Apr 05, 2022
In General Discussions
You can improve your content marketing without investing in best practices Content marketing best practices are great. They represent the culmination of research and practice by the industry's best thought leaders. They are a source of inspiration for content marketers who want to get their golden ring. But they're not always practical, especially for those of us who aren't in the carousel yet: SMEs, self-employed entrepreneurs, mid-market businesses, etc. We need practical content marketing advice to take us to the next level, what my ex-boss would call "obvious glances." The problem is, they're not terribly noticeable when you're wandering around in the dark...only after the light bulb goes out. So here are some of the things I learned through those "light bulb" moments. I hope they help you improve your content marketing as well. Add the Golden Ratio to Your Content Profile "What do you want your audience to think, feel or do after reading this article?" Over the years, I've worked on dozens of content snippets. Some are useless; some are already pretty good. But none contain this question. Sure, some of them have a section to address the purpose of the content, but that's pretty general. My question - what do you want people to think, feel or do after reading this? --Dig. Suppose I get a call from someone who runs a dog rescue organization - one of the national industry mailing list has a network of "pony express" volunteers willing to take rescued dogs to their new homes in other parts of the country. They wanted me to write a blog post about keeping your dog safe and comfortable during the hot summer months. The obvious purpose—perhaps even in the introductory content—is to protect the dog from harm. But after some digging, I found out that they were about to launch a big fundraiser, and hoped this post would get the attention of animal lovers - people who aren't activists but might be donors. what is the difference? For the first article - one designed to educate the public on how to protect their dogs from common summer hazards - I'll write a simple yet comprehensive article with statistics and links to veterinary advice. For another article - one with fundraising as a secondary goal - I'll include the same basic information. Content Marketing Cute Puppy Photos But instead of using veterinary statistics and quotes, I'll use personal anecdotes about "what could have happened". For each section, I'll attach a photo of a cute puppy. (Because one of America's favorite pastimes is sharing pictures and stories about cute puppies.) I'm more concerned with traffic generation than education, assuming that many people who come to this site because of cute puppies posts will likely click Strategically placed "donate now" buttons - even if they've never been directly involved in dog welfare advocacy. Same theme, same purpose. But delving into the question of "what do you want people to do, think or feel" leads to a very different article. So add this question—that specific question—to your content brief template. It can illustrate the difference between creating important content and content that only takes up space. Make sure you're talking to the right people Content Marketing AudienceOne of the most common mistakes I see in small businesses is that they don't write for people who might buy what they do, but for people who do what they do.