Does Your Content Resonate With Your Readers?
The hottest trend in communications is content marketing and there’s a great reason for that.
Done well, it works. It works really, really well.
It works so well that even a mega corporation like Kraft acknowledges their Return on Investment for content marketing is four times higher than that of their most targeted advertising.
The Content Marketing Institute describes content marketing this way:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
What it is not is “fluff” or 100 percent promotional material about your products.
In essence, instead of just advertising your products or services, you give your customers and potential customers truly relevant and useful information to help them solve their issues and problems.
The result is that you have more sales. And the customers who come to you as a result of your content marketing tend to be better and more loyal customers, likely because through your content, they have built up a kind of relationship with you.
Making the distinction
If you are venturing into content marketing, the most important distinction to make is the difference between words that add value to people, and words that simply promote you and your product.
The former will work well for you if you invest creative thought, time and money in creating it.
The latter will just annoy people and push them away. They will ignore the content and you. The term for it in the industry is “zombie content.” It is mindless and it fails to engage readers.
Good content brings them closer to you, prompts them to share with their friends, and turns casual readers into customers.
Here are the five foundations for creating content of value:
- It should tell a story that people want to share.
- It should be focused on the customer, not on the company.
- It should be easily read on mobile devices.
- It should be strategic to your business goals.
- It should be helpful and add obvious value to the reader’s life.
Stories to tell
The first and best story you should tell is about how and why your company came into existence. Behind every company is an entrepreneur with a dream and a vision and that is powerful and often emotional.
Write the story of your company in a few paragraphs and tell it often and at every opportunity. Work it into casual conversation and ensure that all of your employees know it and tell it well. Make it like a gospel and tell it with fervor and turn your staff into evangelists taking that story out to the world. It is a great way to get people excited about what you do.
Like all stories it needs a good beginning (the dream), and a good ending (exciting things the company is doing now). It also needs a message that the reader can take away.
It could be about the endurance of the entrepreneur, the courage to do something differently, or the success against such odds as isolation, language barriers, financial constraints or physical difficulty.
Use dialogue in the stories. For example, have the owner say “they all told me: it can’t be done. But I was rebel enough to try.” Quotations spice up stories.
Edit the story ruthlessly so it can be told well in three or four paragraphs or one minute of conversation.
Talk about why your services or products matter
Another great corporate story is why your company started adding a new service or product. Were you inspired by a customer’s story or need? What trend is happening now that prompted your response?
Build collections of stories about your firm and whenever you write something, slip them into the script.
Make sure that your corporate stories are consistent. Don’t tell one story on your website and a different version on Facebook, for example. That will lower people’s trust in you.
Your story also needs to be and sound authentic so it will ring true with your readers. Take out industry jargon and acronyms and tell is as you would describe it to your neighbour.
Give your content the value test
As you create each piece of content, before you send it out or post it, go over it and answer this question truthfully:
“Does this content add value to my readers?”
Everything you create should give your customers and potential customers a little information they didn’t have before, or a little inspiration.
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Paula Morand is a leadership building, revenue boosting, strategy expanding keynote speaker, author and visionary. This dreaming big and being bold leadership expert and brand strategist brings her vibrant energy, humor and wisdom to ignite individuals, organizations and communities to lead change, growth and impact in a more bold fashion. 24 years, 27,000 clients, 34 countries, 15 books, former radio personality, 11x award winning entrepreneur and humorous emcee.
To check out Paula’s book, “Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything” go to Amazon http://ow.ly/i8yW307ix67
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