Not (Just) for the Smug.
First of all, this is not the opposite of discontent marketing. It doesn’t exclude grumpy old men, or people dissatisfied with life in general, as that might describe many of us. It’s not marketing for quietly content people.
I Want a Relationship
No, Content Marketing is about the content that you produce – the videos, vlogs, podcasts, articles, infographics, etc. that you distribute, not always only on your website. It will usually present you as an authority in your field, or it could be more subtle. Whatever the format, the aim is the same: to build relationships in order to eventually sell your product, service, ideology or philosophy.
In this blog post, the first of a two-part series on Content Media, we will focus on the written word: blogs.
Write Yourself Out of a Job
What should you write about in your blog?
How about setting yourself up as an authority in your field with a series of blog posts, telling people how to do what you do. At first glance, this appears to be business suicide: if people know how to do what I do, why would they need me?
However, there’s a saying among BNI business clubs that applies here: givers gain. The unexpected consequences of generosity in a world ruled by greed and selfishness can be rewarding. Your readers could well be thinking: “If this is what s/he is giving way for free in this article, how much more must s/he know?”
So, give a little of what you know for free and you create goodwill, establish yourself as an authority in your field and attract visitors to your website or social media page.
Got lots of facts, figures and stunning statistics?
Consider creating an infographic or two. You can use dedicated software, such as the infographic creator in Canva, Venngage, Piktochart or others.
Spend some time producing an accurate, original interesting infographic and you could find it splashed all over the internet, giving you free worldwide publicity of the most welcome kind.
Where is my platform?
The obvious place to start is on your own website, on your blog page. However, you might post articles on LinkedIn, or your business’s Facebook page. The principles remain the same.
Consider your audience (current and desired) and your products or services. Would a ‘How To’ blog work? ‘A Day in the Life of’?
Try looking at Answerthepublic.com, or Quora. They will show you the most common questions people are asking about your specialisms. Then all you have to do is answer them! Use the question as the title of your post.
The Guest Room
You might be able to persuade a publication or website to accept your article as a guest contributor/blogger.
If so, you’re in luck: appearing in external media as an authority in your field does your credibility no end of good.
6 Top Tips for Writing a Blog (or any article to be published)
How to Write a Blog is an article on its own, but here is a quick guide to online writing. (The same general principles apply to planning and shooting a video, which we cover in our next post in the Content Marketing Series.)
1. Research, research, research. Even if you are writing about a subject where you’re the expert, do the due diligence. This post nearly included mention of LinkedIn Answers, until one of us pointed out that it was discontinued some years ago.
2. Hey, you! Try to grab your audience’s attention early on. There’s a million ways to do it. Find the best one for your article.
3. Tone. Your writing style will reflect your own personality. That’s good. But make a conscious choice about the tone you will use.
4. Write long, edit to short. Get all your ideas on paper, then trim it down to your desired word length. To please Google, aim for anything from 500-3,000 words, depending how much you actually have to say.
5. Chunk, chunk, chunk. Break it down into manageable, short paragraphs.
6. Check, check, check again. You’ve fact-checked, now grammar and sense check. Then read it out loud to yourself or a colleague.
Work, Rest, Repeat
You will get the best from any social media effort if you schedule regular episodes, whether of videos, blogs or a mixture of the two.
Repetition builds an audience and Google will promote you if you have fresh, new content. It reassures the algorithms that you are still alive, well and trading.
Ideally, a business should post a new article/video 2-4 times per week, to boost SEO, although it is said that the Huffington Post publishes over 1,000 stories a day. Unless you are in the news industry, this is probably not necessary!
You might find that even a couple of articles a week demands too much of your time, so maybe build up to it, or consider hiring a copywriter to do it for you?