Every single person who makes his bread and butter online knows that today’s shoppers are addicted to information. Whether they’re shopping for household items, web hosting services, or something completely different – most of them are looking for data online to influence their decisions.
Especially in the B2B world.
As Inc.com survey results claim, 70% of today’s buyers are interested in learning about all sorts of products and services through content, while 68% state that they really enjoy reading content from the brands that they already like.
So, judging by these numbers, adding content marketing to your overall marketing strategy should be a no-brainer for most companies, right?
It doesn’t matter if you sell SEO services, gardening supplies, or clothes online – producing quality content that influences your potential shoppers to go ahead and actually purchase your stuff should be on top of your to-do list.
And yet, people still fail to make their content marketing work for them.
The Problem With Content Marketing / Where Does It Usually All Go Wrong?
Well, there are many reasons why so many people still have a tough time finding success via content marketing.
First and foremost of all, it’s because a lot of publishers today still create content without any real plan behind it. They just keep on producing stuff that isn’t really tailored to ideally suit any specific target, nor purpose.
Second, their content is not fresh. It offers the same type of story and data that every other site or brand does from their niche.
Third, their writing is impersonal. Most of the publishers that struggle to make their content marketing work for them are usually the ones that create stuff that doesn’t really provoke any type of action from their audience.
Naturally, these are just some of the more common reasons why people fail within this field of marketing. There are so many other things that have also been known to burn promising strategies right down to the ground, just like Cersei burned down the Red Keep in the season 6 finale of Game of Thrones.
But we’re not here to talk about that. We’re here to focus on the positive and overcome some of the major content marketing issues that tend to stand in your way on your road to success.
If you want to create content that will truly be worth your while, you need to come up with an intelligent strategy that clearly points out who your readers are, what they like, what they dislike, and why would they promote your stuff. I’m talking about locating that sweet spot that speaks volumes to your readers, offers them some genuine and useful information, and provokes a certain action on your site and social media pages.
The Place Where It All Intersects
When it comes to content marketing, that sweet spot usually lies somewhere between appealing to your current and potential customers interests, your offerings, and showcasing your expertise in front of your targeted crowd.
In most cases, it refers to that combination of factors that covers all aspects of your current marketing campaign and feeds your targeted crowd with a type of content that easily provokes their interest. You could say that this strategy focuses on serving your information to your targeted audience on a silver plate. It’s supposed to provide sound answers to your customers’ pain points and gives you the opportunity to maximize your efficiency by pursuing subjects and queries where you have the most authority.
Believe it or not, but finding your content’s sweet spot will not only increase your chances for success within this field, but it will also significantly simplify your entire content production process.
So, How Do I Locate My Sweet Spot and Use It to My Advantage?
Easily, all you really have to do is follow these steps:
1. Come Up with an USP, and Figure Out Who Your Targeted Audience Really Is
In order to locate your money pit in content marketing, you have to start all the way back from your company’s mission. You need to have a clear picture in your head of who you are, where you are, and where you want to be. You also need to know what your strengths and weaknesses are.
It’s of crucial importance that you take a realistic look at your business and really think about what sets you apart from the crowd. Developing a precise USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is of great importance for your business. It’s what makes you unique in your targeted users’ eyes. That’s why you should really invest some serious brain power into this.
Once you figure that out, you really need to make an effort and get to know your products and services like a back of your hand. Also, you have to live and breath like your targeted audience. Their needs, problem, preferences, and desires should be familiar to you. Without having the answers to all these questions, you cannot successfully locate your sweet spot in content marketing. That’s why most marketers continually preach about the importance of carefully segmenting your audience and developing precise customer personas for your business. If you, like me, work for a B2B company, you may have various different types of businessmen that you’re already targeting with your ads and proposals. Unfortunately, if you want to win here, you’ll have to choose a smaller target.
2. Search for The Middle Ground – Address Your Buyers Interests, Endorse Your Expertise
For example, we at AltusHost work primarily with small to medium sized businessmen who are looking to make it big online. Naturally, we have a lot of clients that have big enterprises as well, but this is our core audience. It’s the biggest percentage of our shoppers. So, having this in mind, all our content marketing efforts go into feeding those customers with all the necessary tips and tricks that could help them improve their online business. Our proposals and hosting packages are carefully tailored to suit the needs and price range of our targeted clients, and our content marketing efforts are there to present our company “as an idea-driven/goal-oriented brand that offers its users technical and strategic support to better their business online.”
Why did we choose to go in this direction? – Because, as a web hosting provider, we offer a knowledge base that isn’t really exciting to our shoppers. Sure, it’s important, but it’s not that sexy. They all come to us to buy some sort of hosting package, but that isn’t really enough to keep them engaged and interested in our brand. It’s far too technical and boring. Their goal is to get a stable and affordable hosting solution on which they can build their own brand. Why shouldn’t we help them reach their goal? – So far, our strategy has been paying off. Our content really keeps our visitors engaged on our site, which was our goal from day one.
Naturally, we don’t exclude anyone who doesn’t fit this above mentioned customer profile. We just have a different plan and strategy for those that require a more “dedicated” service from us. You have to understand who goes where, and what kind of proposals and content relates to your audience’s primary focus.
3. The Model That Works
After you figure out for whom you’re creating content and why, you need to figure out the how part of this equation as well. As I already mentioned above, the sweet spot of your content marketing strategy is dependent on all sorts of different factors. Knowing exactly how to distribute your information to your targeted crowd is one of them.
You need to focus on three things here:
1. The size – Is your audience open to investing more or less time of their life into reading your content. You need to figure out if you are targeting people who really want to read stuff about your niche, or just grab quick tips and facts that will help them earn a quick win or two for their brand.
2. The shape – Also an important step in coming up with a great and actionable framework for your content that will maximize your efforts. This part really depends on who your ideal shopper is, and where does he hang out. If you’re, like me, targeting serious B2B business, then you need to create clean and compelling content that gets right to the point, without any distractions. But, on the other hand, if you’re creating content for a brand that targets teenagers, then you need to work on your style and visual identity far more than anything else. It all depends on the situation at hand.
3. The depth – Just the same in the second step, you need to know who you’re targeting. Careful readers, video/image enthusiasts, or people who are just looking for quick wins while surfing the Web on their phone? Take your content as deep as it needs to go. Don’t get carried away, and force the wrong type of content on the wrong group of people.
That’s it for now. I hope this post will help you with you future content marketing efforts. If you have anything to add or ask, don’t hesitate to write your thoughts in the comments section below. I’ll do my best to get back to you ASAP.