Who is actual King - Trust or Content?
Content marketing certainly isn't new, but it's been getting a lot of new attention online lately (and for good reason). Small business owners across the globe are re-discovering these tried and true marketing practices, and using them to get a big leg up on the competition.
You can be human with your audience. And, as it turns out, one of the best ways to do that is by talking to your customers. One of the best ways to get a feel for some of the best-practices around the industry is to follow and watch how others are succeeding. As such, we've cherry-picked some of my favorite content marketing tips from experts around the web.
1. Don't build on rented land
Publish your best content on web properties that you personally own (i.e., your own self-hosted website). Social media has hit the business world like a freight train, and there is great value in spreading your message far and wide via these cheap media channels. The point of all that chatter, though, is to get all those eyeballs back to your own site. Once they're there, it's time to convert them, either into customers or, at the very least, into email list subscribers. Social media is for mingling and chatting (and, obviously, marketing). Your own site is where the magic should happen. That's where you answer your potential clients' questions in depth. That's where you create loyalty.
2. Help, not hype, your customer
One of the best ways to develop that trust is by answering customer questions and offering information in a clear, honest, and transparent way. If the product or service that you offer is part of that message, then feel free to reference it. But if your content comes across more like an advertisement or a sales letter, then you're not doing content marketing; you're doing sales and advertising.
3. Write what people want to read
If you're planning to succeed in your content marketing efforts, there is one big thing that you have to understand right from the start: it's not about you. It's never about you. It's not about your company. It's not about your product. It's not about your service. It's not about how great your company/product is. It's not about the amazing charity work your president does. It's not about how fun it is to work at your company. It's NEVER about you. And the minute you try to make it about you, that's when you lose their trust, and that's when you lose another potential customer.
4. Reference industry influencers
Even if you are the undisputed thought leader in your specific niche or areas of expertise, it doesn't mean that you are the only person with something valuable to add to the conversation. In fact, you make yourself seem more trustworthy and confident when you reference other players in the marketplace.
5. Create content for all types of readers
Let's say you're a real estate broker. What things, other than buying a house, are people moving to a new city interested in? People with houses often have pets. Where are the best dog parks in your area? People with houses often have kids. Where are the best schools in your area? Best restaurants in the area? Best home improvement contractors in the area? Best landscapers in the area? Best doctors in the area?
6. There is more to content than links
Content marketing is so far above and beyond the classic SEO link building tactics of the past. These days, it is likely better to think of links in terms of the direct traffic you'll get from them, rather than any SEO benefits they may or may not contribute. We're not suggesting that backlinks are no longer important for SEO. What we're suggesting is a change in mindset. Links that will actually get clicked through to your site are the better ones for SEO, anyway.
7. Don't forget the "marketing" in content marketing
It's incredibly shocking, but one of the biggest problems we see is that small business owners seem to be embarrassed about promoting their content. None of them seem to have any trouble trying to promote their products and services within their content, but once the content has been created, they're timid about telling people it exists.
8. It's all about relationships
If people can see you actively participating and being a team-player, then they will treat you accordingly; as a member of the team. [ Insider Tip: That's the goal! ] The bottom line with social is this: you have to be an active member of the team. It's not enough to just stop in and share a few things here and there, a day or two before you're going to need those same people to share your stuff for you. You have to be active. You have to be part of the team; a member of the community. It's not a wishy-washy kind of thing. It's a commitment; a commitment to your community. Your network depends on you to be there for them, just like they are there for you.
9. Think like a publisher
Whatever business you're in, your website and/or blog is now a venue for that industry/niche. That's just pure fact; no way around it. The trick, though, is learning to re-train your brain to treat it as such. Go down to your local book store and grab a few magazines that catch your eye, and then study them. Study their format, study their layout, study their focus. Whether you like it or not, you are in the "online magazine" publishing business now. The fun part is that you get to talk about stuff you're already an expert in.
Courtesy & Copyright