It's inevitable…at every holiday or family gathering, the discussion eventually rolls around to the Web, and the latest weird video on YouTube. Last night was a first for me, however: someone went and got their netbook and brought it to the table to show a clip of the "middle aged cracker rapper."
Such discussions about the Web are always eye-openers to me because the average person doesn't spend the majority of time connected to the 'Net like I do. Many of them aren't sure what a blog really is or how it's used for business. Email is (finally!) a normal communication channel.
But for most people, the use of Twitter and Facebook is still a rarity. Here's how most are using the Web: entertainment and education.
"I'll Google that question when I get home," one guest said. We were searching for the name of the evil character in the movie "The Usual Suspects." Another guest said, "What did we do before Google?"
Using the Web for Content Marketing
These same principles, educate and entertain, apply to the business use of the Web. Your business must strive to educate and entertain if you want your share of eyeballs. This is no easy task, or I should say it sounds easier than it is in reality.
Why is it hard to educate and entertain readers on the Web? It's not, if all you want is to be clever and cute (even that's hard with jaded Web users). But if you want to sell something for your business, it's a bigger challenge.
Look at things from the web visitor's perspective: they've got an itch. They're looking for a satisfying scratch. But like for Goldilocks, your scratch has to be "just right."
Furthermore, how do you write to a whole audience of Goldilocks looking for different "just right" versions of your solutions?
The biggest challenge, I believe, is bridging the gap between educating and entertaining your readers and bringing them to action: How do you turn readers into buyers?
Too much education, they say, "Cool, I get it now," and move on.
Too much entertainment, they say, "Cool, I'll foward this to Aunt Tilly," and move on.
Too much sales pitch, they say, "Get lost, buddy."
How do you achieve just the right degree of quality content, mixed with effective marketing? How does your content marketing reach all those Goldilocks "just right?"
Obviously, there are no easy answers, and each business is different, with target audiences that vary in how you are going to write your online content to them.
11 Content Marketing Steps
But there are basic principles. There are basic steps that have to be in place on your site and on your blog in order for content marketing to work.
I've written about this over and over again, but it bears repeating here:
- Be clear about what business you're in (key benefits to your customers)
- Be clear about who you're trying to attract (target audience)
- Be well-branded (so people are clear about who you are and will remember you)
- Be easy to find on the Web (blog, social media, YouTube…everywhere!)
- Publish quality content that attracts the right kinds of people
- Give generously of your knowledge in multiple forms, multi-media (think teleseminars)
- Have a welcoming personality and be responsive to readers
- Build trust through consistency, frequency, reliability, responsiveness
- Make offers that are hard to pass up, be irresistable
- Make the sales process and customer service impeccable (think KickStartCart)
- Always be there for your readers, prospects, customers, be helpful
I'm finishing up touches on an info product Content Marketing for Smart Professionals, that I'm creating on MyKnowledgeGenie.com that will take you through all the Content Marketing steps required to leverage the Web to attract, sell and profit online. If you want a chance to buy this ebook subscription at 75% off the price, be sure to sign up for Patsi's Private List (open until Dec. 31, 2009)