Want to make 2017 the year that you seriously nail your content marketing strategy? Here are five resolutions to get you on track.
Never Sacrifice Quality
Posting regularly is great – if it’s good. The moment you put out something substandard, your audience will feel cheated, annoyed that they’ve wasted their time and much, much less likely to engage with the next piece of content you produce.
Content marketing is all about putting your best face forward and showing potential customers that you’re the best, smartest, most knowledgeable and trustworthy partner they could have on their team. Putting out something that doesn’t say that might let you tick off your content goal for the week, but it won’t help you achieve your aims.
Of course, it’s possible to go to far the other way, getting so perfectionistic about every tiny detail that you never release anything at all. Not everything has to be mega-polished and high budget. But if you know in your gut that it’s not good enough – that it’s not providing any genuine value for your audience – listen to that feeling and don’t put it up.
Answer Specific, Complex Problems
I know, I know – you want to reach the widest possible audience. You don’t want to alienate anyone who might benefit from your product or service by becoming overly niche in the way you target your content. It’s so tempting to make your ideas as vague and broad as you can to cast the widest possible net – but it’s a really bad idea.
People don’t want a wishy-washy idea of how to generally improve overall at what they do. They want specific answers that tackle specific pain points. They want to feel that you’re speaking directly to them and that you understand where they’re coming from, rather than optimistically scattergunning everyone that comes along.
For example, no video editor is ever going to search Google for “how to be a better video editor”. They’re going to search for something like “how to stabilise shaky footage in Premiere Pro” or “best shotgun microphone for Canon 650” – so if these are the kind of people you’re trying to sell to, produce videos or guides that help them solve precise problems like these.
Equally, if you produce a new CRM app and two of your key target markets happen to be law firms and gyms, writing two blog posts adapted to each of these audiences and titled accordingly will serve you much, much better than trying to persuade both that your product is ideal for them in the very same breath.
Take a Bold Editorial Line
Know your own mind and speak it. You don’t have to be controversial for controversy’s sake (although that can be quite an effective way to get your content noticed), but remember that people are looking for strong, confident views to guide them. They’re looking for thought leaders and influencers that exude a sense of seriously knowing what they’re talking about – people they can trust with their business.
Weak, uncertain arguments, flip-flopping about in your ideas, inconsistency between pieces of content, slavishly rehashing standard approaches and assumptions aren’t going to inspire anyone. Be bold and brave, back up what you have to say with hard data, and be willing to firmly but respectively defend your viewpoint if you want to make a name for yourself in your industry.
Keep Improving - and Never Get Complacent
Last but not least, never stop learning. Knowing your mind doesn’t mean being pig-headed and arrogant: the content marketing world is evolving all the time and you need to be open to good ideas and willing to try out new directions if you’re going to thrive.
Make sure you build review and analysis into your core content marketing strategy, regularly assessing what works, what doesn’t, and where you can improve.