Content marketing can bring targeted leads, increase sales and build massive awareness.
If done correctly, content marketing can really make a massive impact on how well your website brings in visitors and assists in both lead generation and sales.
The problem is though, some businesses go at their content strategy from the wrong angle and it can lead to some critical mistakes which can hamper chances of being successful online.
The biggest obstacle to get around is the fact you are not, I repeat, not trying to sell something to your visitors.
The most common mistake people make is that they come at content marketing from a business oriented perspective; how can I make money from this?
If you continue thinking this way, you are not going to start raking in the cash.
It is all about the user experience
Thinking from the visitor’s point of view is not only important, it is vital. Content strategy is all about analyzing what the user wants.
You look at similar websites within your niche market, look at the problems and issues which are facing customers within that industry and then tailor content accordingly.
Even if your site has a broad demographic, you can be very smart by using personas to speak to different groups of people. Target your content marketing to suit the audience rather than to suit your sales funnel.
The next critical mistake is the usage of social media for content marketing. There is a mentality among some internet marketers and online businesses that social profiles are there to purely promote your website, content and brand. This is so far from the truth.
Social media is exactly that “social”
Content marketing on social media doesn’t necessarily have to include your own content. Social media is exactly that “social,” nobody is going to follow you on if you come contrary.
Twitter just to read a new blog post you have written. Why would they? Unless you a recognizable brand, what authority or reputation do you have to think they would be interested in what you have to say?
Content is only valued if it is authoritative
Your own content only becomes valuable to them once you build the authority necessary to demonstrate you know what you are talking about and know what’s important to them. To do this, interaction is the key.
Whether you are on Facebook, Twitter of Google+, common courtesy allows you a way in to the market. Look for authorities within your niche market on these social networking sites.
They don’t have to big names within the market themselves but they have substantial followers, fans or circles which you can begin to tap into.
Start sharing or retweeting these people’s content, commenting on their blog posts, messaging them personally for advice and what will begin to happen is that you will build up a rapport.
You might say, isn’t this all social media marketing? Well, yes it is but there is no dividing line between content and social media marketing; the two has to be used in tandem to be effective.
Sharing other peoples’ content as well as your own demonstrate that you are there to help your fans and followers get the information they require. It is shows demonstrably you are not a salesman looking for a quick sale.
This leads nicely into my third critical mistake in content marketing: not building trust.
Trust is the hardest thing to gain when promoting a website business, but if you do, you can really make some great strides with sales.
For content marketing, the best way to do this is through producing content which is unique and extremely helpful to your readers.
Whether it is a white paper, ebook or a simple infographic, the type of information that provides value without asking anything in return is priceless:
You are not asking for any favors and on top of that you are building a community which down the line, is going to help you sell products both directly through them and indirectly by being brand advocates.
Keep the interaction through replying to feedback on social networks and blog comments, and tailor content to requests too.
Using both analytics and direct user feedback is not only good for boosting a community’s numbers but also engenders loyalty from your site visitors as they know you will help them to solve their issues and problems.
You are not looking for one quick sale from these guys. Consistently good content will have people returning and their trust will mean your lifetime revenue from such customers is a lot higher.
If you take anything away from this blog post it is this, focus on your user needs, not your own! Take this advice on board and content marketing can become very straightforward.
I'm Michael Chibuzor. I'm a Freelance Writer who cares about your business. I regularly contribute to Problogger, Lifehack, Under30CEO, FreelanceSwitch and JohnChow. If you want to drive real-time traffic and sales, hire me to write for you. You'd be glad you did! Read more...