April 15, 2012
You Will Struggle for Topics
Most of my clients tell me that coming up with topics for their blog is the hardest part of investing in a content marketing strategy. They either think that A) their industry is boring (in which case I think it’s time to find a job you like!) or B) no one is interested in hearing what they have to say. That’s not the case! Your industry is only as boring as you make it out to be. What’s old news to you might be ground-breaking to your readers; you just have to package it the right way!
Case in point: the brilliant video by the Dollarshaveclub.com. Would you have ever ranked razors in the “cool” product category? Probably not. But this video has over 4 million views on YouTube. Clearly the audience doesn’t think it’s a boring topic! The video introduces the product (which is nothing new or special) in such a fun way that you can’t help but get engaged in the story. Dollar Shave Club found a way to make old, boring information cool and fun by putting their own spin on it.
Yes, there will be days when you think that you have nothing new to say, but just take a step back and put yourself in the shoes of your audience. If you knew nothing about your industry, what kind of information would you be searching for online? Ask your sales and customer service representatives to write down the questions they are getting from your customers – these are a great source of topics for a company blog. Slice and dice white papers, turn webinars into 2-3 minute video clips and turn static research into an engaging infographic – there are tons of topics to be had if you just get out of your own way!
Great Content Will Go Unnoticed
It’s a hard pill to swallow, but one that every marketer must learn – sometimes your brilliant content will go absolutely nowhere. Every company is always looking for that magic ingredient that makes a piece of content go “viral,” but think of the millions upon millions of pieces of content that go live every day, most of them get hardly any attention. You might pour your heart and soul into a great video marketing campaign, spend hours putting together a really useful webinar or white paper, and devote a lot of time and energy into designing a fun infographic, and it’ll barely make a blip on the scene before it gets lost amidst the clutter.
Even great content is going to need a lot of help getting found by your target audience. If you think that the idea of “if you build it, they will come” is going to work with your content marketing strategy, you’re in for an unpleasant surprise. If you want your great content to be found, read, shared and linked to, you’ll have to start the ball rolling with your own content promotion. Post it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+; submit your blog to industry sites for syndication, partner up with other companies and leverage their connections to help get your content shared.
Sometimes, even after you give it your all, your great content isn’t going to get nearly as much love as you were hoping. And that’s ok! The key to a successful content marketing campaign isn’t to “go viral” every time you publish something, it’s to provide useful information that can help educate your target audience. It doesn’t matter if it’s 100 or 1,000 views as long as the right people are finding your content.
You Need a Lot of Content to Make a Little Impact
I have been blogging for seven years (spread out over three separate blogs), produce 1 or 2 white papers each year, host several webinars with some of my business partners, upload a new SEO video lesson each week, routinely contribute to a variety of industry blogs and more – it’s a lot of content! But I learned a long time ago that you need a lot of content if you want to make any kind of impact. Think about it like this, when was the last time you made a buying decision after reading one piece of content. Even when doing something simple, like choosing where to go out to dinner, you probably read a couple of reviews on Yelp and checked out the restaurant’s website, right? Now think about the last time you made a big purchase, like buying a new computer. How much content did you consume in your quest to educate yourself before spending $800 on a new computer? You wanted to make sure you were making the right decision, so you turned to various forms of content to help you along the way.
The more times your content can come into contact with a potential customer as they move through the sales process the better. One touch point isn’t going to be enough to convince someone to buy, especially in the B2B world. You need to consistently position your brand in front of your audience in the best possible light, and seeing as how the competition is striving to do the same thing, you’ve got a lot of content to produce!
Above all else, content marketing requires consistency. This isn’t a one-and-done kind of marketing campaign. Be prepared for the long haul, because that’s the only way it works!
Nick Stamoulis is the President of Brick Marketing a social SEO and content marketing company based in Boston, MA. With nearly 13 years of industry experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his knowledge by posting SEO tips to the Brick Marketing Blog and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 150,000 opt-in subscribers. Contact Nick Stamoulis at 781-999-1222 or firstname.lastname@example.org