When it comes to digital marketing, countless business owners have fallen victim to the “everyone else is doing it so we have to too” mentality. At the risk of sounding like my mom, my response to this epidemic is, “If everyone was jumping off a cliff, would you jump too?” Of course not.
So why do savvy business owners fall into this toxic mindset?
Why do so many executives think that because their competitors adopt the newest social media tool, they have to too?
In recent years, content marketing as emerged on the digital marketing scene with gusto – and rightly so. While all businesses should adopt social media powered content marketing, this decision should not be based on the notion that “everyone else is doing it so we should too.” Just because you heard a keynote speaker from your local Chamber of Commerce say the now-infamous line, “Content is king,” doesn’t mean you should arbitrarily start developing blog posts and ebooks.
All Content Must Be Purposeful.
You need to stop and consider some pivotal questions before touching the keyboard or camera. No need in spending more time, money, and resources on developing content that nobody cares about. Let me be very clear. Content marketing is not cheap, easy, and quick. In fact, it can be expensive, challenging, and a painstakingly long process. However, there are ways to scale content creation that makes it more appealing to business owners like you.
Here are some fundamental questions you want to answer before embarking on a content marketing adventure.
- Who are you engaging with?
- Where does your audience like to hang out online and off?
- How does your audience consume digital media?
- What does your audience need/ desire?
- What are the goals and objectives for the content you will create?
- What are the key messages you are trying to communicate?
- What are your customers trying to accomplish by choosing you?
- Describe your typical customer (needs, desires, preferences, fears, pain, etc.)
- Who is your competition?
- What are the core strengths of your organization?
- What sets your brand apart from others in your industry?
- How do prospects find you?
- What words would your target audience use to describe the key products/ services/ information you provide?
- What is your target location (international, national, regional, state, local)?
- How can you maximize the reach of this content?
- Which social media channels will you use to disseminate the content?
- What mediums will you use to publish the content?
- How will you transform the content into reusable pieces elsewhere on the Web?
- If the content is dated, how can it be repurposed to fit the times?
Good content appeals to our rational attributes. Great content speaks to our emotional essence.
Scott Aughtmon recently created an infographic that perfectly describes the 21 Types of Content We All Crave. It is worth printing out and posting on your wall. Our office voted and we decided that these are our 10 favorite types of content from Scott’s infographic:
- Content that reminds us that life is short.
- Content where David defeats Goliath.
- Content that challenges our assumptions.
- Content that makes us laugh and smile.
- Content that reminds us that we are one-of-a-kind and encourages us to live that way.
- Content that educates while entertaining us.
- Content that reveals secrets.
- Content that reminds us of the overlooked or forgotten “basics.”
- Content that takes us along a journey.
- Content that confirms our assumptions.
In summary, before diving into content marketing, make sure your content has a purpose. Think about who will be consuming your content, why you are developing the content, and the life cycle of the content.
Do you currently employ content as a means to engage your target audience?
What types of content work best for you and how do you disseminate it?