I don’t know about you but it’s safe to say that I have a love – hate relationship with content marketing. Content Marketing is a term used to describe the process of creating and sharing content in order to acquire new customers. Over the years google has brainwashing us all, telling us that content is the key to becoming a ranking powerhouse but for the most of us “ordinary folk” coming up with new content is a grind and makes you want to pull your hair out.
Clients’ often hate content marketing, have little to no time for it, and just bringing up the topic is an almost a guarantee for a barrage of excuses to come back at me.
- Our business is boring ….
- We don’t have anything to write about …
- We don’t have time …
- Nobody will ever read it …
- I’m a horrible writer …
- The list could go on…
It’s just not fun and your time is typically better spent elsewhere, like running an actual business for example. But if it really has to be done then it’s easier for you to handball it off to some poor sucker and have them write it for you.
It’s likely that one article has taken me taken me days, weeks or even months to create.
It occurred to me over the past few weeks just how much content is being developed every day, everyone competing for rankings and exposure of their business and services, but how much of it was quality? I’m fairly confident when I say that at least 80% of all content is total crap and that is no more inspiring to read than it is to watch grass grow, in fact I think I might enjoy that more. So if 80% of the content is crap surely it means that 80% of the world is wasting their time and money on content marketing and they’re better spending money elsewhere?
I don’t disagree with this especially when you hear about the sheer number of blogs that die because they’re disheartened by the lack of traffic and comments they receive.
So what is the problem and how do we fix it? How do we create content that people love and it’s a worthwhile return on the investment of our time and money.
5 Things that Make your Content Not Suck
1. Love what you do
I see you all rolling your eyes and if I could roll my eyes at myself I probably would but it’s true, you’ve got to love what you do. We’re living in a world where 80% of people don’t love what they do and it shows. More importantly many of us feel that blogging is the only way to create content.
Not only that but we place too much importance on the amount of money we’re earning, or want to earn, rather than adding value to the lives of people we are targeting. In most cases we are reading the content of someone who has written it because it’s a means to an end or somebody told them they should do it. Passion always shines through and when you’re speaking with someone it’s clear as day on whether they love what they do.
Maybe you do love what you do but you just don’t love writing on your blog for hours on end, I think many people would understand your feelings. If that’s the case then find some other form of content that you do love creating. If you’re not passionate about content creation then find someone who is, and do it quickly, because otherwise you may as well be throwing your money and time out the window.
2. Be unique
If you’re developing content just because Google told you to do so then you should stop, you’re wasting your time and you’re wasting my time. Instead, you should find out what makes you unique and how you can be extraordinary. It’s not about mindless content development or following what everyone else does. Success comes to those that are unique, that can break the mold, and in most cases go through short team pain for long term success. Success comes from standing out from the crowds and making content that is truly worthy of my “share” and “like” button.
This doesn’t have to be expensive nor do you need the world’s largest marketing budget either. We frequently see viral videos from people who have done it all from the basement of their parent’s family home. Each time you post your content you should ask yourself whether you’d actually want to share it or like it if it wasn’t yours? If the answer is no then don’t be disappointed when the traffic you’re expecting simply never arrives. Take off your rock star sunglasses and judge your work like it was created by someone else. How will you stand out?
3. Get Creative
Google told you that content is key but they didn’t tell you that all you could write was boring ass blog posts that nobody wants to read, so why is that all you’re creating? Content Marketing isn’t a fancy name for blogging but instead is the process of creating any form of media or published content. You can create a video, a podcast, graphics, tutorials and more but don’t just make it because you have to, do it because you enjoy it and you’re having fun doing it. It isn’t suppose to be a grind so find the kind of content that works for you and start making it on a regular basis.
When developing content you’ve got to think outside of the box. Don’t try to do what your competitors are doing but instead see how you can do something unique that is a million times better than what they’ve done. Put on your creative thinking hat and brainstorm ideas with your colleagues and family. Too often businesses only allow brainstorming between the senior leaders of the organisation but it’s time to get your youth involved. They’re the ones using social media and they’re the ones that are making content go viral.
4. Entertain Me!
Too many content creators are boring, seriously you’re putting me to sleep. We all hate seeing endless videos of cats and babies in our social media feeds but guess what? They’re beating you on the entertainment level and they’ve got a million more ‘likes’ than your content will ever get. You need to become a personality that people can connect with while providing entertaining content that has customers throwing their money at you.
What we’re seeing these days is small online businesses and groups of entrepeneurs that are dominating their niches and industries because they are creating unique and valuable content that actually helps people. Whoever thought helping people and value could actually make money? Some businesses would be shocked to hear it I feel.
We have the opportunity to connect with our visitors on an individual level rather than the juggernaut organisations that no longer seem to care. Find a face to your organisation, it doesn’t have to be a celebrity, and start entertaining your customers with engaging content that adds value to their day-to-day lives.
5. Target the right audience
It’s important to remember who you’re marketing your content towards and what purpose that content will serve. What action do you want visitors to take when they’ve read your content? If the aim of your content is to create new business opportunities then make sure you’re writing content that targets the kind of visitors that will want your services.
For example I frequently find myself targeting the technical industry who will most likely love the content on my blog but it’s unlikely they’ll want my technical services. They’ll engage for long periods with the content on my website but it won’t generate any leads for new business opportunities. Are you targeting business owners or the youth of the nation? It’s critical to find out who you’re targeting and for what reason so that you convert that traffic into income, subscribers and more.
Because it should be Fun!
It’s time to change your mentality from merely creating content to creating engaging and quality content. If you don’t enjoy creating content then it will show. Find someone that does enjoy it or modify the content you’re creating so that it’s more enjoyable for youy. Making content should be fun so regardless of whether you outsource it make sure you’re envolved in the process. Many employees are screaming out for more creativity in their roles and want to take a break from the mundane business processes that they’re drowning in.
It’s your knowledge of the business and industry combined with the creativity and passion of your content marketing team that will lead you to success. Content marketing is your opportunity to provide employees with greater job satisfaction. Employees love the feeling that the work they are doing is adding value to the business and providing them with a feeling that their hard work and passion can make a difference.
Forget about the money, or monetising your blog, and figure out how you’re going to add value to your visitors first and foremost. Once you’ve feel you’ve created that then decide on how you’ll drive that traffic into your business services.
If you’re lost and keen to brainstorm ideas then contact me and I’ll be happy to setup a skype with you about your business and how we can make your content more engaging.