This is a guest post written by Thijs Messelaar. Thijs has more than 15 years’ experience writing, developing content, and informing marketing strategy for various clients, including high tech, higher education, and highly-rated restaurants.
The best content marketing feels like a great story.
In fact, in many ways content marketing gets the most results because it IS a great story. It captures your imagination. It challenges you. It asks for your trust. And, if it’s truly tops, the payoff is big.
In order to get results from your content, a solid content marketing strategy must be in place. No doubt about it. Simply just creating incredible content and walking away from it probably isn’t going to get you what you want.
Key Content Marketing Channels
Content marketing requires a careful scientific approach in order to get results. Content needs to be curated, cajoled, packaged, posted, pruned, repurposed, prettified, shared, shorn, shifted, pushed out, and run up the flagpole.
To get results from your content, your content will have to be created for and/or distributed through key marketing channels like these:
- Your website assets
- Landing pages
- Case studies
- Team (clout)
- Accolades and awards
- Surveys and quizzes
- White papers
- SEO (onsite)/SEM (AdWords)
- Social media (organic)
- Retargeted ads (web and social media)
- Social media ads, promoted posts, offers
- Webinars, trainings, and mini-courses
- Podcasts (audio and video)
You need to organize and optimize your sales pipeline by identifying your goals, audience, and your content marketing channels. And like a good scientist, you’ll have to analyze your results and revise your approach, over and again and again.
Examining all aspects of your content marketing strategy – creation, distribution, engagement – on your content marketing ROI is essential.
The Magic of Content Marketing
But without producing the most interesting, the most useful, the most delicious writing, design and ideas to place in these various channels, your content marketing will be dead in the water.
Great content marketing moves you to do something new and unfamiliar. Or it makes you understand something familiar in a new way. And like a really good story, you want to share good content with everyone. It’s affirming (or reaffirming) and engaging and makes you feel its magic. The magic of content marketing that gets results may be found in the sense of clear authority it imparts.
But the magic of a great story is something intangible. It comes from a true place within you (your soul, let’s say) – and connects with your audience (their souls).
But much of the best content marketing is built on novel, engaging, social, physical, and emotional experiences – not solely on rote data analysis.
Douglas Van Praet advances this relatively controversial take on current marketing practices. “We need to generate smiles, tears, or goose bumps—not significant differences correlated at the 95% confidence interval! These are the things that […] data tabulations will never capture, but they are also the things that make us buy brands,” he writes.
Likewise, these key content marketing attributes are also the essential characteristics of our most favorite and enduring stories.
If yours is merely content created for the sake of just churning more content – that is, if you don’t care much for what you’re writing about – your audience won’t care much either. It will curdle the moment they consume it.
Without moving your audience emotionally, you won’t have excited them intellectually, you won’t have made them care about you or gained their valuable (and venerable) trust. And surely your audience won’t hold your story “near-and-dear” to their hearts in a way that compels them to retell it to everyone and anyone who will listen.
The overall result? Well, poor results from your content marketing and ultimately a weakening of your brand’s standing.
Start your content creation from the soul by being yourself and talking about what you love. You’ll make connections and grow your audience just as the best storytellers have always done.
In the end, you’ll succeed with content marketing in ways you never might have imagined possible – and feel good doing it.
That in itself will be a story worth telling.