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Content marketing is undoubtedly a viable method for building a solid business. It helps build an audience, provide perspective, and establish a solid community of followers. No, I am not speaking of a cult type of community. More precisely building a community of loyal followers interested in the perspective you have to share. However, even today at the height of content marketing there seems to be a continued misconception in its purpose.
Content marketing is intended to help share perspective and ultimately provide value to others. Unfortunately the widespread saturation of content marketing endeavors are quickly diluting its value. Benefits of content marketing are fading due to the excessive abuse by marketers, bloggers, journalists, and others alike.
Content Trumps Advertising
One of the main issues with today’s advertising is the fact that it is simply diluted. Especially with paid advertising where it is quite clear that messaging is inflated. It is indeed quite unfortunate to arrive at such conclusion. So, content in the grand scheme of things has built a reputation for being one of the most viable and successful methods of advertising. Behind every piece of content lies an interesting story. Everything begins with a story. Especially in the marketing world. Content marketing particularly gained new heights over the last couple of years. Some will even argue as far that content marketing is the new way of advertising in a digital age.
For example, let’s take into consideration guys like Gary Vaynerchuk, Jay Baer, Jeff Bullas, Neil Patel, Juntae DeLane, or Barry Levine for instance. These guys were pursuant of content marketing endeavors while the rest of the marketing industry was just getting acquainted. The differentiating factor between successful and unsuccessful content marketing endeavors lies in the context.
If Content is King, Context is God! – @garyvee
Substance Over Quantity
One of the most common mistakes that I see these days in content marketing initiatives is the forceful intent on quantity over substance. Many small-to-medium size content generators are striving for quantity. Some are led to believe that it will help boost their SEO rankings. Others believe it will anchor a place for them on everyone’s radar. Sure, if you are a content generating powerhouse like Mashable, Inc Magazine, or even Huffington Post than perhaps you can allow yourself to provide substance and quantity simultaneously.
Substance of your content will always have more merit over anything else. Never set an eye on how much content you pump out or how fast. Rather focus on cranking out content that has substance. Context that will be deemed interesting, informative, and shareable by your readers. The substance aspect of your content will resonate the most with your readers. Especially if the substance or context of your content provides an enormous amount of value to readers. They will appreciate you for it and later on give you the credit deserved.
The Value Behind Your Story
There is one simple thing that many digital marketers fail to realize. When it comes to content marketing the story matters more than anything else. Let’s think about this for a minute. As consumers we express a psychological and emotional attachment towards products and services we buy. But most importantly we pay strong attention to the story behind each of these. It is the very reason that determines our engagement with a product or service.
What makes a good story? Well, there are several elements that play a factorial role in telling a good story. Some of those consist of the following:
- A great plot.
- Psychological and emotional attachment.
- Interesting and/or informative substance.
- Value proposition that can in some form or fashion entices the user.
- Thorough topic research.
Telling a good story can be extremely challenging. Especially in very niche industries. It can also be extremely time consuming.
Address Customer Needs
Other aspects in your content substance pertain to addressing customer needs. What is it that your customers are seeking? Are you giving them valuable information? Are their concerns being met through content marketing endeavors? As marketers it is imperative to ensure that visitors exposed to content are adequately communicated with. It is quite common that brands refuse to cultivate their audience but rather focus on their own priorities. This is an extremely backwards oriented approach.
Discovering the needs of your customers can be one of the best assets. Once accomplished you can work on establishment of different user personas. These newly established user personas can assist you by providing guidance on the type of content you should publish. Many brands don’t realize the intricate importance of user personas even today.