You don’t have to spend much time learning about content marketing to find the phrase “content is king,” but that metaphor doesn’t tell the whole story about your content. In fact, it leaves out one of the key concepts about content. When people stay on your website to read a whole article, take action on your landing page or subscribe to your newsletter, they’re casting a vote. Content isn’t king; it’s democratically elected. With that in mind, what can you do to get your audience’s votes and win their support?
All the careful content marketing in the world won’t help if the content itself is dull. That doesn’t refer to the subject matter but to the content itself. Too often, B2B companies assume that because their products are utilitarian, the content they supply can’t be creative, colorful and clear. If anything, these subjects take a little extra thought on the part of your content creation team to make them sing. Finding a creative metaphor to link concepts to something concrete or illustrate how a practical application works can turn any subject into an engaging one. One of our most widely shared posts was about the lessons content managers can learn from wine-tasting. Not everyone’s familiar with content marketing, but tastings are familiar territory.
Before every election, candidates have voter drives to get as many potential supporters registered and headed to the booths as possible. Think of publicizing your content and cross-referencing it via social media channels as your own version of a voter drive. It’s a myth that great content will always find an audience without at least a little effort on your part. Especially in B2B sectors, companies have a tendency to silo their content, focusing on the activities of publishing newsletters and keeping up with social media without seeing the bigger content picture. When everything you publish leads back to other branded content, your audience for each channel grows.
Everything you publish contributes to your audience’s perception of you. Ideally, that perception is one of knowledgeable, authoritative expertise. While SEO content can give your traffic a boost, those gains will only be temporary if your new visitors don’t get what they expect to find from your content. Marketers and business owners who invest heavily in SEO alone without supplying sufficient information to welcome curious prospects to dig deeper will lose their audiences’ interest exactly when they should be encouraging it. There are no shortcuts here: Authority takes time and effort to build. The good news is that the process never stops; every blog post you publish, every newsletter you send and every white paper you offer lends weight to your authority.
Know Where You’re Going with Your Content Strategy
The more specific you are about your content strategy and what you expect it to accomplish, the more successful your content can be. It isn’t enough to define success as “more traffic” or “increased sales.” You need defined audience segments, quantifiable metrics and measurable results. Marketing automation is one way to keep everything on track by letting you discover more about your audience, reaching them with triggered messages and engaging them with targeted content. Random Facebook updates, tweets and blog posts are fine for personal communications, but they have no place in a professional content strategy.
People vote with their feet. If they don’t find what they like from your content, they’ll look elsewhere, so be prepared to give it to them. Don’t let content be a passive if benevolent monarch; make it work for every vote.