Content marketing is the lifeblood of almost every blog. The problem is you are unable to really discover how to market your content. You can search the internet and notice the advice you get is to create “value” or “tell a story”, even “demonstrate your expertise.”
What you are not told is how any of this is possible for the average person just starting out. Problem number two, none of it makes sense. And those who write about content marketing almost talk down to you, as though you should know simple marketing strategies. Or be born with the knowledge of SEO.
I am going to walk you through these common areas and help you strategically market yourself and your blog in a way that makes sense.
What is Content Marketing?
No matter where you look on other blogs or forums you will find the same language being used repeatedly, and no there isn’t a special dictionary or vocabulary list you can study. So, you find yourself googling what each thing is, and what ends up happening? You end up more confused and frustrated than you were before.
So, you probably heard or read content marketing somewhere, and as with any new word you might have nodded as though you understood everything. Understandable, we all do it!
In simple terms, content marketing is anything you put on your blog, podcast, or other platforms that you want to share with the world and use to bring readers, buyers, and listeners to your site. The articles on your blog, topics you choose to discuss on your podcasts or videos engage the audience in some way, which in turn converts them into subscribers.
Here comes the marketing part of content marketing. After you produced your content, you then use a plan to help you get the word out there. Some of us use programs such as Hootsuite or google calendar to plan out what we want to post on our chosen social media platforms. Again, the purpose is to boost audience engagement and drive traffic to your site.
Now, what you will discover from other bloggers is that you need to create content that is creating value or providing the audience with a solution to a problem. Honestly, there is no magic formula to creating content. Sometimes you create compelling articles and sometimes you create duds. Don’t let that discourage you because there is an answer.
How to Create Compelling Content
As I have said there is no magic formula to create compelling content, but there is a way for you to make it valuable. You must know your audience. Think about who you are writing for, who you want to reach or teach.
Think about the type of person you want to attract to your blog. Creating amazing content is only half the battle. You can create the most amazing article since Bernstein and Woodward but if you don’t point it at a certain audience, no one will care.
Another piece of advice you will see a lot is for you to write as though you are talking to your best friend. When you create a customer or reader profile writing as though you are talking to your best friend is easier.
Why? Because you have a “face” if you will for your audience. When you narrow down who you want to reach then content creation becomes easier. You can do more focused research on the internet discovering what it is they want to read.
Customer or reader profile
Some of the things you want to focus on when creating a profile are but are not limited to the following:
1. Give your audience persona a name:
5. Level of education:
6. Level of income:
7. Biggest struggles and problems:
8. Obstacles that will prevent overcoming the challenge:
9. Irrational and rational fears:
I encourage you to try creating an audience profile if anything to give you direction. There are simple ways to gather this information, and one way is through social media.
If your Instagram is a business account, and it should be, you can easily gain insight into who is interested in your profile. The same with your blog’s Google Analytics. Though on Analytics you can determine even more information, such as demographics and interests.
Using this information will help you create what everyone is talking about, value, stories, and demonstrate your expertise. The information also provides you with expertise because the more you study what you are going to cover the more you are likely to gain knowledge.
How to Create Content Marketing Strategy in 3 Easy Steps
The hard part is over, no really it is. You have an audience you are targeting, and with that knowledge, you have a direction of what kind of content you should be creating. You are building credibility and you are creating value. That is how you do what all the bloggers advise.
Next, we will learn how to strategically market our content in three easy steps.
1. Have a presence on social media
Social media love it or hate is having an important role in blogs, businesses, and understanding competitors. When using social media, you want to be authentic. Heard that before-haven’t you? What the heck does that mean?
You want to be yourself. Simple. Perhaps you wrote a piece on How to Overcome Social Anxiety, and you of course promote it on social media. If you publish something like Check out my blog post on social anxiety, etc. You are probably not going to get much engagement.
Why? Think of your audience as a third grader. They are about self. What are they getting from this article? Why should they read it?
Instead try something genuine such as, “For years I have suffered from social anxiety. Going outside and to the store was always a struggle for me, until one day when I learned how to control my anxiety. First I learned how to take things slow to help prevent panic attacks.
Second, I would stretch my comfort by going to places I know will not have a ton of people which has helped grow my comfort levels. Check out my blog post to learn how to use these tips and much more to help you overcome your social anxiety.”
Relating to your audience is what creates a connection and creates your authority on the subject matter. Storytelling = engagement. You have heard that on pretty much every marketing outlet, well it is true, and it is the key to current marketing trends.
2. Personalize the experience
Your audience is all about self, using your profile will help you understand what they are looking for and what problems they are trying to overcome. When you promote your content to your audience you want to make sure it is “speaking” to each individual person in your target audience.
For example, instead of using “I”, you want to use “you”. Social media, when used to promote your content, is for your customer or reader, not you. Using your profile you understand your reader better and you can tailor each message to focus on their needs.
“Often times you discover that dating is hard, and you don’t understand why you can’t ever get past the seven-week mark. Are you sabotaging your relationship and you don’t realize it? Or are you just picking the wrong guy? Check out the reason why you may be sabotaging your relationship without realizing it, “
3. Evaluate what has worked and what hasn’t
Constantly looking at your stats on your analytics pages will help you understand what actions have worked in attracting new readers or increasing engagement. Your content marketing strategy is always changing. By using this information you will be able to discover what and if you need to change or what you need to add.
Think of it this way, just like you your audience grows and changes. Perhaps every eight to ten weeks you review your customer and make sure your focus is still where it should be.
Monitor the progress you have made and don’t reinvent the wheel. If it is working for you and your business, then you are doing great.
At the end of the day, marketing isn’t one-size-fits-all. You must adjust it to your needs. However, the bloggers are right about there being three key marketing strategies you should invest in, and that is value, expertise, and storytelling.
But don’t try to recreate someone else’s strategy, you must be authentic.
Your audience will fall in love with you, not the “persona” you are trying to create. Eventually, that will get tiring not only for you but also for them.