Marketing … ugh!
It’s a dreaded task (for many) that is also essential to your business being a boon or bust. At the heart of marketing is content. The more valuable content we deliver to potential clients and customers, the better chance we have at winning their hearts, minds and sales.
But it’s frustrating sometimes. Can you relate?
Have you ever created content, written something that you thought people would love only for it to totally flop? It’s easy to get frustrated when you put your energy into something and it fails to produce tangible results.
Thankfully, finding peace and effectiveness in your content marketing strategy is possible with a few simple strategies.
1. Have one goal in mind.
What’s the point of creating awesome, free content if it isn’t helping you move forward, build awareness and improve conversions? Yes helping others is brilliant, but it doesn’t pay the bills. So, why not do both? Produce content that is not only incredibly helpful, but also points the reader to your products and services.
When you have a clear, singular goal it makes creating content a lot easier. For example, take Jane — she runs a massage therapy business and wants to start offering online couple sessions.
There are various forms of content that can build a strong content marketing strategy. Jane chose guest blogging and since her product is specific, the content should be also, such as: ’10 Ways Massaging Your Partner Can Strengthen Your Connection’ instead of generic posts like ’10 Ways A Massage Is Beneficial’.
At the end of the article or in her author’s description she can share an outbound link to a landing page with a call to action (CTA) where readers can sign-up for that service or another CTA that puts them into her sales funnel.
The whole point of content marketing is to attract the right people … your ideal customers. It’s nice to create value, but there should be a point to it if you’re running a business.
2. Get it out there.
The Internet is a strange place. On some level many people think if you produce amazing content it will be enough to drive droves of people to your site. I certainly thought this for a long time.
It wasn’t until I started submitting guest posts and articles to large and established websites that I realized the key to traffic and leads.
Most online publications don’t pay unless you are a regular freelance or staff writer (some do), most are very picky, many might not even respond. It can be a real struggle, but it is a worthwhile struggle. Let’s be honest. Unless your are BFF with Oprah you won’t get famous blogging on your own site. This is why content distribution is so important.
Think of the large, reputable and visible digital publications as Rodeo Drive, where everyone goes to shop when they’re in Los Angeles. Now imagine you own a little boutique, that you know those same customers would love but it is miles away in some dingy dark alley. How do you expect those same Rodeo Drive patrons to find your boutique? They aren’t looking in dark alleys; they’re looking at what’s familiar to them.
What if you placed your product in a store on Rodeo Drive with directions to your shop? I bet if your product resonated well, they might seek you out for more of the same and tell a few friends too!
A key part of any successful content strategy is distribution. This is why you should make guest blogging a priority if you want to build your audience. It’s not always easy. When you pitch your guest post to editors, you won’t always strike gold and get accepted, but trust me: It will definitely help your business grow.
3. Practice empathy on a personal level.
In what areas do your potential clients struggle? What keeps them up at night? This is what your content should entail. Solve their problems (or at least empathize with them). I
f you can understand their problems and show them you overcame them, naturally they’ll want to work with you (or patronize your business). As human beings, we love it when people get us! It’s a sensation that takes the loneliness out of entrepreneurship.
Focus on your people. One way to connect on a personal level is to share your story of strife to success. Being vulnerable is sexy. It shows your humanity and makes people feel like they know you. We all want to be understood. We all want to know there’s hope for success when we’re feeling hopeless.
Zen Content For All
Content marketing is often made out to be this complicated thing. We’ve all heard the old adage that content is king. I don’t think content is king, I think strategy is king.
If you go about content marketing willy-nilly … creating what you think people want without a plan as to how it will help your business, build your personal brand or solve people’s problems then you’re bound to be frustrated by lack of results. Put these strategies in place and keep moving towards that zen feeling (and results) that indicate you are on the right track.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Chantelle Zakariasen is purposefully driven to help people live more fulfilling lives. She’s a food lover, nature and travel junky and writes the blog naked cuisine where she transforms crap foods into magical health bombs. She’s also a freelance writer and copywriter for health and wellness practitioners, helping them hone in on their most authentic nitty gritty message. Check out her free guide to getting noticed in the wellness industry and beyond. Connect with @naked_cuisine on Twitter.