Back to Basics Part 2: How to Do Content Marketing, Correctly

art-692876_1280As messaging and communications experts, crafting the right articles, replies and thought-provoking insights is now as important as getting traction on press releases.

In the previous blog, we wanted to demystify what content marketing is and set a foundation. Below are some thoughts on how to ace it like a pro.

  1. Be prepared to refine a strategy.

Sending out a press release and getting media coverage used to be a defined process. It involved very little strategy; mostly tactics and a high dependence on relations with media. Content marketing is different. You need a strategy. But not one that is written in stone. It constantly needs to be refined and updated. The reason is that as content consumption changes it can be amended or repackaged so that it continues to uniquely target your audience.

  1. Your future customer may be a passive reader.

Have you heard of a novella that became an overnight success with its readers? The only people who have are the reviewers and critics—those who have a stake in engaging quickly. Your actual readers (or customers) may only engage with you after reading more than a few pages. Consider the mind of the reader: He or she needs to choose to invest time and resources to follow your postings among the hundreds of other similar content destinations. It’s like choosing your favorite author. It takes time, and a lot of passive reading. So invest some time to build up your fan base.

  1. Avoid sales drivel, seriously.

A lot of corporate content is written like a sales brochure. Unfortunately, the reason is because many of these projects are funded like sales or marketing activities are, with defined MQL numbers. But the risk and cost of losing readers is high. Once you lose your readers’ interest, it is much more difficult to get them back. They may even become your worse critic. It is not like losing a sales prospect where some sales tools can be employed to win them back. So be judicious when adding a sales pitch into your content…you are taking a huge risk. It is a major reason why content bureaus are being introduced in many major corporations.[bctt tweet=”Continue to uniquely target your audience” username=”@BroadPR”]

  1. People read content differently online.

Have you heard of someone reading an entire novel online over 6 hours, all in one sitting? It could be done with an actual book or on a Kindle. But not typically online, and definitely not on social media. Be prepared to write “snackable” content that can be repurposed across different media platforms. It is a specific skill set that does not often start with “Once upon a time…” or end with “They lived happily ever after.”

  1. People want entertainment in transit.

It’s strange that many firms do not write content for people on the go. The advertising industry did, and ended up creating a whole industry developing catchy slogans that made people notice their brands while they are on their way somewhere. Content should be written that way too. Don’t bet on it being read during work. It is fast becoming a luxury.

  1. Become a follow-up maven.

A lot of content marketing is written for engagement. But remember that engagement is not one-way. If someone says something–critical and congratulatory—start engaging. If someone has an additional note or insight, continue engaging. If you are not prepared to engage and have fun with it, don’t do content marketing. Anything less than consistent and full engagement will have a negative effect on all of the efforts you put into content marketing.

These are only some of the insights gleaned from doing content management over the past number of years. There are a lot more, but the above are some key ones that will help get your content management on the right track.