Content Marketing Guide 2020
This guide for content marketing can greatly help teams as well as individuals. Here, you will understand the essential principles of content marketing strategies. It can provide you the most advanced ways of researching and improving the output of your content marketing team.
In this guide, your team will be able to formulate campaign ideas that fit your market, create content that focuses more on the needs of customers in order to generate leads, as well as increase your traffic and conversions using superior selling techniques.
What Are The Best Content Marketing Principles?
Here are six content marketing principles that can help you in writing your blog post or creating your webinar campaign.
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Help Customers Solve Their Problems
Most customers who browse the internet have their own concrete problems. That is why it is important that you have to help them solve their problems. But most often, content marketing is used as a way of solving the company’s problems, rather than solving the question of the user. They tell their readers about the features of their products then ask them to fill out a lead form. Most businesses are aiming to increase their Instagram followers so they can prevent the risk of losing their business.
Make Your Content Real
In order to attract the attention of your customers, you have to talk about their actual struggles. In order to accomplish this, you have to make a reference to a real situation. You can get some ideas by talking to your customers or to your sales team. Research for concrete problems that your customers are trying to solve. For instance, you should not write about how to manage the intricacy of global and local teams since this is not a real issue. Rather, you could write about how to convince your local offices to notice your brand policies. This is somewhat closer to what the people are trying to solve.
Write A Simple Content
When writing your content, you should keep in mind that your readers are not dull. Don’t think as if you are smarter than your readers as well. As much as possible, avoid using complicated language since they will surely get confused by it. The best thing to do is to use concrete language. Keep it simple so that it can be understood by everyone even by a fifth-grader.
It is best to use short sentences as well as short paragraphs. Try to avoid using big words. If you have a sentence that contains 15 words or more, then you could convert it into two separate sentences. Always aim for a combination of long and short sentences. It is not advisable to use a universal language. The responsibility of the writer is to eliminate cliches.
Create Better Things That You Can Be Proud Of
Don’t just settle on ordinary things, but rather show your creativity. Create things that you can be proud of. Strive to do an excellent job. In case you encounter some challenges, be ready to confront it.
Provide Actionable Advice
Based on the content marketing principle of Rand Fishkin, after the user is done reading your content, then he must be able to do something different instantly. They could try using a different social media network so they can improve their traffic or they could impress their superiors by sharing their advanced knowledge. Nowadays, most of the content is providing generic advice. For instance, they will suggest that you should optimize your social media profile. They should give these people a piece of advice that they could try implementing right after reading the content. You could ask yourself, what can the reader do immediately after reading this content.
Questions To Help You Create A Good Content
Can Your Content Help The Reader?
Think about this, are you really helping these people in solving their problems? This is a good way of increasing your sales. You could also use your product features as a piece of advice. So, how can you increase your sales? You could create a demo about the product that you are offering.
Is Your Content Based On A Specific And Concrete Customer Problem?
It is easy to save time on social media. However, when creating reports about social media, you need to spend several hours on it.
Are You Using Fraudulent Content?
You understand what the problem is, but can your advice help them in solving the problem? For instance, most people want to increase their sales from Instagram. In order to make the customer successful, your advice must include actual steps in solving their problems.
Is Your Advice Actionable?
After they have read your content, is there something that the reader can do quickly so that they can improve their business?
Do You Feel Proud About Your Work?
Do you think that people will enjoy reading your content because it is simple and yet sounds like a human? If you feel proud of your work, then you should share it with your friends.
What Type Of Content Should You Create?
There are several types of content to create such as blog posts, webinar presentations, etc. However, if you really want to drive traffic and improve your leads, then here are the best types of content that you should create.
Help People Save More Time
Research about the latest trends and make a summary of your findings. This can help the reader save more time since you are the one doing the work for them. Instead of spending five hours, they only need to spend ten minutes reading the new trends in the industry.
Don’t Forget To Mention Your Company’s Values
According to Intercom, it is best to write about the things that you know and believed in. When you write, you have to do it with confidence. Try to convey simple messages to your readers. For instance, social media is helping businesses improve. You can accompany it with some stories to make it more real.
Share Your New Knowledge
If there is something that you have learned recently, then you could share it with your readers by writing how-to content. Discover how to do something and explain this step by step. To make it more real, you could ask someone to do the steps to make sure that it works.
Reveal Something That Is Not Found Anywhere Else
You could share a piece of information that is only available in your company. For instance, it could be data obtained by your company based on a certain study. Or perhaps a story from one of your customers that you heard from sales.
You Can Do The Thinking For Them
Research for marketing strategies that could be beneficial to a company. Afterward, write an article about these creative ideas. Most people are busy and they don’t have the time to think. Hence, you have to do it for them. Having these ideas can make them look more intelligent during meetings.
Where Should You Look For New Content Ideas?
