Online marketers and businesses have figured out by now that without an efficient content marketing strategy, it is almost impossible to get their brand closer to customers. Content Marketing is the new buzzword and it is here to stay.
It is easier said than done. Planning out an efficient content marketing strategy is difficult. Publishing a couple of whitepapers or an isolated series of blog posts does no good. What then is an efficient content marketing strategy? And what is the One thing you should NOT do in Content Marketing?
Recently I have been reading up a lost of blog posts and articles which seem like very good posts and quite informative in their analysis of the problem and the level of detail which provides the critical build-up to the problem and then when the post is almost concluded, it leaves the readers high and dry, without any actual solution! That is a gross mistake. After couple of such posts, I subconsciously weed out posts from those sources as sources without anything valid to share.
Let us analyze this classic situation in more detail and try to understand the content strategy in this scenario.
Assuming all other things constant, the Content strategy in this case would have been to write more connected blog posts/articles. Posts which inform prospective customers about information related to the product, posts which educate about various nuances in the industry sector and posts which help in decision making. But still the piece of content did nothing but created an unsatisfied reader who would never come back to future posts. What could have been corrected in this situation?
- Thought & Tone – The content you spin off should clearly aim to fulfill at least one need why the target audience is reading your post – Information about, Solution to, News on. What you choose to write on should tie in your business needs and those of your customers. If your content starts off with one, wanders to the second and ends as the third, you leave your customers puzzled and who would never-come-back again. So when you write, let your thoughts propel the tone and maintain the tone throughout the post. If you are writing about Top 10 Reasons why people shun blogging, write about the Top 10 reasons and conclude with how those can be overcome. But for God’s sake, don’t stop at 8, exceed 10 or meander into why blogging is essential or worst, conclude the post without giving any solution to overcome the situation. Stop luring your readers to a vague ending.
- Target – With attention spans dwindling, we are getting into a more of a ‘Like’ culture than that of a ‘Comment’ one. Think how many Likes you do in Facebook compared to the number of comments and you would know what I mean. Relevance of content hence becomes highly significant. If you are in an online retail business which sells to customers of all ages, do not spin the same content for all different age-groups. If you do, you will simply get a higher bounce rate! You have to spin content which suits each of the audiences separately. That is why effective content strategies are no easy nut to crack.
- Misguide & Lie & Sales – Oh No! Never ever think about this in Content marketing. It is only naive to believe that your customers would never find out. They found your content anyways right? So they will find out the right information anyways as well. Your half-researched, half-baked, quick and shoddy content which misguides your customers about benefits of something which do not exist, will do more harm than good. Your not-such-a-big-lie statements and not-overtly-sales information is actually a lie and a sales pitch. Those things should be kept away from your content strategy. The farther they are, the better for you.
There are multiple other things which you should not do in content marketing which can erode the trust of your customers. We touched upon the top 3 aspects we felt important.
In your personal experiences, what do you think should be avoided while writing content for a business? What would work and what would not? Please share your thoughts.