3 Steps to Becoming a Content Marketing Master
How do you offer a thought that defines the conversation for an entire industry?
There are over 363 million search results for the term "content marketing," but add the word mastery to the term and the search results plummet to 4 million results.
Only one result uses the term "content marketing mastery," leaving me to wonder: if everyone wants to know how to do content marketing, why aren't we talking about how to do it well?
I hope to correct that with a three-step process you can start today.
Step #1: Answer The Toughest Question in Business
"Why does your product matter?"
The answer requires a connection between your business and your reader's desire or need. For example, you are reading this blog post because you want to turn your story into profit and or credibility. You won't stick around unless I can consistently show you why my ideas are better than the next guy's.
You must do the same. Invest the time to strip your message down to a single unique reader-focused insight, and then create a content creation strategy around that insight.
I worked with a midwest state tourism organization that needed to compete with California, Hawaii, New York, and Florida. Their unique insight was that their state offered an affordable vacation spot for millions of families in a 500-mile radius.
This unique insight turned into a content marketing campaign that turned locals into citizen tour guides on Facebook, Twitter, and their blog. They created enough momentum to routinely attract more visitors to their site than their competitors.
Step #2: Demonstrate Street Smart Competence
I recently spoke with a brilliant CEO who was delivering incredible results for his client. He knew his business and was, without a doubt, a tier-1 consultant. I admit I was a teensy bit nervous pitching our services.
At the end of our conversation, my new client told me why he hired us: "You were the only guys who could offer a practical plan for implementing your recommendations."
I hear this often. There are many consultants who can offer ideas but they quickly exit the stage when asked to implement them. I call this "Street Smart Competency" and it's the main ingredient in content that builds a profitable audience.
You know Street Smart Competency when you see it. Think about the last blog post that made you immediately change the way you do business. You can detect the raw expertise of the author. You also know when Street Smarts are missing. Instead of confidence, you clutch your wallet a bit tighter and move on to the next article.
Content Marketing Mastery requires you to put your competence on display. Your posts should be filled with solid advice backed with evidence and experience. Here are a few posts that ooze competence:
17 Insanely Actionable List Building Strategies That Will Generate More Subscribers Today
Brian Dean is an expert at getting your content noticed and ranked well on Google. His posts contain with actionable tips backed by proof; I've implemented almost all of his suggestions and have seen positive results.
7 Marketing Tactics That Increased My Growth by 679%
Neil Patel is a stone-cold marketing ninja, and he proves it once a week on his blog QuickSprout.com. This particular post lays down the gauntlet - 679% growth is impressive. You can't make that claim unless you can bring the goods.
How to Gather 100,000 Emails in One Week (Includes Successful Templates, Code, Everything You Need)
Jeff Raider, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Harry's, published this post on Tim Ferriss' 4 Hour Workweek blog. It's a Street Smart Competence masterpiece. The post has an easy, guys-chatting-over-drinks feel. It has several eye-opening tactics that I've never seen before, and it even has the computer code used by the author to implement one of their tactics. Tim Ferriss has a list of 300,000 email subscribers, and posts like these are the reason.
You can stop here and be an expert content marketer but you need to take one more step.
Step #3: Real Master's Teach
Check out the Zapier blog. Zapier is an online service that makes it easy to automate online tasks. For example, I use it to add new subscribers to a Google Doc spreadsheet. The Zapier Blog shines because their team teaches you how be more productive. I routinely check the blog to see how I can use Zapier to squeeze more productive work out of my day.
My Zapier crush is surprising because I was an early and vocal IFTTT fan, a Zapier competitor. What changed my mind?
Take a look at three recent posts from Zapier:
25 Effective Ways to Use Twitter Search for Marketing, Sales and Support
The One Feature that Made Me More Productive and Less Stressed
The Ultimate Guide to Twitter Advanced Search
Yep...Zapier is teaching their readers how to be tight, intelligent, productive, machines and selling a ton of Zapier memberships in the process. IFTTT broadcasting the content marketing equivalent of blah blah blah. It breaks my heart but makes my point: the best marketers teach their butts off.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Content Marketing Master?
Frankly, I don't know but getting started today is a smart move. Your readers will let you know when you've arrived: they'll share your posts, they'll download your podcasts, they will wonder when you will publish your first book. Best of all, prospects will want to become customers. Get started.
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