Friends, Romans, Content Writers, Lend Me Your... Eyes and Ears!
The massive scale of the Content Marketing World and Inbound 2015 make it clear, content marketing is here to stay. The migration away from traditional marketing methods and channels has been going on for a while. Now, the expectations from online and social channels are beginning the same journey. The demand is for more than a simple promotional post or feature driven blog, customers and prospects want actual, useful content.
As the marketing world shifts yet again towards a new challenge, Brands are now looking at the world of content writing as the next big thing to help them drive growth. A way to attract, engage and convert new customers with the power of content.
But with so many looking to jump on the content train, the ones who are doing it right remain the exception rather than the rule. As you look around for ways to get started, here are 4 things to remember:
Find Your Focus
Writing content can be a frustrating task, primarily because most try to cast a wide net, looking for anything that might capture the eye, create an instant of interest. This might work sometimes, but far more useful is finding out what you need to focus on to appeal to your target market. For instance, writing a travel blog sounds great, but waxing lyrical on the beauty of St. Petersburg might be redundant if the focus of your travel business is towards South East Asia. Narrowing down the focus will help generate ideas and make the writing process a lot easier as well.
Do Your Research
Once you have the target market and area focus established, the next step is to do your research. What is the information out there, what can you use to make your content relevant and interesting to your potential target group. Ask yourself if it is adding value to those who are reading it? What is it offering that others are not? The answers to these questions don't need to be deeply profound, but they do need to help you define the direction for your content. Focus your research on what you want to achieve with your content rather than the process.
Make It Interesting
When starting the writing process, think of what you are doing as a conversation. What would you say to a friend or colleague if they asked you the question that your content is addressing? Would you ramble on about products and features, or would you focus on the value that it will add to their lives, the experiences it will form. Create a story that you would want to read or hear about your topic. That's what will make it appealing and more likely to be shared amongst contacts. Bring in something new, an angle that has not been explored or find an organic link to a new trend.
Remember To Share
Your writing may be great, but if you are not using every possible channel to share it with your customers, followers and prospects, then it is not doing its job. Writing an amazing piece of content is brilliant, having it lie unread and unloved in an obscure corner of the web is sad. Once you have written your piece, share it, use your website, social media, partner sites and any customers interested in sharing the content with their networks. The more channels you use, the more likely it is to be seen and do what it was designed to do - create awareness and interest.
These thoughts just scratch the surface of what good content marketing is all about. But if you are looking for a starting point, they should get you up off the benches and into the game.