Hello SOTGC community,
Content is paying attention and listening. Always. Anywhere. Everywhere. And that is what I am doing this exact moment as I write. My site of crime: the liveliest place around – a busy café in downtown Augsburg, Germany.
The phrase “content marketing” has been circling the web persistently for quite some time. Every marketer nowadays talks about it as if it were a new trend, turning it into a marketing hype. So what exactly are we talking about?! Content marketing is creating relevant and valuable information for a defined group of people, in other words, your audience, your target group, your customers. The question is however: aren’t we doing that already?! Yes and no. We are writing in order to share our knowledge and create a benefit for those who follow us and read what we have to say. More often, however, our audience doesn’t notice any of our great intentions or doesn’t react to our skillfully and witty written texts. Why is that?
We need to research our target groups. We need to know who is sitting on the other side of the screen and identify what interests them. Often enough, we are sure of knowing exactly what our audience is like, but really – do we know what problems they bump into during their daily work? It is essential to get in touch with your target group. Sit down and do some research. Ask them what they want to read. Listen, listen, and listen. Find out what moves your crowd. That’ll give you the chance to create content that is memorable and, most importantly, shareable.
More than meets the eye
The second key factor hit me when I was recently sitting in front of a delicious looking cup of cappuccino. Looking down on the cup, I was anticipating a creamy, savory, and rich-tasting coffee experience – no telling what would happen if those expectations weren’t met! And that’s where I found a parallel to content. If the content we create is nothing more than just a nice eye catcher, then we can be assured that our audience is unlikely to stay attentive. Because if the content isn’t convincing, why should I come back for more? So the point I am making is: Focus on “meaty” content instead of creating content that is just tasty looking. Use the knowledge you got out of your target group research. And, furthermore, share your knowledge when writing. Let others participate and you will benefit from their participation.
All you need is SEO?
Nowadays everyone talks about search engine optimization (SEO) and it is handled as the cure for making your business even more successful and profitable on the web. You can hear statements like, “You aren’t investing in professional SEO?! No wonder your business isn’t visible on the web!” The answer is, however, by far easier than you might expect: If you focus on good content you will automatically rank higher without investing bigtime into search engine optimization. Take a look at successful blogs. The secret behind their success is just as logical as it is simple: they focused on their target groups and created valuable content. Therefore their audience shared it, talked about it, and referred to it. Google recognized their site as valuable – there you go: perfect SEO.
At the end of the day, good content marketing lives by the fact that you have a strategy behind it. Don’t leave it up to chance to create content. Instead, you should plan your next steps by referring to the research you did beforehand. That will give you the chance to publish actively instead of reacting. A content strategy is really something like change management since the demand for information as well as our digital audience keep on ever changing. Just like the taste for coffee can change, so can the interests and needs of your target groups. So be out there and listen. Always. Anywhere. Everywhere.
What are your experiences? Have you recently checked your content? Is it still up to date with your target group? Share you experiences with me – I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts!