Content marketing can be a very difficult concept to grasp — especially for those of us who’ve spent a long time working with more traditional marketing and sales techniques. That said, it’s not hard to learn. It is, however, difficult to learn to do well. Here are five truths you should keep at the top of your mind if you want to do content marketing right.
1. Content marketing is never promotional; it is not about advertising yourself, selling yourself or tooting your own horn. Promotional products bore users. Good content marketing is about sharing knowledge and expertise.
2. Content marketing topics are always relevant. No matter what you put out, your content should never be generic. It should be specific, focused and relevant to your audience. The key question to ask yourself, before beginning any content creation, is: will this be useful to my audience. (And then, just to keep things clear, you should describe exactly how it will be useful. If you can do that, you’ve probably got a good topic to work with.)
3. Content marketing materials always solve a problem or answer a question. And, you should never waste time solving a problem that’s already been solved elsewhere.
4. Content marketing is always well crafted. You don’t have to be a literary superstar to write content that is clear, accurate and at least somewhat engaging. Be authentic and proofread your stuff before uploading. No matter how great your ideas are, if they’re tough or boring to read, or riddled with errors, your content marketing will fail.
5. Content marketing is always justified. No matter what claim your content marketing is making — for example, if you put out a content that talks about “headlines that work” (which we’ve done here on our own site) — you need to back up that claim. In our case, we explain why certain types of headlines work. We examine the psychology behind the claim and provide examples to back up our premise. No matter what you’re claiming, you should do the same. (FYI: quotes, testimonials and statistics or metrics are all great ways to “prove” your claims.)
Go forth and market.