Content marketing is big business these days. How big? A whopping 93 percent of B2B marketers say they use content marketing. Problem is, content marketing is still being defined and refined. For example, only 42 percent of B2B marketers admit being effective at content marketing. There’s far more to it than social media engagement, blog posts and SEO-friendly content. Yes, that’s a major component to it, but the most important is this: you. Not the “you” that you think you have to be when you open a blank Word document to write about marketing, but the real you and how you engage the people around you.
Blog about Something You’re Passionate About
This sounds obvious, right? Why would you want to spend time blogging about something you don’t care about? This is also your marketing strategy, which means you care about it all the time, right? But, as James Chartrand said on Copyblogger, there are times where the thought of blogging makes a person cringe. Why? He lays it out in these bullet points:
They don’t know what to write about.
They can’t get past the first few paragraphs before quitting.
They aren’t confident about what they wrote.
There is a lot of pressure to blog and keep up with social media. The expectation to tell a story, be personable, and connect with your audience is a lot harder than just presenting facts and figures. On top of that, you probably read a lot of blogs already and may feel like that they do a better job telling the tales of content marketing than you do.
Our solution? Write about what you care about, not what you think is a hot topic. In short, write what you know. If you write about what you know, you have plenty of room to be creative and truly engage your audience. You may be reading this and thinking, “What I want to write about isn’t going to interest anyone.” Marg Gilks of Writing-World.com addresses the same issue. “Why, in a world of “Star Wars,” “The Exorcist” and “Dracula,” are we told to write what we know?” This is a valid question, particularly in the world of content marketing. Aren’t there already plenty of blog posts that feature tips on creating the perfect content marketing strategy? Aren’t these tips already mapped out by bigger names in the content marketing industry? Why would it matter if you, in particular, wrote what you know?
Simple: because no one has heard what you have to say about content marketing before, and that, in itself, gives your writing a new perspective. As Gilks says in regards to the great stories out there and writing what you know, “Because none of those stories would have worked, if there weren’t enough of our real lives in them to make them believable. If there was nothing that the reader or viewer could identify with in those stories, they would not have succeeded. Who has ever experienced a stellar dog fight? Do you think anyone has ever actually seen a girl’s head turn around, or staked a vampire? Were George Lucas, William Peter Blatty and Bram Stoker following the advice ‘write what you know’ when they wrote their stories? Yup.”
Don’t Take Your Audience for Granted
While engaging your audience is key in content marketing, it’s even more important to not take them for granted. In other words, don’t assume that if you have their attention now, you will keep it all the time. The website Act-On shared 8 Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid. One of them in particular hits home for this topic: don’t forget that effective content marketing is a two-way street.
They then quote Heinz Marketing’s Matt Heinz and say, “Creating content isn’t enough. To really accelerate your audience and impact, you must devote time to responding, commenting, engaging questions and so on. If you’re just a one-way communication channel, even with good content, your prospects will go elsewhere for the interaction they crave.” This is especially important to keep in mind when it comes to of social media. Social media makes it very easy for your audience to go elsewhere if they aren’t getting what they want from you. Your content will draw them in, but it’s you and your interactions with them that’ll make them stay for more. Content will always be important, but content means nothing without engagement.
Remember our first tip about blogging what you’re passionate about? That passion needs to carry over to your audience. Use that same passion to interact with them, respond to them, and make them feel like they’re an important part to your blog. The combination of these two tips is what’s going to make your content marketing strategy a huge success.