I read a great post on the blog of Lee Odden. Lee polled five other thought leaders in content marketing and social media for their insight. It’s wonderful to read a common theme in the messages from these folks about content marketing.
Pretty much everything they said resonated with me and a lot of what they said are things I’ve been saying too. I’m not claiming credit or suggesting I said any of it first! I’m just saying it’s nice to know (really nice) that some very smart people seem to agree.
If you aren’t following the folks in Lee’s post already, I strongly recommend you do so!
I haven’t put my thoughts in any real order, but with a nod of the hat to Lee’s post and the wisdom of others, here’s some points to ponder on content marketing:
1. The web is a 1-1 communication channel
You are talking to one person and one person only. The one-to-many model belongs to traditional media and is more a product of ego than it is of any practical methodology. Be conversational, drop the hard sell and initiate a conversation which will resonate. Write as you would talk to someone over a donut and coffee. Content marketing is about true interaction.
2. People don’t care what your products can do
They really don’t. They care about what they can do with them. Don’t babble on your blog about what your latest and greatest features are unless you can put them in a context which shows me how it will directly make my life easier. It’s not important what technology can do, but what people do with it. I’d rather read about what people are doing with your product – that’s engaging, inspiring and helpful to me.
3. The only things people really need are solutions
This speaks to the point above. People don’t need features. People need solutions and if your content provides solutions, people will eat it up. Perhaps you should ask your customers what problems they have need of solutions for. A great starting point for any good conversation is: How can I help?
4. Never forget who your audience is
The moment you lose site of who you are blogging for is the moment you start to become irrelevant. Do you know your demographic? Do you keep that in mind whenever you blog about anything? Perhaps you should look at referring links for your blog and see where your readers are coming from to get an idea of what they are interested in. Do you ask yourself constantly if what you are posting will resonate with people.
5. Avoid the void
Orbit the planet you live on and leave the galaxy exploration to NASA. Don’t try to cover all the bases with your content. Talk about what you know and carve a comfortable niche out for yourself. Blogging can be a like a Jell-O mold in the sun – it can spread out at the base and before you know it, you have become so vague you no longer cut through the noise.
6. Repurpose content
Jay Baer is right on when he talks about repurposing content. Whitepapers and e-books can give your content new life and help you re-engage your community. I love top ten or best of blog posts with bite-size wisdom and the option (via link) to dig deeper if I choose – repackage your wisdom.
7. The web is driven by communities – be a part of them
Be a community resource and people will beat a path to your blog. As Brian Solis points out in the post, the key is empathy and finding that key takes research and understanding. Don’t assume you know your community unless you’ve actually done your homework – part of that homework is being part of the community you serve.