The Dos and Don'ts of Content Marketing
We all know (or should know!) by now that spending time and energy on content marketing is a good idea, but, sometimes we lose our way and become less effective. When developing content there are places to avoid and other areas you want to keep in mind. Here are eight basic "dos and don'ts" for content marketing.
Keep Things Interesting
The obvious key part of content marketing is the content itself. When posting, keep things interesting and create thought-provoking content for your audience. Stay away from posting boring information or things that your target audience would not care much to look at. If your content continues to attract your audience and lead to engagement, you can become a viable source for your customers when they are searching for content or answers.
Find Your Target Audience
In order to create all that interesting and exciting content that will capture your audience, you must understand who you are trying to target. It won’t help if you look to reach the mass all at once. No products or services fit every demographic, and no content will be interesting for every single person. Find your target and understand what types of people are looking at your content and what they are interested in. Once you define your audience you can tailor and create your content to fit their desires.
Mindlessly following others within the industry and copying ideas is a bad habit you should try to avoid. While it is beneficial and recommended to keep an eye on what the competition is up to, it’s more important to stand out. Think of ways to show your own style and personality that differs from others. Make sure to stand out from the rest and your audience will notice. Soon, your following will look to you for those original articles and fresh ideas.
Keep it Short and Sweet
What do most people dread when looking to an article for tips or advice? Long, lengthy paragraphs and too many words. Use images, bullets, and a few quick sentences to get your point across and move on. You don’t want someone opening a piece of your content and then closing out because they felt it was too long and they did not have time to read it. In today’s world, people love instant gratification and quick available answers. If things are kept short and sweet, your audience will be satisfied.
Push Your Product
It is important to post thought-provoking content that can lead your audience back to your company or product. However, you should avoid simply posting all about your product and going for the hard sell. With interesting content, your prospects and listeners will come to you. Post topics they want to know about and they will later seek out your business when in need.
Much like not pushing your product, don’t become a salesperson through your posting. Stay away from generic ads or promotions of your services or products. Tell a story or generate other forms of content that consumers will want to learn about.
Copy Your Competition
Like mentioned before, being original is important. If you are always copying others throughout the industry, how do you expect to get ahead? You cannot beat the competition when you are simply mimicking what they do. Keep an eye on what they are doing, but don’t feel the need to always follow their footsteps.
Focus on Yourself
Make your content about the industry and topics in the industry. Always focusing on yourself will not help your audience learn anything nor attract them to keep looking for your posts. Yes, you can relate articles to your company, but by keeping the focus off of you specifically and by having overall intriguing content, the conversation will eventually lead back to you.
So, the next time you evaluate your content marketing strategy, go back to the basics. Keep in mind these simple "dos and don'ts," and try to really reach your audience. Make sure to avoid certain styles and embrace your own original ideas that your target audience wants.
John Foley Jr. is the CEO of interlinkONE and Grow Socially. John and his team help printers get on a strong path to marketing success. Their approach includes software solutions, consulting, Website development, marketing audits, and strategic marketing plans. interlinkONE’s software solutions for the print industry include their marketing automation platform, MAX, and ilinkONE V8. Learn more about MAX: Marketing Automation. Executed. by visiting MarketWithMAX.com, John at JohnFoleyJr.com, and his companies at interlinkONE.com and GrowSocially.com.