It seems that a lot of businesspeople are buying into the content marketing idea.
And that’s great!
People are creating blog posts, videos and social media content. They’re doing it frequently.
But I know that many are disappointed. They’re not getting the engagement they expect.
Now, there could be a few reasons for the disappointment, but there is one that I want to highlight.
Too many businesses post what we’ll call Me Content.
What is Me Content?
Posting a link to a product that you have on your website. Talking about the services you can provide. Sell. Sell. Sell.
You’ve probably seen this on social media. You see a business post on their Facebook page something like this:
Do you need to get your teeth cleaned? Schedule an appointment with ABC Dental today!
There’s nothing wrong with that. Obviously there are a few people that want to get their teeth cleaned.
But here’s the reality, people are only in buying mode about 3% of the time for any given product or service. I tend to think it’s even less than 3%. Possibly way less.
So a post like the one above won’t get much engagement. People just aren’t interested even if they know who you are and like you.
But what if they don’t even know who you are? They’re probably even less likely to engage with Me Content.
The reason you should post content that has nothing to do with your business is that most people don’t know that your business exists.
Marketing, whether it’s content marketing, social media marketing or whatever, is about attracting people that don’t know your business exists. In order to do that you need to post content that they’re looking for.
Entertainment & Education
The type of content people are looking for basically fits into two buckets:
That should be your focus when you’re creating content. Things that your audience will either find entertaining or educational. And sometimes those will overlap. Then you’re really onto something good.
We’ll get into some examples of this in a little bit, but there’s one more key factor about content that I want to cover.
Short-Term Return Focus
Sometimes I’ll talk to people that want to create blog posts and their focus is to turn a reader into a customer. They want people to read a blog post and then inquire.
That does happen…but it gets back to that buying mode concept. Maybe that happens 3/100 (probably more like 3/1,000) times or so. The first time someone reads a post of yours they’re interested in buying.
The focus is short-term. You want money now. Right away. As soon as you have someone’s attention you want to convert them.
I’ve always liked the old marketing analogy about dating. If you are in the dating world you could get someone to go out on a first date with you and after the date is over ask them to marry you. That might work, but the vast majority of the time you’ll get rejected.
People need you to earn their trust. In business it’s the sales cycle. People first learn that you exist. Then they learn about you and what you have to offer. They learn the details and then they decide if they want to buy.
They don’t go from discovering right to buying.
Examples of Good Content Marketing
Let’s get back to the idea of creating content.
I might have been a little over the top when I said that you want to create content that has nothing to do with your business, but I wanted to make a point.
Here are three quick examples of what I mean:
- A lawyer that creates a golf podcast
- A dentist that creates a community news and events e-newsletter
- A restaurant that writes a local travel blog
Why would a lawyer create a golf podcast? He or she would if their target clients are avid golfers. Let’s say they determine that 80% of their clients are golfers. That’s a high percentage. And the odds would be good that if they attracted other golfers (via a golf podcast) that a good percentage would fit the profile of their target client.
Why would a dentist create a community e-newsletter? Most people need a dentist. Most go to a local dentist. Most people are interested in the happenings around their hometown. A dentist that provides this information comes across as an authority in the area and they attract the attention of people looking for local information, but that don’t know about the dentist.
Finally, a restaurant travel blog? Many restaurant patrons are locals, but what do travelers often need? Food. They can’t really make their own meals so travelers seek out restaurants. A restaurant that offers travel tips earns the attention and trust of travelers and when travelers visit the city where the restaurant is they will probably win some business.
Part of success with any type of content – blogging, podcasting, social media, etc. – is getting out of the Me Content mindset. And also out of the Sales Content mindset. Start with the focus that you’re looking to attract people that don’t know your business exists. You have to write about the information they’re looking for. Then when you earn their attention you can earn their trust and in the long-term you earn their business.