The 5 rules of content marketing
The 5 rules of content marketing
A content marketing strategy for your product or service is like making a cake….
You spend ages finding and mixing the right ingredients. A video on your website here, some case studies there, a sprinkling of social media posts and printed adverts. Voila! you’ve invested in some time and money in marketing your business! Now you can sit back, relax and just wait for the leads to just roll on in, right?
You need a content marketing strategy to deliver real return on investment – it’s like remembering to turn the oven on.
Here are 3 interesting facts from the Content Marketing Institute.
- 55% of B2B marketers are unclear on what content marketing success looks like.
- Only 32% of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy
- Just 30% of B2B marketers say their organisations are effective at content marketing, down from 38% last year.
So how we do go from this to this?
Begin with the end in mind and remember your purpose:
Communicate your value to people who can buy from you.
In B2B marketing that means:
- Generating leads
- Converting leads to sales
- Creating walking, talking, trusted adverts you don’t have to pay for (aka Brand Ambassadors)
Content is the vehicle that gets people from A to B; From Awareness to Buying your product or service
To achieve these goals your content must do 3 things:
- Gain attention
- Call to action
- Change behaviour
To do that it must be 3 things:
- Relevant to your audience
- Relevant to your business.
It has to be all 3 to hit that sweet-spot – like all things cake-related, it’s about quality over quantity.
So here are my 5 rules for content marketing:
#1 rule of content marketing: Don’t be afraid to borrow ideas.
Someone else’s content is like a cake recipe. If it’s good, share it around! If you have time & you’re feeling creative – add some new ingredients and see what comes out of it. It’s like taking Grandma’s classic Victoria sponge recipe, and adding white chocolate buttercream and strawberry meringue kisses. They’re both great cakes – but suddenly you’ve transformed a classic bake into a modern wonder. Delicious!
#2 rule of content marketing: Provide useful information in a helpful and friendly way.
Your job is to provide valuable and compelling content that attracts, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience and get them to buy from you. If your buyers are on gluten-free diets, use ingredients that are gluten-free and share your recipes in gluten-free forums! The more valuable information you share, the more your community is enriched and the more likely you are to be able to position your business as a thought leader in your field.
#3 rule of content marketing: Be Interested and then interesting.
Don’t expect your clients to come to you, go to them. Participate in discussion groups, attend events, highlight fascinating articles, comment on interesting news. Listen to feedback and ask questions. All the time you’re gleaning more information about your clients’ wants and needs whilst filtering the information they need to decide whether to buy your product or service.
#4 rule of content marketing: No one cares about your business as much as you do
Content marketing does NOT mean coming into a conversation and taking over.
Your customers do not care about you, your products or your services. They care about themselves, their wants, their needs. People are problem or goal led, not product or service driven. The more you ask about your buyers’ problems or passions, they more reveal about themselves. The better your relationship with them will be because you’re building trust and rapport. Ask for feedback on your recipes, ask them if and how they would do it differently. Make it easy for them to tell you what they think and ask if they would recommend it to others. 70% of people trust recommendations from someone they don’t know; 92% of people trust recommendations from someone they do know, so stop talking about yourself and start getting other people to do it for you.
#5 rule of content marketing: Follow up with more specific and interesting content.
In the ideal world, your client would read your social media posts and blogs, watch your videos and instantly recognise your value which would lead them to buy from you. The reality is your buyers will probably like that tweet, read your blog, download that e-book and then… carry on with their lives. You have to educate, entertain and engage your buyers constantly, be part of the discussion and have a direct dialogue with your buyers based around the issues, questions and goals they have.
You have to think about content as a constant evolution. In the world we live in, your products or services must create a sense of anticipation and desire. Have you ever eaten something so delicious you couldn’t help but close your eyes and revel in the experience? That’s what your content cake should be like because everybody loves cake. Cake means sales.