Bad advice is the worst. Whether we accept relationship advice from someone who can’t hold a relationship of their own or marketing advice from someone who is regurgitating something they read… And what they read was written by someone that didn’t know what they were talking about… And so it goes…
While I can’t offer relationship advice (so sorry) I can eliminate some of the bad content marketing advice that’s out there.
The following are the top three content marketing practices to throw out immediately if you want a strategy that is successful and draws in more leads and customers. And don’t worry, I’ve also advised on how to strengthen your strategy after throwing out these “bad pieces of advice.”
1) Create as much content as you can
I’ve come across countless articles that tell me to schedule out my content months in advance and stick to that schedule.
What if I’m not feeling inspired? What if the best I can pump out is a mediocre blog post?
I vote that this is horrible advice. That all of the content you write, publish and share should say something useful or new or ideally “epic.”
Think of it this way, what if someone comes across your mediocre blog post when they’re checking out your brand or your blog for the first time? Your “just okay” blog post may cause them to not want to read your blog again. Because let’s face it, there is probably a better blog or piece of content out there on that same topic that is presenting it better.
In contrast, if they came across a really awesome post but it was written the week before, I think they would be more impressed by the great content than the mediocre content that was written within the last few days or day. Because you thought you had to create a piece of content just because.
Instead Try This:
Instead of creating a ton of blog posts and little pieces of content that go out on a daily basis, you should make sure that you’re producing “epic” or “viral” or “impressive” (insert any other grandiose word you like here).
These types of content include ebooks, infographics, white papers and published research and surveys that aim to impress. These types of content add more benefit to the consumer and make your brand look like an authority on your topic.
Don’t get me wrong, keeping up with your blog is great—the goal is to find that balance and not writing just because you feel like you need to post every single day.
Just remind yourself this: If you don’t have anything epic to say, don’t say anything at all…
2) Focus on making your brand looking awesome
The best content marketing is about producing content and resources that don’t look like marketing at all. They are things that help your consumer. That’s it. End of story.
So if your focus is on making your brand look awesome, you will come across as self-promotional and your content will read like a traditional advertisement.
Your content should not be about your company or your brand. Your blog should not contain articles that only talk about your brand.
Instead your focus should always be on your target consumers. Think about what kind of content, topics and resources they would seek out and need.
Once in a while it’s okay to share the latest news pertaining to your brand such as a new product release. Just make it interesting and make sure that you don’t share a lot of this type of content.
Instead Try This:
Instead of writing content that is centered around your brand, write content that is centered around the needs of your target consumers and current customers.
Ask yourself the following questions and see if each one sparks a content idea or post topic.
What type of blogs would my consumers be attracted to?
What pain points do they experience that I can solve with content?
What is the age demographic of most of my consumers? (Based on this think of what social media channels they may or may not be part of)
Is there a scary part of the buying process that I can make easier with advice and tips?
Go on sites like Quora and G+ groups and see what kinds of questions people are asking about the niche your brand falls in to. Use these questions as topics for posts and white papers.
By focusing on only writing content that your consumers need, your brand just looks awesome by default…
3) Good Content is all you need
If you write good content, your work is done it will just attract people to it. Wrong.
Not only do you need to create this awesome content but you need to promote it. There is nothing worse than having carefully put together words or a beautiful infographic just hanging out in internet space without anyone to see it or enjoy it!
Instead Try This:
Try these top ten ways to promote your content.
Twitter is one of your best assets but you have to build it. Schedule out a few tweets that ask a question that your content answers or has good quotes from your content.
Obviously Twitter isn’t the only social media channel you’re on so cross promote on the other channels as well. Link from Facebook and Pinterest etc. to your pieces of content.
Email out links to your big pieces of content. I don’t recommend sending out an email every time you upload a new blog post but I do recommend sending out an email to promote every ebook and infographic that you create.
Place obvious social share buttons on your blog and content pieces.
Develop relationships with others in your niche and share each other’s content.
For those extra epic pieces of content that you just know is awesome, use paid advertisements such as Google ads, LinkedIn ads and sponsored tweets to promote.
Consider buying a third party email blast. Again only for those really awesome pieces of content.
Join G+ and LinkedIn groups and share your content with the community. Check out other discussions and see if linking to your content in these discussions is relevant.
In your email signature, link to your latest post or ebook. Have members of your company do this as well.
Use blogger outreach to share your content with influential bloggers in your niche.
When it comes to what you’re sharing on your social media channels, make sure that you not only share your own content, but you also share other content that helps your customers. This way, others in your niche will share your stuff as well. Look at it as “content sharing karma.”
Okay so you’re not going to create as much content as your fingers can type—you’re going to aim to create only awesome content. You’re not going to focus on writing about how cool your brand is, instead you’re going to focus on helping your current and potential consumers with resources they need. And you’re not going to create great content and just leave it to be found, you’ll actively promote it.
Sounds like a great game plan so what are you waiting for!?
Are there any pieces of content marketing advice floating around that you deem “bad advice?” Share in the comments below!