As a child, you may have been part of a hauntingly bad poetry show whereby all the students write a poem and read them out, one by one, to the assembled parents. It’s not hard to imagine the lack of interest shown by the adults, and although it’s harsh to compare the innocent scribblings of unwitting 8-year-old with Content Marketing this represents three things the latter needs to steer clear of: talking rather than engaging, writing because you got told to, and last but not least, plain boring content.
Talking rather than engaging
With so much content available on the Internet, in the form of blogs, site text, and infographics, it’s becoming ever more critical to ensure your content doesn’t become pointless. You must move beyond the scope of what you find interesting, and build your writing around a pillar of ‘They’.
Traditional marketing was about the seller – what do I have? What am I going to give you? Like the poems above, adverts existed to talk at the public. Nowadays, users want to be romanced. Inbound Content Marketing is about the buyer in all his/her forms, and if you’re in charge of producing that content you need to bare this in mind.
Tell a story, give advice, ask for responses from your audience, but don’t kick off a relationship telling them to buy. The Internet’s too big and the world too small – they just won’t do it.
Writing because you got told to
This one’s important. If you’re a small business owner in particular, don’t listen to people saying content is important and take away from that a need to put some text on your site. You need to understand why and incorporate that belief in the process into the quality of the output.
The modern day buyer, particularly those on the web, are not going to read a few keywords (even if you show at the top of Google!) and think “you know what, this is the company I’ve been searching for.” They want to be wooed. You need to show them what you bring to the table.
The graph above shows some cold, hard stats from a 2013 study by the Content Marketing Institute. 24% of Business to Business Content Marketing was done via traditional print newsletter – 83% and 87% was done via Website Articles and Social Media respectively.
As they say folks, the proof is in the pudding – and this isn’t even a pie chart!
With the above in mind, lets not shy away from the fact that if you focus on putting out consistent, relevant content and you share it via social media and plenty of links, you’re still not going to convert those leads if reading your article is like eating sandpaper.
If you’ve reached the end of this post, than hopefully my point has been made. Inbound Content Marketing is not going away – it’s evolving, it’s becoming more widespread, and if you’re not on-board already you’ve got to get there quick.
Whether this means putting the time aside to produce it yourself or getting a professional to do it for you, it is going to be well worth your time.