By Chuck Sink
Has a headline or subject line ever grabbed your attention and then everything else in your world disappeared for several minutes while you voraciously read a good article? Did your current project take a back seat while your mind relentlessly pursued more information in the article? Perhaps you stopped and wrote a note to the author because you just had to offer your timely and relevant feedback!
Best of all, maybe the article struck such a resonant chord that you finally made a decision to take some positive action and invest in yourself or your company.
That, my friends, is what good content is all about. We hear about “inbound marketing” and “content marketing” all the time these days, but what is it? Is it an article that’s trending with what most of the target market is thinking? Maybe. Is it a thought provoking piece about a controversial or potentially game-changing subject? Could be.
These examples tend to be lay ups in the world of content marketing. Simply sharing a good blogger’s materials is fine but it tends to get the recipient thinking more about the blogger than the sharer! Lay ups are okay for staying in the game but it’s the more dramatic half court and 3 point shots that win tournaments.
The Secret of Good Content
When you can hit someone with information that experience tells them is prescient and relevant, your’re doing content marketing right. Real world experience and true stories are what grab attention and move people to take action. It’s often the repeated issues that are right in front of us – the problems we can identify and solve right now that we need to be talking about.
You need not always be concerned with innovation or cutting edge technology or the latest best practices to get your target audience’s attention. What you need is authentic value communicated in way that your customers and prospects will benefit from.
If you’re an architect or interior designer, offer easy space planning or simple energy saving ideas. If you’re an attorney, provide ways people can stay informed of changing laws. If you’re a mortgage officer, write about how to manage an escrow account to avoid surprise recalculations. If you’re a manufacturer, share your supply chain expertise in ways that would save customers money. If you’re a printer, show off a direct mail piece with an unusually high rate of return.
These are just the first ideas off the top of my head. I’m sure you can come up with better content ideas for your clients. Perhaps someone like me can help you better develop your content and consistently distribute it.
Keep thinking about things that your audience would like to know more about. Chances are, if something interests you, it will interest them too. Listen closely to your customers and provide content that answers the questions they’re asking. Keep a file of ideas. Always write down your ideas or you will forget them!
When you see a great article you want share, instead of just slapping up a link, take some time and write down your own thoughts on the same topic. Make it relate even more specifically to your customers.
Clear away the clutter of information overload by serving up content your audience wants to consume and can actually use. You’ll become known as an authentic value provider. You’ll be trusted and called first when it’s time for doing business.