Content marketing has existed for hundreds of years, since people decided to turn on the information flow, share ideas, and draw people into their businesses through their trusted reputation. Joe Pulizzi is the founder and CEO of Content Marketing Institute and the godfather behind the Institute’s Content Marketing World conference that happens in Cleveland every year. In an interview with Crain’s Cleveland Business, Pulizzi says that “now every consumer controls their own information flow … what that means is our customers can ignore us at will.”
So how can you move customers to tap into your business content?
Know Your Target
Why does your business do content marketing? Is it because content marketing is good, and everyone else is doing it? You can’t base your content marketing strategy on that generic feeling. You need to know why you’re creating content, and this depends on your business objectives. Pulizzi states that businesses must remain oriented on their objective when they embark or expand upon a content marketing campaign. In an interview in MarketingLand, he says that your business must ask “why are we doing the program? What is the objective?” and consider what metrics will tell you if you’re reaching that goal. For example, if you want to grow your customers in a new area of your business, measure the increase in that product’s sales instead of measuring general traffic to your blog. At the Content Marketing Institute, this means that they’re now focused on education related to content “planning, strategy and measurement.”
Feed the Need
When you create content, consider whether your audience truly needs this content. In the same Marketingland interview, Pulizzi says that “the content most companies create is not irreplaceable” and that “some enterprises don’t even have an idea of how much content they are creating and where it’s coming from.” Know there why behind your content, and focus on becoming the “best of breed” with your specific content. Find the place where your company excels and fill that niche.
Your content should be focused on audience needs, not on the sales pitch. Pulizzi says that too often, he sees content that’s focused on a product rather than on the customer. Companies need to hire people who are focused on understanding the customer and telling the story that the customer wants to hear. The more people in the organization that are 100% focused on audience needs, the better.
Your business needs to focus on a specific target when you’re feeding the hungry customers. In his Marketingland interview, Pulizzi says that businesses “have problems targeting a niche audience and not multiple personas at the same time.” Know your personas and boldly create content that targets them as individuals. Hit the target in the bullseye rather than by placing arrows all around the center.
Talk Like a Human
Like Ann Handley, Pulizzi focuses on storytelling as the key to exceptional content. When asked in Marketingland what some of the problems are with content marketing today, he states that content marketers “have issues sounding like human beings in their content.” Your business is reaching out to humans, so you need to tell stories that will touch the minds and hearts of other humans. Adding buzzwords and techno-talk might make your marketing sound important, but it’s the mental and emotional engagement customers have with your content that draws them to your organization.
Content marketing isn’t about the push, it’s about the pull. How are you pulling customers into your business? Media Shower can make your content plan come to life. Contact us and request a free content marketing assessment today.