We’re obsessed with creating great content.
We write about it.
We talk about it.
We speak about it.
We go to conferences dedicated to it.
We dream about it. Yes, dream about it.
Marketers love content almost as much as celebrities love fame.
But you know the funny thing?
Customers don’t care.
In fact, not only do they not care, most of them don’t even know what “content marketing” is.
We’re the experts. Yet, they determine if we’re successful. Or not.
So, while your customers may give you the blank stare if you ask them how much they like your content campaign, this is what they want you to know.
Even if they don’t know it yet.
1. Stop Being So Obsessed
We’re so focused on the process of creating great content that we forget what it’s for.
The goal of an ebook isn’t to create more ebooks.
The goal of a whitepaper isn’t to create more whitepapers.
The goal of a blog isn’t to create another post.
The goal of a weekly email isn’t to create another email.
The goal is to get customers. Or nurture them.
I know this sounds painfully obvious.
At least, not in practice.
I realized this when I was chatting with a business last week about their new ebook. When I asked how their customers (or potential customers) would find it, or when they would read it, or why it would help them become happier customers or buy their products, they couldn’t tell me.
They hadn’t thought about it.
Someone told them they needed to create an ebook as part of their content strategy, so they did.
This is happening with too many businesses. And not all customers want ebooks. In fact, 40% of us find them unsatisfying.
Think about what your customer is looking for. And how you can answer that query in the shortest content form possible.
That’s the content you should be creating.
2. Make Me Laugh
Or amused .
As Jon Morrow, former editor at Copy Blogger, famously says: “People browse your blog when they’re bored. Your job is to entertain them.”
Yes, you can entertain and educate at the same time.
But don’t make the mistake of thinking that your content doesn’t need to be as compelling as a movie. Or tv show. Or a best-seller.
Your job is to capture a potential customer’s attention and provide enough value during the transaction that they’ll crave more.
And eventually become a customer.
Read this post if you’re not sure how to do that.
p.s. Not all of us have the luxury of being in exciting fields.
If you have a business in a “boring” industry, check out this fabulous post by Neil Patel on how to create remarkable content for “boring” industries.
3. My Inbox Is Too Full
Sure, you want to send a weekly email.
Can you curate a world class email weekly?
That I’ll want to open every time you send it?
That’s more compelling than the 120 emails I get every 24 hours?
People get excited for days of the week because their favourite tv show airs. Your email needs to invoke the same level of excitement.
Laura Roeder does an exceptional example of this.
Week after week, she gives good, actionable advice on how to improve the way you use social media for your business. If you’re trying to create a weekly email that consistently gets read and converts, check out The Dash.
However, unlike Laura, most of us don’t have the resources or ability to do that.
Regular content is hard.
The good news is that you don’t have to do a weekly email. If you want to send a regular piece of content (to delight your customers or nurture potential ones), why not try a biweekly one? As B2B Marketing Mentor does. Or a monthly one?
You can always increase your frequencies.
So start with something manageable, focus on delivering results with relevant content, and see where that takes you. You might just be surprised at how much you can achieve by doing less.
p.s. The question of how often to blog, post and tweet is something that’s on our minds.
If you’re not confident that your social media frequencies are right for your customers, check out this article by Fast Company.
4. I Like Being Surprised
How often has something you’ve read or seen surprised you, in a good way?
We have a unique opportunity to surprise and delight our customers. Gary Vaynerchuk knows this.
Throughout his latest book, he hides little “eggs” for his readers.
For example, if you go to the references section, you’ll see an invitation from him, inviting you to personally email him with your comments and questions. And he gives you a special subject line to use, so he knows who you are, which helps him create context around the conversation.
When was the last time you did something like this?
Your customers love surprises. And they want to have fun. So, what can you do throughout your content to delight them?
What will make people come back and engage with your content?
It can be almost anything – from an invitation to share 10 minutes of your time to the first 10 people who respond to a post, to offering to create something just for them to giving away a few prizes – as long as it’s integrated into your content strategy and provides real value.
p.s. If you’re stuck on ideas, check out this article from Shopify on 6 Creative Ways to Surprise And Delight Your Customers.
You Don’t Need It All
Not every business needs a weekly blog and an email campaign and a Twitter account and a YouTube Channel and a Facebook Page and everything else.
Your customers don’t want more content to consume.
They want the products you’re selling. Or the services you’re providing. Or the knowledge you have.
If you can figure out a way to provide enough of that in the form of free content, you might just be surprised at how much your content starts converting potential customers. And delighting loyal fans.
So, what do you do to delight your customers?