A few years ago, companies only created content to meet their internal needs, such as when launching a new product or approaching a one-time event. In 2013, this strategy is no longer sufficient. Content marketing now appears to be a necessity for those who want to find a place in the sun on the internet … Easier said than done!
Today, no matter your industry or your marketing goals, editorial content plays an important part in the success of your digital strategy. To exist in a hyper-connected world where the consumer now has control over the research and dissemination of information, the business needs to produce content that is able to please them, whether through blog articles, podcasts, webinars or Ebooks.
Although content marketing is not yet a strategy known and used by all, it is interesting to note that more and more companies have decided to integrate it into their overall digital strategy. However, many have not yet absorbed some basic rules and are unable to achieve the goals they had set for themselves. In order to remedy this, I offer in this article a list of three common errors encountered during the implementation of an activity of content marketing as well as the ways to correct the situation to finally take the path of success.
1) You don’t blog regularly enough
Content is king, right?
It is said so often that it has almost become a refrain. Yet it remains no less true. Content marketing is a central activity, even essential, in any digital strategy and which requires that you regularly produce quality content in order to attract traffic to your site. Statistically, companies that update their blog at least 20 times a month (i.e. that publish content every day of the week) generate 5 times more traffic and 4 times more leads than those that only produce it once a week.
How to fix it: Create an editorial calendar.
Gather your team together the least and do a little brainstorming exercise. Find out what questions your customers ask you on a daily basis or what kind of information would help them solve their problems. When you have found 15 or 20 interesting topics, identify the types of content to produce (ebook, blog article, video, podcast, Facebook status, etc.) and plan your publication dates in a uniform way so that your workflow appears constant and regular in the eyes of your readers.
2) You talk too much about your products and services
Yes, I know, the temptation to disguise your articles in self-promotion campaigns is sometimes too strong. After all, your goal is to advertise yourself, right? Not quite. Rather, your goal would be to provide your readers with educational and informative content that will help them solve their problems. If you get there, you won’t need to think about promotion, you will make yourself known in a natural way.
How to fix it: Adopt the 10-4-1 rule.
This is a very simple and effective rule that allows you to properly dose the number of messages with a “self-promotional” vocation in a content marketing strategy in order to keep the reader interested in the content that you offer. For 15 published messages:
- 10 of them will be curation messages intended to propose to your readers subjects likely to interest them. To do this, you will first need to identify quality external sources located in your area of expertise and offer it to your audience. Feel free to add a comment or remark to explain why you chose to offer this or that article.
- 4 of them will be content that you’re the author of, whether it’s a blog post, a podcast, a video, etc. The goal is to attract visitors to your site and demonstrate your expertise through the quality of the content you share.
- Only 1 of them will be purely promotional content leading to a landing page which will give access to one of your offers: ebook, free quote, case study, description of your products and services, discount coupons, etc.
3) You don’t know who you’re talking to
One of the golden rules of content marketing is “know your audience”. If you have absolutely no idea who your readers and customers are, then it will be very difficult (if not impossible) to capture their attention and hope to attract them to your website. For an effective content strategy, you must align with the interests of your customers.
Joe Pulizzi, CEO of Content Marketing Institute gives us his opinion on this subject:
“Rule number 1 for an effective content strategy is this: your customers are not interested in your products or services. They are interested in them. So our role as marketers is to make sure that our content is useful, interesting, and even entertaining. To do this, we need to know who our customers really are, what they are looking for and how our content can help them. Then we just have to decide what kind of story we want to tell and what media to broadcast it to reach our customers. “
How to fix it: Identify your Buyer Personas.
A buyer persona is a fictitious representation of your ideal client. He is an archetype, a utopian character who takes on the salient characteristics of your real customers or those you would like to have. By identifying exactly the people you want to attract to your website, you will be able to create tailor-made and personalized content for them, and you will therefore be more efficient at producing quality articles. To do this, build an “identification sheet” for each of your target audiences by answering the following questions:
- What is their personal information (age, education, hobbies, etc.);
- What is their professional information (title, employer, salary, etc.);
- What are its objectives ? ;
- What are its daily challenges? ;
You may have to identify many Buyer Personas, depending on your activity or sector. The important thing is that you always have one of them in mind when you create content and that it is useful to it and that it meets one of its needs.
The Benefits of Content Marketing
Implementing and sticking to a content strategy is a daily challenge for all marketing professionals. It is a binding, time-consuming activity that requires a lot of rigor. However, the benefits of this activity are incalculable: more visibility, more solid SEO or even recognition as an expert in your sector are just a few of them. Applying good content marketing practices on a daily basis is the best way to optimize your digital strategy, don’t miss this opportunity!