Content marketing may not be as difficult as physics or heart surgery but there is still certain layers of complexity that need to be considered. If you want your blog posts, infographics or videos to go viral, you have to first develop a content strategy and then commit to monitoring and optimizing your content instead of making decisions solely based on gut instinct or assumption.
After six or seven years of being a blogger, I’ve learned a thing or two about the entire process… One of the most important things I learned is that blogging is a commitment. It needs to be worked into your DNA so that you are willing to think about stories that can be told on a regular basis and that you can do so without constantly hitting a “writers block”. Furthermore, you have to write about something you actually care about, it’s the only way that you’ll be able to write without burnout.
When you’re confident that the content you’re creating is a true passion you don’t get anxious when you sit down to write or when someone comments asking a question. What you see and feel is opportunity. An opportunity to further share your passion and further spread your story and ultimately create content they will love.
If you want to ensure that your content is loved, check these items off the list:
Embrace your Voice
Everyone has heard the gurus talk about the importance of being authentic. I’m here to tell you to throw that out the window. Instead of trying to be authentic, just be YOU. Do your thing whatever that may be. Embrace not only the way you speak but also the references you include in your blog posts. Not everyone has the same tone, not everyone has the same interests, focus on what you’re interested in and you’ll be surprised how much more effective you’ll be. Some of my most popular blog posts are the ones where I embrace my inner geek. Whether it’s Confidence lessons that will show people how to be like Tony Stark or a blog post filled with 90s references relating back to generating business growth; people embrace the human voice.
If you watch a video of Gary Vaynerchuk on Wine Library TV, you quickly notice his personality. You get a quick idea of what you’re going to be in for and within minutes you know his favourite football team and that he’s not your average sommelier. Beyond that you immediate recognize that Gary isn’t pretending. There is no show. There is no act. He’s being himself and he’s always on.
Give it All Away
Over the last few years I’ve delivered a variety of workshops to a variety of different industries. During a few of these workshops I talk about the importance of blogging and how blogging can provide businesses and entrepreneurs with a chance to excel.When talking about blogging I always express how this approach to content marketing will allow them to increase awareness or even demonstrate a certain level of expertise. Yet, I’m always met with the same concern. But what if my competitors see it? or…what will the need me for? I hear it time and time again. So what’s my response?
You don’t sell info. You sell results. If a visitor wants to take the detailed blog post you wrote about how to find success using content marketing and try to find success; that’s okay! More than likely, they (1) didn’t have the budget to work with your, (2) would have been a client that micromanaged everything or (3) will come knocking in a few months. A great example of a blogger giving it all away is the folks at KissMetrics and their blog on various approaches to digital marketing. David Sherry said it best:
— David Sherry (@DavidSherry36) January 28, 2013
Hold Nothing Back
This is something that will take a while to get used to but will provide you with great freedom. Not only that, your customers will begin to adore you for actually wearing your heart on your sleeve and saying what you truly feel. If you see something that bugs you and feel as if your customers would benefit from hearing about it, share it with them. If you’ve recently gone through a life changing experience that you feel could benefit others if they heard the story, share it with them. Hold nothing back.
One blogger I’ve been following over the last few years is Penelope Trunk. She’s one of the most outspoken bloggers around and without question one of my favourites. She doesn’t hold anything back. Whether she’s sharing content about why it’s a good idea to cancel veterans day or questioning whether or not drugs can help your career. She doesn’t hold back and it’s one of the reasons she’s one of the most successful writers/bloggers on the web.
Never Settle for Mediocre Content
I’ve talked about this blog before but I think it should be pointed out that OKCupid really put content marketing on the map. They were dedicated to ensuring that every blog post they put out was insightful, intriguing, relevant and often times provocative. OKCupid was consistently creating blog posts that would help their users get more dates or share insights that the public has always wanted an answer for but never knew. If you can promise and commit your blog to only publishing content that people will find valuable and worth sharing; you’ll see great results and develop a following of fans who love your content.
If you can write content with the insights highlighted above in mind, your content is more likely to spread and be loved. Now when you decide to take the above tips and put them into action, don’t just assume they are going to work for every blog post you write. Look through your Google Analytics and see what topics people have been interested in prior to this strategy. See what your audience is interested in and determine if it lines up with what you’re able to offer or are currently offering. Once you’ve done that you’re one step closing to making your readers fall in love. And if you like it then you better put a ring on.
What other tips and tricks can make your readers fall head over heals?