Content is King!
Let it be carved into tablets and preached from the mountain tops. With quality on your side, you shall not fail. If this is true, then why isn’t your content strategy gaining ground? In their mad rush to produce as much content as possible, many companies are neglecting to think about why they are making this content in the first place. It would help if you focused on making the right content for the right reasons.
When the stars align…
Finding what to say to the people you’re trying to reach is now an entire field of study. Money is endlessly dumped into research to try to find a magic formula. This needy nonsense ends up sounding something like this: “If we write posts that are 1573 words long and send out tweets 16.7 times a day and donate to 4.7 charities, then will people like us?”
Simon Sinek does a great job of addressing this issue in a speech he gave. Think about your business as a person. If a person came up to you, sniveling and whining and saying things like, “What should I wear to make you like me more? What should I say and do that will make you trust me?” What would you tell them?
If you want people to like you, then be yourself. It is that simple. Just like with friends, your best bet is to be honest with people. Not everyone is going to like you, but the people that do will love you for the right reasons. Hiding your true self is only a short term solution. If you were dating someone, you might be able to fool them for a couple of dates, but it isn’t a matter of if they will see your true self, it’s a matter of when.
If your content isn’t aligned with what your company does, your content strategy is doomed to fail.
Stand up for what is right…
Business isn’t any different. Show people who you are. Don’t just create mission statements, live them. According to a recent survey by sprout social, 66% of consumers think that it is essential for brands to take a stand, but they have some stipulations.
• 58% of people would prefer you do it on social media
• 78% of liberals want brands to take a stand
• 52% of conservatives care that you do anything
• 39% of people like announcements of donations
• 47% say that companies are credible when the issue directly affects their consumers
Taking a stand for what you believe in is something that can help your business, but it has to be something that your company believes. It would help if you also made it relevant. A company that tries to be everything for everyone will end up being nothing for no one.
Your blog only works if it adds value…
Your content has its crown because of what it gives the people who engage with it. The value in content marketing comes from the amount that your brand is giving your customers. When people search on Google, they are looking for answers to a problem.
When you can give them a great answer, they respond to that. The value that you are offering for free, even if it’s just information, helps build trust with your brand. Nurturing that trust is what brings leads in and helps them through the funnel.
Smile.io makes some excellent points in this respect. They point out that loyalty is an emotion, and giving your leads something for free can help build the trust that leads to it. Content marketing puts the needs of the customer first.
When your customers feel that you have their best interests in mind, you become their first choice when it comes time for them to buy. People still trust word of mouth more than anything. That’s because people only advocate brands they care about. If you want people to rave about you, become one of those brands.
You have to be consistent…
Generating content isn’t for immediate results. The value of your content is that it will start working right away and continue growing over time. One article, one time won’t do very much. Consistent effort and quality are what gets rewarded.
Take SEO, for example, which is why articles are often curated. According to Forbes, SEO usually takes 4 to 6 months to start seeing results. That isn’t to fully realize your return either, that’s to start seeing any difference.
If you are only going to post once or twice forget testing the waters, you’re wasting your money.
Content is only king once someone sees it…
“If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is around to hear it, will his buddies post a video of his failure on YouTube?” -Anonymous
The rise of the series Firefly since its cancellation tells you something about this. Everything from their off-topic promos to a lackluster time slot didn’t bode well. Their lack of support from Fox led to their cancellation before the end of the first season. Usually, this is where memories fade, and the only attention a show collects is from the dust as it settles in ever thicker layers. That’s what would have happened if it wasn’t for the content. With the rise of streaming, fans eventually found the show, and today, their fan base is still growing despite having been off the air for fifteen years. Millions of fans pine for what could have been, if only they had known about it when it was still airing.
You can have the best content, but it isn’t enough if you are preaching in a vacuum. You need to get leads to your content so that your content can wow them. The blog tyrant makes an excellent argument for why content is not king. Long-form content is excellent, but bland content with the right promotion outperforms it. Content rules its kingdom, but there are other kingdoms, with different rulers.
Don’t be so caught up in how long your posts are or how many facts you cite that you forget to share what you’ve made with the world.
Great content is one of the best marketing investments you can make. To make that true, you have to do it right. You need to step back and see the bigger picture. Ask yourself why you are producing this content, and what value are you giving your customers? Are you making content that aligns with your values? Are you making a stand to get attention? Are you committed to putting in the work to do it, right? Start grappling with these questions, and you will be in a better position to turn your campaign around.