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A long time ago, we wrote about SEO fast food (I’ll Take #1 Ranking with That, but Hold the Fries). The idea of SEO fast food is that everyone wants fast online marketing; they want fast results. They want to attract and retain customers, they want to change and enhance behaviors. They want miracles to happen with their content marketing.
But content marketing is more than words. It’s more than creating copy and posting it online. It’s more than blog posts, articles, videos, press releases and traffic generating buzz.
Beyond the Buzz
Your business is a living entity. Like any living entity, it feeds and grows. It can be nourished or starve. If your business lives and breathes, why should your marketing be any different?
Now, people assume that content is content is content, and that words are what does the selling. But it’s not the words. It’s the story; it’s the conscience; it’s the emotions. Superman wouldn’t have been quite so super if he hadn’t had Clark Kent’s alter ego and loved Lois Lane. That’s part of the story – part of the emotions.
Beyond the buzz of “Superman saves the day” is the story of Clark Kent, a normal guy who’s love didn’t know he existed.
What’s your story? Are you telling it? And, are you telling it in a way that makes sense?
Part of any strong marketing campaign is consistency. Not only is a consistent tone important, but also a consistent brand message. As we wrote in Dear, Sweet Internet Marketer – Connect the Stinkin’ Dots Already that consistency is important across the board from point, to point, to point.
This means your logo needs to be the same across all social networks. It means if Bob is your content creator on ABC site then Bob needs to be your content person on XYZ site. It also means that in every piece of writing in which your company is mentioned, the spelling, capitalization, and spacing needs to be the same.
Why is this important?
Understanding brand development
A company brand is developed from several points of interest. For example, the positive aspects of a brand can develop through personal interaction with products, brand perception based on media ads, and brand perception based on the word of mouth activity from advocates (among others). As the brand develops so does positive or negative emotion toward that brand.
With everything that you market, with every point where you meet the customer, you have to be consistent. But consistent with what? The answer is value.
When your potential customers meet you, when they come across your company, the very first question they’re going to want to answer is “What’s in it for me?” You’d better have that answer ready.
Focus on customer pain. “This is your problem. We understand your problem. We can help you with your problem.” In other words, the world may be dealing with serious issues, but there’s a new way to do things -and that’s your way.
You see, beyond the buzz there has to be answers. Who. What. When. Where. Why. How.
- Who are you?
- What are you offering me?
- How will it help me?
- Why should I buy from you?
- Where can I use this?
- When will I see returns?
How you choose to answer these questions, whether you do it with individual articles or a 5-second video, is up to you. However, the answers have to be there. Show your value.
You see examples of compelling marketing everywhere you go. You see them on billboard ads, television ads, print ads… Everywhere you see various examples of marketing meant to extol the virtues of products. –Or, more correctly, your own virtues if you simply own this product.
This dress will make you look smaller. This car will make you more successful. This hair will make you beautiful. No matter what the ad is selling, it’s created specifically to compel the target market into buying. The way you do that is to understand customers need, what they want – their points of pain. Then you create offers that directly address those pain points.
- Define your target audience: Who are they? What problems will you solve for them? What type of information will they be interested in? Compelling content solves (or promises to solve) problems, shares information, or provides them with updates.
- Identify social networks: Where is your target market found? Some of the more popular are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, SlideShare and LinkedIn. However, your market may be more active on the less popular. Don’t just assume they’re found on the above; do your research.
- Establish preferred media: How does your target market prefer to ingest information? They have multiple options: video, podcasts, presentations, infographics, images, and e books are just a few. Publishing through the various forms of media gives them more options.
- Brainstorm content ideas: Have you ever seen the Never-ending Story? Well, you’re writing the never-ending story for your company. As you brainstorm, break the huge, overwhelming story into bite-sized pieces. The whole story is told, but in bits small enough for a person to consume and understand in one sitting.
- Create the content: Write, record, create!
- Optimize your content: Make sure your content, no matter where you upload it, has strong headlines. Double check that you’ve put it in a bite-sized structure (headings and bullet points, for example). Make sure it’s on topic, and – last but not least – that it’s social friendly!
Beyond the Buzz
You’ll read a lot about creating copy that builds buzz. However, “buzz” is just another “buzz word”. What all the content marketers are saying is, “Create copy that compels.” We say, “Create,” because it very seldom just happens. Ask any copywriter out there.
You can use link bait (we have); you can use info graphics (we have). You can use videos and other forms of moving, inviting content. However, if your content isn’t consistent, if it doesn’t show value, if it doesn’t compel, it’s still just…. Content.
-And content alone is just words on a page with no meaning.