Content marketing. We bet you’ve heard that term countless times over the last few years. (Yet here we are making you read even more about it!) Many bloggers have written about how to approach content marketing, but not so much what to write about. That is a shame because content marketing is meant to be a value exchange between you and your readers; if you don’t offer them something relevant or helpful they will move on. You need to create content your followers want to read or watch.
Just about every company is doing some form of content marketing these days, but many of them don’t properly consider what to offer their readers. They write up something generic that could be applied to many brands. This is about as effective as handing out pamphlets on the side of the street to a passerby. People give it a glance and toss it in the trash. *swoosh*
But at SocialToaster we believe we can help you figure out what to write about, so that when you hit publish people actually read it. Below we have outlined some tips on how to figure out what your readers want from you.
Solicit Your Audience
Want to know what your audience is looking for? Ask them! “So tell me what you want, what you really, really want.” Well maybe not like that, but something close. Anyway, a surefire way to offer value to your audience through content is to listen to their feedback, and write accordingly. When you take into account what they want to hear, you show that your content is more than just a way to slip in some sales pitches. It’s a value exchange that actually matters beyond simply promoting a product.
At the end of the day content marketing should be focused on the reader’s needs, not your organization’s offerings. By following the 80/20 rule of content you say to your audience that your blog is a place to come for useful info, not just a bunch of plain face pitches.
Highlight Asymmetric Information
While asking your audience what they want to know is helpful, sometimes you have to look deeper to understand what to offer. As the late Steve Jobs said “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” This is true for information just as much as for consumer products like iPhones. If you are an expert in your industry, there are likely issues you can point out to your audience they aren’t even aware they have.
Not sure what this info is? Talk to your sales or customer service teams to get a sense of what problems your product is meant to solve. These people know what issues to highlight to make your product or service feel needed.
Not only does this make you look like a knowledgeable industry leader, but also gives you the opportunity to drive business for your company by creating new needs among your customers. When they read the new info you are pointing out they will say “Why aren’t we doing that!?”, and quickly give you a call. And the best part is all of this is accomplished without making a direct sales pitch.
Speak to the Lifestyle You Support
Like we said, it does you no good to use your content marketing to simply attempt to make a sale. Your readers will get bored and quickly begin to tune out your message. What’s the point of writing if all of that effort just gets lost in the void? Offering them something more doesn’t just mean considering what they want to hear, but also what they want to be.
By that we mean what identity do your readers aspire to be associated with, and how do they relate that to aspiration to your brand? Your blog should be a way to tell your readers that you are a trendsetter and knowledgeable voice in your respective industry. All of the content you push out should encapsulate a certain tone and culture. That image comes from carefully observing and understanding who you are trying to appeal to.
At the end of the day content marketing can be a tricky process. Offering industry related content straddles the fine line of the bottom line and simply being a helpful entity. Let’s be honest, almost all the efforts your company makes are meant to drive business at the end of the day. It takes an understanding of publishing that come from experience to get that balance right.
And now comes our pitch. Like the content you see above? Let SocialToaster help you figure out what your blog should focus on. Give us a call at 855.628.6287 or visit us online.