Recently I have gone through Content Rules by Ann Handley & C. C. Chapman again to freshen up my approach to content marketing. Without further explanation, we all know content is king. If you need to drive traffic to your site, you will generally end up with paid traffic such as PPC, PPV, media buy, etc…leverage traffic like joint venture, affiliate, swapping for thank you page, email, tweets, etc…or content marketing like video marketing, article marketing, blogging, forum marketing, etc…
Think about all the free traffic techniques that we are doing, those are pretty much content marketing. So, without awesome quality content, it will be hard to drive decent traffic. In this post, I will share some of findings I learned from this book – Content Rules that resonant to me while you can pick up and implement right away!
Act Like A Publisher
Internet generally levels the playing field for ordinary people like you and me to have a chance to gain access to media like newspaper, podcasting, video,web 2.0 sites, etc…Think about the traditional media television (vs videos on YouTube), radio (vs. Podcasting in Itune), newspaper (vs. press release sites plus tons of news sites), people like you and me are able to access to all these media for free and get massive exposure.
However, we need to learn the mindset of a publisher. Creating content that attracts your target audience, people you would like to do business with, and you can either sell the advertising to people or to yourself to market your products.
You will need to brand yourself and your story that you want to be known for. If you are running an accounting firm, you will need to brand yourself as a professional accountant. Entertainment video / contents like silly cat/dog videos will not help your branding. Instead, ask your audience what’s their challenge and biggest problems so that you understand their goals and objective. This will help you easily create the content they want.
When you know the content you will be creating, you will need to build up momentum so that you can build up your business. You will need to find out the purpose of your content. Do you need to convert the visitors to subscribers? Do you want them to check out an offer? Do you want them to sign up your webinar? Do you want to build up more readership?
Remember every piece of your content must have a purpose.
Learn how to write the way you speak. This will help to build up rapport with your audience and make people easy to understand what you want to convey. Jargon should be translated to a proper wording so that people will know immediate what you are talking about. Your personality will be injected to your content and that will help to build up your brand.
Creating great content that attract your audience does take time and effort. So, when you find something works for you (i.e. getting a lot of email, comment, discussion, etc…), make sure you fully utilize the content.
You can repurpose the content in different ways, such as into podcast, video, webinar, report, book, etc…to reach out to more people. This will save you a lot of time and effort while maximize the potential of your content.
The content created should be helpful and useful that people are willing to share with their friends. Always focus on solving problems of others, not yourself. People do not really care about you, they only care about their business, their success. Your content should be a valuable source for them to come back and check out from time to time. This is the type and quality of the content you will want to create.
3rd Party Endorsement
The most powerful marketing technique is to let others sell for you. If you can get your customers to share their experience with your products, it will be much influencing and powerful than you talking how great your products are. This will definitely build up credibility for you and your products and boost the sales.
Is your content boring? Can people differentiate your content from others apart from looking at the logo and name? Always over-deliver your content by giving away extra values (i.e. report, case study, epic content, etc…) so that you can keep engaging with your audience.
Become a Community
Make your content (blog, video, report, etc…) the bait for people to come back again and again. Your aim is to build up a community hangout for people that you want to do business with.
Give people at least a reason to come back to your site, such as awesome content, the discussion around the topic is compelling, they feel like being part of the community and the contributors are acknowledged and appreciated. Check out some of the popular forums to model what they have done.
Make your Content Findable, Accessible and Sharable.
- Findable: Do proper on page SEO so that people will be able to find your content with the search engine
- Accessible: Make sure your content is viewable on different browsers like Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, etc…Also, optimize for platform like iPhone, ipad, etc…
- Sharable: Include social button for people to share your content on major social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google Plus, etc…
Stick To Your Strength
Always stick to your strength. If you produce awesome videos, just keep doing it. If you can write well, just keep writing. Play with your strength and don’t try to do everything at once.
These are some of the things I pick up from Content Rules and there are a lot more in this book to learn (282 pages).
What’s your view? Love to hear your thoughts.