Today I’m going to give you my top five tips for content marketing. Content marketing will probably be the buzz word of 2016 and on some level I’m upset about that, but it’s okay because I’m really good at content marketing and I’m gonna tell you how you can be better at it yourself.
So one of the first things you need to understand before I get into these tips is that content marketing is about strategy. Content marketing is about creating value for your audience, but also value for yourself as a business and as a brand. So when you go into content marketing you really need to make sure you know who you are and what your values are and also who your audience is. This doesn’t count as one of the tips, but it is the what I would say the philosophy behind effective content marketing versus just being spammy.
So tip number one – have a clear communication strategy for all of your content. This means knowing the tone. That means if your tone is going to be casual, then that needs to be consistent. If it’s going to be professional, then that needs to be consistent. If it’s going to be academic, then that needs to be consistent and all of that is so important and directly ties into what I would say is tip number two, which is know who your audience is.
So knowing who your audience is and knowing what your tone, what your communication strategy is, they’re in direct alignment because one is going to dictate the other. If you’re speaking to students, then I would say that it’s probably not going to need to be very professional or academic to appeal to that audience even if you’re giving educational based information. Casual is probably going to be more impactful. Particularly if you’re trying to get them to buy. You’re not going to want to come off sales pitch-y, you’re not going to talk down to them, you’re not going to want to speak over their head because they are just learning this stuff so you would want to adapt your strategy to the audience and you’d want to consider that in your tone. It’s not about you and entirely how you want it perceived. It is a little bit, but it’s about what does your audience need from you and what’s gonna make you relatable because that’s what’s gonna drive a sale.
Tip number three – understand the context of the platforms that you’re marketing in. Marketing in Periscope is very different than content marketing in YouTube and it’s very different than content marketing in Blab and it’s very different than in a blog. It is all different. It’s different than content marketing in a podcast. All of these things have their own nuance in their own context. I actually probably will do individual videos about that and about the context about each of these platforms, but I’ll give you a short example right now. YouTube is built on the backbone of search. That’s what its real value is, search and archiving. Kind of like Netflix. The value of Periscope is that it’s live and you’re there and you can engage, like if you were at someone’s speaking engagement. It’s not about the fact that oh, it’s live. It’s more about the fact that it being live and you being in the audience means that you can ask a question and get a direct answer and so that’s what the real value is there. Blab is about the fact that there’s four people practically talking at bar stools or at a coffee shop that can interact face to face to face and people can rotate in and out from the live comment section. So that’s a good you know difference of context to platform. All three of these things are video and yet all three of them are different and would appeal to different people and equally important, they all have a different practical business application. So you can’t sit there and just always think that you can re-purpose content or that you can attack the same methods in different platforms. It doesn’t work so you need to value context as well in your content marketing. You can’t always take what was good in a podcast and make that good in a blog post because podcasts are listened to passively. Someone can listen to that in the car while they’re on a commute to work. They can’t do that with a blog post so they time that they took to listen may not be the time that they’d take to read and you need to respect that. So that’s what we mean when we say things like context and platform are respect the platform that you’re in. It’s why I don’t re-purpose YouTube videos as a podcast even though that would be easy because the YouTube video I have hand gestures and I have you know facial expressions and that’s what I did in that moment. That might not translate very well to just audio, even if some of you are you know clicking over to another tab and just listening for the information. That may not work for all of viewers. So in a podcast I might be able to go deeper since I don’t have the distraction of a camera and my you know my presence, my appearance, my performance, whatever that is. So I can focus on my words and the usage of my words and my pacing a lot more. So respect the context and the platforms and the type of media that you’re in.
Number four – respect your audience’s time. When you’re doing content, you need to respect your audience’s time, which means that you need to give them that up front value. You need to tell them why they’re here and what they’re gonna get as quickly as you can, regardless of whether that’s in print, whether that’s on a blog post or an article, whether it’s at the beginning of a video or even at the beginning of a podcast. They need to know why they’re here so they can make an informed decision as to whether or not they’re going to continue to invest the time here. That may seem disadvantageous for you because you’re like “oh I want to string them along for as long as possible to absorb as much value”, but that makes you a taker and people don’t respond as well to takers so much as they do to people who are giving. I’m not saying you can’t align this to a right hook meaning what’s in it for you. You should, but you should also respect the audiences time and know when that’s appropriate and set up for it, which actually leads us into tip number five.
Calls to action, aka right hooks, aka align your content to your business objective and goal. Too many people, too many marketers, too many you know would be marketers. Do content for the sake of doing content. They have no real business savvy and no business objective tied to what this content is supposed to accomplish. Not only for the audience, but for them as a business or as an individual. I have very specific goals for every piece of content that I produce whether it’s YouTube or whether it’s my new podcast or whether it’s an article that I’ve written for another publication or for my own blog. I have a very specific goal in mind, not only for the audience, but also what I want to achieve through it and that could be any number of things. It could be raising my public profile. It could be getting people to go to my website. It could be getting people to buy things in an affiliate. It could be someone hiring me. There are any number of things I’m doing with the content that I have a call to action as strategy aligned to. It can be something as simple as wanting to grow my email list, but if I don’t make that call to action something that I planned from the very beginning and I do it as an after thought, then it won’t match up and sync up with the content and so it’s less likely to convert and you want your content to convert. That is the point of the content marketing aside from brand awareness.
So those are my top five tips for content marketing. If you have questions about content marketing, go ahead and leave those comments in the description. If you’re someone who is struggling with this and it’s important to your business and you need to outsource that, then go ahead and feel free to reach out to me so that we can have a conversation about it.