At the end of every month, I have a bit of a cleanse and I go through my email inbox to “unsubscribe” to content. During this process, I realised that some people do not have much of a clue when it comes to content marketing to the right people. But it is not just blogs, I get the same incorrect content messaged to me on LinkedIn (read my rant about annoying habits on LinkedIn here), Facebook Messenger and DM's on Twitter. How can people get it so wrong?
I am not saying that I'm perfect, but we do try to market our content to the right people, and if someone unsubscribes then that is fine, as the last thing we want to do is spam people.
While on a mission with unsubscribing, it made me think about the reasons why the content was not suitable. I came up with five reasons that will make your content a success or a failure.
Reason #1 – Have you defined your ideal target market?
How many times have you had a sales message on LinkedIn from someone who has not taken the time to look at your profile? How many times have you met someone at a networking group who have added you to a mailing list and suddenly you start receiving their sales messages? I have even been added to mailing lists of my competitors (who have automatically uploaded a spreadsheet from a mailing list and they have forgotten to take me off the list).
One of the processes that we work through with clients is “define your ideal customer”. If you have not gone through this as an exercise, how do you know if you are producing the right content or not?
Reason #2 – Where are your target audience hanging out?
Once you have decided who your ideal client is, then you need to do a little bit of digging and find out where they are active online. You would not believe how many times I have seen a local business hanging out on LinkedIn and spending loads of time on this platform when their perfect business client is very active on Facebook. Remember, social networking is not about the platforms that YOU enjoy being on, it's about your customer. You need to speak their language, on the platform where they are talking.
If you are not sure where to spend your time, then just ask one of the GUHQ team on our live chat service. We have been at this game for a long time and we should be able to tell you instantly. Alternatively, send an email campaign with a short survey monkey attached and ask your audience. If it is just a tick box, then I guarantee you will get your answers quite quickly.
Reason #3 – Are you posting the right “type” of content?
We all absorb information in different ways. Knowing how your audience likes to receive information is crucial to the success of your content. I would always suggest mixing up the content, however, knowing what works best certainly keeps you ahead of the game.
Here are some ideas for you:-
- If your audience likes to read, then consider writing whitepapers or eBooks
- The busy executive may prefer to consume content in audio/podcast format – so consider adding an audio version of your blog.
- Images are necessary for every platform – this must always be part of your marketing strategy.
- Video – the use of video is a great way to share content. Apparently 70% of website traffic will be generated by video by 2019 – scary figure!
- Facts and numbers? If your audience likes detail, then producing facts and figures in a visual format may be worth consideration. There are some tools to produce your branded infographics, such as PikToChart.
- Live Streaming – your audience may be the type of people who like to have their say, and live streaming is one of the best ways to get the conversation going. Check out Blab, Periscope and now Facebook Live streaming.
- Presentations – if you have presented a Powerpoint to a group of people, then I strongly urge you to upload your powerpoint to Slideshare – this way you can easily share it with your target audience by sending people the link. Producing your presentation in Slideshare is a much better way to protect your intellectual property as you can password limit visibility to the slides. I use SlideRocket which is brilliant!
Reason #4 – I know “How”, but where do I get ideas of what to post?
I use some difference sources to get ideas of things to talk about online. Ssshhh don't tell anyone, but here are my top five places that I go to when I get stuck of things to blog about:-
- Amazon – just search for your keyword in the Amazon search box and see what books come to the top of your list. With Amazon you can take a look at the table of contents – these are usually an inspiration for a blog title. The brilliant part is that any book that appears in the top of the Amazon search list is very popular. Therefore, you are onto a winner for your content idea before you've even written your blog.
- Buzzsumo – I love this software. Type in your keyword i.e.,: Content Marketing, and see what articles are trending online for this particular subject. Then get your ideas for your new blog from the list of articles presented to you.
- Quora.com. – Quora is a social networking site where members type in their questions on a chosen topic. This is how I got the idea for this particular blog! Someone wrote, “How can I make my content more appealing?” – guess where I am going to post this blog when I click publish? 🙂
- Google News – this is another area that people tend not to explore very often. On Google, just type your chosen topic, then click “search tools” – you can then filter your content to the last week, or the last 24 hours to get the most up to date content.
Reason #5 – Design and optimise your content
I know this may sound a bit crazy, but it is important to design and optimise your blog article. Writing a fantastic article will not get viewed if it is not pleasing to the eye. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Does your content flow well or do you have extremely long paragraphs?
- Do you include bullet points and checklists?
- Are you adding a call to action at the end of your blog
- Are you encouraging your audience to explore you site with “related articles” at the bottom of your site?
- Have you added an image? (please tell me it is not a cheesy stock image?) – we have found that images with text within the image has increased our click through rate by 12%!
- Have you used H2 tags throughout the content?
- Have you optimised your content for SEO? We use Yoast WordPress plugin to achieve the best results for Google search.
- Have you activated social sharing tools, or perhaps included a scatter of “click to tweet” buttons in the content?
The bottom line is that you need to always have the customer in mind whenever you are producing any type of content. If it is a video, a blog or a webinar, always use jargon-free language and make sure that you are sending the content to the right people.