What I’m about to say may sound crazy …
It’s been more than six months since Grammy Award winning musician, Pharrell Williams’, mega-hit “Happy” was released, and I still crank up the radio anytime this song hits the airwaves. As much as I love the beat, I love the lyrics even more.
“It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take away
I’m a hot air balloon, I could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy …”
After all, in a room without a roof — the sky is literally the limit. No matter who you are, you can achieve infinite happiness when you don’t have limits pushing you down.
If you want the same no-holds-barred outlook to your business, then you’ll need a marketing strategy that makes it possible – specifically, content marketing. Or, as I imagine Pharrell might say, “in business, you’ll need a content marketing strategy that feels like a room without a roof!”
But how do you create content marketing happiness? Here’s where to start:
Get crystal clear.
It may sound ridiculous, but you can’t publish great content if you don’t have anything to say! These days, so many small business owners have heard about the importance of content marketing that they post any ol’ thing just to say they’ve got fresh content on their company website. Unfortunately, that approach is nothing but a waste of time.
Remember, people are logging onto the Internet to get answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. The last thing they want to see is some article, company blog post, online video, or eBook that rambles … on … and … on without a point. If you make your audience feel like they’ve wasted their time, they’re highly unlikely to do business with you! That’s why the very first step in creating your content strategy is to define your exact purpose and focus. What is your primary expertise? How can you provide value? Until you answer those two questions, you shouldn’t share a single piece of original content.
Connect with your audience.
Who’s going to read all of this content that you publish across the Web? How old are they? What kind of education do they have? What makes them angry, scared, happy, and sad? If you don’t know who you’re talking to, you’ll never be able to connect! Unfortunately, if there’s no relationship, the odds of conversion (i.e., taking a desired action) are very, very slim.
Never forget that people like to do business with other people. Your audience should see you as an actual human being who wants to do right by them. If your Web content just rehashes a bunch of corporate jargon, lacking a genuine, one-on-one conversation, it will never work as hard as it could to build lasting and profitable relationships.
Share, share, and then share some more.
A great content marketing strategy isn’t done until you’ve actually developed the marketing part! You can publish the best content in the world, but if no one knows it’s out there, it will never do you any good. In order to see results, you’ve got to use a little finesse. For example, you only need to spend a few seconds on Twitter to understand how posts can get lost in the shuffle. So, share each piece of content a few times — a tactic some people call “recirculation”. To understand just how powerful this tactic can be, take a look at the details of Tomasz Tunguz’s Twitter recirculation experiment.
However, don’t become “that guy”. You know, the one who Tweets the same link 50 times in five minutes. Instead, spread things out over a couple of days, and share on social networks a few hours apart to reach people in various time zones. And, of course, don’t limit your content promotion efforts to one social platform! The social media world extends far beyond Twitter’s 140 characters.
Follow this simple advice, and you’re on your way to a happy and engaged target audience, which translates into a very happy bottom line! And, best of all, these content marketing tips can be used over and over indefinitely. Before you know it, your biggest challenge won’t be publishing and promoting great content. Instead, it will actually be getting “Happy” out of your head!
This article has been edited and condensed.
Nicole Beckett spent more than a decade telling stories and digging into issues as a TV news anchor/reporter. Today, she uses those same skills to create powerful content marketing strategies for her clients. As the President of Premier Content Source, Nicole has helped countless business owners create online success. Connect with @nicolebeckett on Twitter.
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