I just finished writing an incredibly in-depth digital marketing guide for one of my clients and realized that marketing is stuck in a rut. No, I don’t mean businesses are stuck. I mean, marketing as a field is stuck.
Because I’m still talking about the same problems and solutions I did 8 years ago when I first started writing about online marketing and digital strategies.
And guess what? NOBODY SEEMS TO BE LISTENING!
Businesses are still going the old route i.e. wasting resources on buying the “best” keyword tools, collaborating with influencers who have nothing in common with their brand, focusing on vanity metrics instead of actionable metrics, and using the “spray and pray” approach for their marketing campaigns.
If your strategy is to burn as much capital as possible to get 15 minutes of viral fame, kudos! Everything on the aforementioned list will help you accomplish that.
But if you want to have a sustainable business with steady growth and meaningful accomplishments, which go beyond viral content and trends - something that actually helps you generate revenue in the long-term, then you need to get content marketing right.
As the title suggests, there is a good chance that you have already heard of these content marketing tips before but they are so criminally underutilized that I almost feel like it is my moral responsibility to reiterate them.
So, let’s dive deeper!
Adding value to your target audience’s lives
If I had a dollar for every time a business asked me to create a blog post on the “top 5 digital marketing channels for small businesses” or “8 myths about online marketing,” I’d be the one being photographed on a beach, covered in 80 SPF sunscreen, going viral on Reddit (Yes, I’m talking about Elon).
See that? That’s how crowded the space is.
The problem with this type of content is that it isn’t striking enough to grab your target audience’s fading attention. It’s been done so many times that you won’t even rank for it unless you have a considerable domain authority or enough resources to market the hell out of it.
Adding value is the only way to stand out!
How do you do that?
The short answer is, novelty!
Find a unique angle. In a crowded space, the only way to get noticed is when you are talking about something new. Because while everyone else is recycling content from the top 3 ranking blog posts, you are the only one who’s putting out a fresh thought.
Think about it: Let’s say, you are one of the hundred sellers in a physical market. If you dare to talk about the benefits of your product while everyone else is talking about how cheap their products are, you definitely have a higher chance of getting seen.
You probably won’t get all the sales BUT you will get found.
That’s no different on SERPs. The most unique content gets found the most and the recycled content (read: trash) gets tossed back to the 50th page.
Being authentic and empathetic
The governments around the world might be telling us that we are on the verge of entering a recession, but we can all feel the heat already.
The economic crisis has hit us already and almost every business can feel the disposable income being withdrawn from the market.
The only way to ensure that new buyers choose you and that your existing customers stay with you is by showing them you care. Not just for the sake of getting their money but because you actually do care.
Businesses are built on offering solutions. 90% of startups fail and the #1 reason that happens is that they misread the market demand. They think there’s a demand for their product when there is no market for their business.
This is an interesting stat and the way I see it, it all boils down to business owners failing to empathize with the people who are experiencing the problem whose solution they are looking to offer when developing their product or service. And that’s what leads to the eventual downfall.
“Knowing what your customer needs and understanding why finding a solution for their problem is so important to them is at the core of successful content marketing.”
Let them know that you don’t exist to take their money in these trying times. Tell them you understand how making the right investment choice is important for them at present.
Help them with guides, resources, and blog posts - basically, any type of content - that you think will make their decision-making process easier. This is one way to establish your authority while building trust with your target audience. 2 of the 3 most important factors that help businesses get noticed online.
Focusing your resources in one place at a time (especially if you are a small business)
Don’t believe/follow everything you see on the internet. The place is full of contradictions. Here’s a year-old example that still holds up.
If you throw an idea out there, chances are that there will be at least a thousand people who will agree with you.
Don’t believe me? Check out Quora or Reddit.
Most of the advice I see marketing agencies give out is unrealistic, ineffective, and impractical for small businesses with limited resources. (ex: spending $2,000 on A/B testing ads).
In some cases, you could benefit more from spending that much on creating good content.
Because when you invest $2,000 on A/B testing content, you end up building a content library if nothing else, which could be tweaked and used for organic marketing and repurposing later on.
The best strategy forward is to always, always, always focus on growing one channel at any given point.
If you are focusing on growing your organic following using blog posts, go all in on that.
If you wish to improve your social media engagement, double down on your efforts.
If you are updating old content and publishing them in new packaging, focus all your energy on doing just that!
Don’t get me wrong! Integrated marketing is brilliant. It is one of the best digital marketing strategies for scaling your business and even growth hacking.
Having said that, most integrated marketers don’t actually care about whether or not you have the resources to implement their strategies when they are busy trying to sell you their services aggressively.
Do what’s best for your situation!
And if you still don’t know how to begin your content marketing journey, let’s have a chat.