6 Rules for Content Marketing
Content marketing is how you position yourself as an expert.
In short, it’s the process of you giving most of your content away for free. When you do this, you build a trust base that naturally wants to buy from you.
But if you don’t do it right, you won’t benefit.
Here are 6 rules for doing it right:
1. It’s a long game
Everyone can write a few articles or make a couple videos. But the content marketers who are successful understand that it takes a long time to see results.
There are two reasons for this. In order for people to trust you, they need to see a consistent stream of regular content. This consistent stream reinforces that you are who you say you are.
The second reason is a bit more practical: people are busy. They’re not going to see everything you put out. And what they do see, they see in the middle of their busy lives.
Successful content marketing is consistent over a long period of time.
2. It will position you as an expert
As mentioned above, one of the best ways to be viewed as an expert is to create a lot of content on your topic. When you become an expert in a field, your value moves from a price-based commodity to an in-demand asset.
The interesting part is that you won’t only be viewed as an expert. By doing the work to create content–even content you know about–you learn it on a deeper level and become an expert in the process.
3. If you stay focused, it will help your SEO
The value of content marketing is its SEO nature. The more Google’s algorithms associate you with your topic, the more it will send search engine traffic to you.
But because content marketing requires so much content, it’s tempting to diversify and create content that spans different areas.
However, this is a mistake.
Google has built their algorithms to work a lot like our brains. When I think oil change, I don’t think Walmart (even though most Walmarts do it). I think of Speedy or Take 5. These brands are known for changing oil.
Because that’s their niche, that’s who I think about when I have that need. Google treats your content the same way.
4. Only do what you enjoy
Content marketing takes a lot of work. If you’re going to consistently produce high quality, you’re going to need to think about your own endurance.
If you create content on something that energizes you, you’re going to be able to weather the difficulty and criticism of regularly putting new material into the world.
If, on the other hand, you create content that you feel is valuable, but not that interesting to you, you’ll peter out. Besides, do you want to become an expert in something you’re not passionate about?
5. Don’t hold back—make it your best
Don’t hold back your best stuff. Give it away, too.
The temptation is to hold back. The thinking goes a little like this: if I give away my best, I won’t have anything more to sell.
But this is just not the way it works. When you create regularly, your brain gets trained on coming up with new ideas, and your body becomes disciplined in creating new things. Running out of content is not an issue for regular content creators.
In fact, you usually have more good ideas than you have time to create (this is always my problem).
The other objection is that people won’t buy if you put your best stuff out. You shouldn’t put identical content out for free and paid. There has to be a difference. But that difference cannot be one of quality.
Learn more about how to separate your free from paid content here.
6. Respect the form
I work with a lot of academics as well as retail-facing businesses. While the principles are almost exactly the same, the execution is often quite different.
The audience of a professor (students, peers, and the media) have expectations that are very different than a shop owner or entertainer. Successful content marketing starts with the expected forms, and works from there.
Even within an industry, form is critical. For instance, the structure of blog writing is different from book writing. Most blog readers decide to read on impulse, while book readers are more intentional.
How you create content needs to reflect how your audience will consume it.
Content marketing in your business
Content marketing is nothing more than letting your audience experience your product before they commit to buying it.
If you’re thinking about doing content marketing campaign–or if you’ve been doing it but want some more eyes on it–I’d love to talk more with you.
We can find a media and form that works best for you, create a plan, and, if you like, I can help you execute it. You can schedule a time for us to talk here.