quick, fast and in a hurry.. it's to just give them information without any sense of emotional impact that it has on you and not conveying it at all in your writing.
You're not necessarily trying to sway your readers, but you are trying to connect with them through what you write about. You want readers that are engaged and you want to connect with them emotionally on some level too. No one really wants to read for the sake of reading alone.. we want to get something out of it and something emotional makes it memorable. You're not always going to get there, but it's a great goal to work towards and something to always keep in mind in your content marketing efforts.
It's Not All About You
If you're the kind of blogger or website owner that spends an inordinate amount of time talking about their brand and thinking sell, sell sell. Let me just tell you.. if that's "you".. it's time to re-evaluate your strategy. You most likely sound like a billboard ad and when you sound like a blatant advertisement, you're fooling yourself if you think that's a winning strategy. Your audience won't like it... it won't be received well and it will damage your overall brand, because no one wants to share content that's so centered on "self", is too branded or comes across like a sales pitch.
That's not to say that you shouldn't brand when you're marketing content, but it needs to be done strategically, with the user in mind and utilizing a sense of balance. The adage that too much of anything is bad sounds fair enough in most things I'd apply that mindset to.
Honestly, people expect businesses, bloggers and website owners alike to talk about their brand, but they also expect to receive value in the content that you're marketing too. So sprinkle a little branding in when it's appropriate, but don't overdo it. Gauge your audience reactions, engagement, bounce rate and other analytical data and metrics to evaluate and assess how much branding is just right for the audience you're working with.
Your Voice In The Conversation
As I touched on briefly before, people want to hear your voice in the content that you're marketing. Think back to nearly any conversation you've ever had.. everyone and I do mean everyone has personality.. You do too.. even if it's dry. We're all lucky enough to have personas that make us unique. Showcase it.. The worst case scenario is that you may lose a few people that don't care for your personality but for those that you lose, there will be just as many that will love and embrace your sense of personality too.
Never shy away from being you. When you start getting away from being you for the sake of trying keeping your subscriber numbers up, you've set yourself up for failure in more ways than you know. Nevertheless, having your own piece of online real estate in a blog or in your own website gives you a unique opportunity to truly be you.. so embrace that and develop your own community of people that want to hear what you have to say.
Among the worst mistakes that can be made in content marketing is to ignore your readers. Ignoring what they need and simply focusing on what you want to talk about. It doesn't matter if your excuse is that no one's talking on your blog or that no one says what they need. That only means that you're not venturing out to discover what similar audiences are struggling with.
People comment in just about all corners of the web and all you have to do is get out there, take a daytrip online and explore what visitors like yours are saying in other places. The answers for what your visitors really want to see on your blog aren't hard to find. Even if you think you have content that sounds good to you isn't necessarily something that is going to garner much attention on your blog especially if your visitors don't find much value in it.
View the forums, check out other blogs, use social media.. you can take what you find and set up a poll on your blog and see what the responses are. Engaging your readers and taking a genuine interest in providing content that addresses what they're hungry for is going to have long lasting effects and will bring new readers and audiences to your website. This is the kind of thing that connects with audiences emotionally. When you do things that say, "I care about you".. even when you don't say it literally, readers will connect because it comes across that way.
Never underestimate the power of simple deeds, the power of your voice, your content and your words. They'll go a long way and set you apart from everyone else not doing the same thing.
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