According to Eugene Schwartz, a famous copywriter, you must listen to your customers and observe your market. At the same time, get to know more about the product. These two important sources can help you succeed. This can help you in growing your traffic as well as in creating the best marketing strategy.
If we try to analyze this, it is quite simple. However, teams will quickly turn to their whiteboards in the hope that they can produce a solution using their creativity. Unfortunately, this can only lead to generic approaches, ads filled with ambiguity as well as surface content. Creativity does not mean that you will produce ideas without any basis. Rather, creativity should be able to create a link between two relevant sources which are product and customer knowledge.
One of the best strategies that you can use is the sales safari which was introduced by Pamela Slim, a famous marketing consultant. With sales safari, you will be able to observe your customers in a natural way. This can help you in searching for products or ad campaigns by identifying the problems of your customers.
Know The Knowledge Level Of Your Customers
Do you keep track of the deals that became a success or a failure? It would be great if you have done so since you can refer to these when researching for your customer’s knowledge level. Try to identify who are those people that are involved in these deals.
For instance, if you are writing for the travel industry then try to search for a travel deal. Then, search for the people who are involved in this deal. Use this information in finding their profiles on LinkedIn and Twitter. Observe the content that they share on a regular basis. Using Hootsuite, create a search stream so you will know what they like to share. Here, you can also identify their level of knowledge on social media.
Identify The Problem That They Are Attempting To Solve
This is quite difficult to recognize since people don’t usually reveal this on their LinkedIn profile. The best thing that you can do is to discuss this with salespeople. You can book an appointment and ask them what are the usual questions that they receive from their customers.
There are a variety of places where you can do some research. In public Facebook Groups, you can find people talking about their struggles at work. Also, you can find people’s questions on several sites such as Quora, Inbound, etc. Although the results here may vary yet who knows you might discover some gold here.
Another way would be to discuss this with real people. For instance, you can talk to sales personnel, experts, or customers to know their daily struggles. Look for a book that fits with the topic then visit Amazon and go through its reviews. Here, you will know the actual struggle that they are attempting to solve in reading this particular book. This specific strategy was introduced by Joanna Wiebe.
The Things That People Did In Attempting To Solve This Problem
Most likely, people will find some ways in order to solve their problems. Probably, they bought software from your competitor and it was unsuccessful. Copywriter Ray Edwards named this as the “try-fail cycle.”
Good content will say, “these are your struggles and here are the solutions.” On the other hand, great content will say, “these are your struggles, here are the things that you have done but failed. Here are what you should do instead.”
The Changes That Were Done
In this aspect, marketing skills play an important role. Most often, people will tell you the outcome that they desire, for instance, we want to improve our social audience. However, they won’t reveal the desired outcome that they really want. Perhaps they want to impress their boss so they are looking for a big campaign. Great content will talk about the organization’s vision as well as each person’s career goals.
The meaning of transformation will vary from one person to another. To learn about this, you can read the book, “Crossing the Chasm.” For instance, when it comes to buying software, a young troubled company has a different reason than an established company.
To get some ideas, you could refer to your brand positioning. It is important that your organization’s vision must be expressed in your blog posts, stories, and guides. This can prevent you from sending too many messages. Also, it can help in making your content more memorable.
Show Your Customers How Your Product Can Help Them
Be prepared in showing your customers how your product can help them with their struggles. Act as if you are an expert in your product. This can provide you with some wonderful ideas which you can use in your regular work. In order to become more knowledgable, you can read technical manuals or study new features of the product.
How Can You Grow Your Conversions?
After having some direction, the next thing to do is to refine your content.
Try To Be Considerate
According to Rand Fishkin, the creator of Moz, the goal of content marketing should not be about converting customers instantly. The main objective should be to build trust, familiarity, and charm. As a marketer, one of the greatest skills that you should try to develop is to readily give without asking.
Aspire For More Than Unique Content
Having unique content is simply not enough. Although people might find it useful, yet it is important that your audience will remember you. After spending a lot of time in searching for strategic advice, they’ve discovered mediocre advice. However, when they’ve discovered your blog post, they find it to be very helpful since it actually shows how much you have cared for them. Content marketing’s goal should be to encourage the reader to stop searching for answers because finally, they have discovered their mentor.
Avoid Being Too Obvious With Your Sales Strategies
One of the important lessons to learn in sales is to market the benefits, not the features. This is absolutely true! However, what you are not aware of is that salespeople are very excellent in hiding their selling strategies. In Peter Thiel’s book “Zero to One”, he shows us how to be great at selling while hiding selling tricks.
Aim For More Advanced Tips
According to Rand Fishkin, you should avoid including tips or advice that are already known by some people. Rather than including some extremely basic advice, you should go for the more advanced ones.
Your CTA (Call To Action) Must Be Consistent
How do you sell some benefits to your customers? After projecting yourself as a charming, funny expert, you should avoid transforming into a salesperson just to entice them to download a guide. You are actually breaking the mirror here, after spending some time in building trust. Simply, tell me in a casual way.