How many hours have you spent adding buttons, gadgets and widgets to your new blog or website? You research the right tools, share buttons, share bars, analytic tracking tools and more. You install them with a hope and a prayer that someone somewhere is going to use them. However, unfortunately many business leaders find they don't get used. The share buttons sit on their site with the lonely zero or default +1. Chances are your pocket book or wallet might be feeling a little lonely too.
What if you took the same time you spend on the share bars, share buttons and tools and instead first focus on something worthy of a share? I know it sounds like a crazy concept because after all it's far easier to focus on the bright shiny objects, geeky tools and data analytics.
Trust me, I am a data junkie and could literally spend all day helping my clients dig into the heads of their target audiences with a goal of embedding their brand in their brains!
Is your content worthy of a share?
- Why should I read your content in the first place?
- Why should I believe what your content says?
- What about your content is going to help me grow my business?
- What about your content will add value to my life?
- How is your content relevant to me or my business?
- Why should I like, pin, retweet or Google +1 your content?
- How is your content unique from the other million blog posts out there? How and what benefit are the members of my community and followers going to receive from the content?
- Why should I take action on your behalf?
If you really want success with online marketing and social media you must at some point provide relevancy. Yes, you can avoid this for a short period of time. You may be able to sell your boss and executive stakeholders on the number of retweets, likes and pins. Your board may get excited by the super star retweet you get from the latest singer rockstar from American Idol.
However, at the end of the day the same question still remains... what is your content doing for me? What is it doing for your audience? What is it doing for your business, stakeholders, shareholders and customers?
Content marketing defined...
Let's take a look at the definition of content marketing.
Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation and sharing of content in order to engage current and potential consumer bases. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty.
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience - with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
*Source: Content Marketing Institute
The words that matter. Make note of these words highlighted above. Notice any themes?
- brand loyalty
I know you are all smart enough to understand where I am going with this. You know what the words above mean.
So I am going to ask you the same questions... is your content relevant, engaging, high quality, valuable, actionable? Is it content that is going to inspire me to give you my attention? Will it inspire me to take action? To engage with you and your brand? Is it going to inspire me to take an action that will benefit you and your business?
Well, I can tell you that if you are not thinking about the above words on a daily basis as they relate to your business, your Facebook pages, your tweets and your email blasts, then the chances you are going to attract me, inspire me to buy anything from you are few and far between.
1. Learn, download and embed the definitions and words above into the dna of your brain.
2. Take the same words and embed them into the DNA of your marketing and business plans.
3. Don't let your relationships turn all digital. Talk to your customers, partners, stakeholders and prospects in real life. Get that eye to eye, hand to hand connection. Get in their head and in their heart. The people in your online and offline communities are truly the heartbeat of social media.
4. Don't assume you know what you don't know. If you haven't asked your audience what they want the past two years I'd suggest you ask. You might be surprised in the result.
5. Set goals and objectives for measurement. You can't optimize, monetize and measure what you do not track, so set goals and objectives early.
6. Be honest with your internal skill set. If you don't have the right skill set internally don't be afraid to outsource. There are many awesome writers who are affordable and can often deliver much higher quality work than what you can do yourself at a lower cost.
7. Get out of your box. If you have had the same team for the past few years, then you need to get an outside opinion. Even our agency occasionally hires an outside writer to help us with new perspectives and ways to connect with our audiences. A third or fourth eye can never hurt.
8. Be patient and invest time. It is going to take time and resource to create relevant, engaging and valuable content. Do not expect overnight results. Build your plan and work yer plan as granny would say! You'll eventually get there.
9. You will never know what you can do if you don't try. What's the worst thing that will happen if you put a little more effort into your content marketing game? Can't be much worse than those lonely share buttons can it?
10. Don't be afraid to do the happy dance. Keep your head up. We all started somewhere. I can still remember the first days of launching my blog with a hope and prayer I would get one or two retweets. I can remember doing the happy dance when I started hitting 10 retweets a day. Set realistic goals and celebrate your milestones, not someone elses!
Check out this free whitepaper for 15 Tips to Stomp Status Quo & Zoom Your Brand! Content is more than words. Content must embrace, support and invigorate your brand. It must inspire your audience to listen and engage in what you have to say!