As I already wrote dozens of times on this blog – content marketing is a long game that cannot really be hacked or automated. Every time you’re producing something for your brand, you have to invest 110% of yourself.
If you want people to convert through your content, you cannot fool around and keep piling up generic texts and posts that don’t offer any real value to your audience.
Nope. It doesn’t really work like that.
There are no cutting corners here.
It doesn’t really matter if you’re creating just another blog post, infographic, or a video for your company – if you don’t really apply yourself, you won’t see any significant results from your content.
Even if it generates a couple of shares and likes, it will still suck, and everybody will know it.
Why? – Well, because your readers will immediately see that there’s no real passion behind your work. They will instantly recognize it as another post whose sole purpose is to fill in an empty space on your site and social media accounts.
This sort of thing could break your brand and drive all your customers away.
That’s why most online companies go out of their way to figure out how to please their readers and serve them with content that’s actually important to everyone who comes into contact with their brand online.
Story Beats Data, Every Single Time
Even though most marketers praise data and call it our lord and savior when it comes to content marketing, the truth is – data means nothing if you don’t know how to leverage it right.
When it comes to creating content that sparks user engagement, a lot of marketers are prone to trying everything and anything before they take the time to deal with their best asset here – themselves.
It doesn’t really matter how well you understand your niche and market, and how good you’re with turning data into results, you’re the only one that can make some difference here. Everything you are, like, know, and believe in – that’s the only thing that will sell your content.
That’s your honey pot. The only thing that can truly set you apart from your competitors.
How come? – Well, because most people remember stories far better than numbers and stats. And as we all know, the best stories are the ones that come from personal feelings and experiences.
Listing down important information in your messages without a proper flow, tone, persona, or story around it isn’t really content marketing. In order to make the most out of your data, you need to wrap it around a meaningful and engaging story that truly explains the power behind your insights. That’s why I do my best to insert as much of myself as possible in my writing.
Presentation Is Everything
Through the years, we have seen numerous examples that masterfully showcase just how important storytelling and personalization is to marketing. The way how people will process your information is solely dependent on how you lay it down in front of them.
You need to share a real, living, and breathing face with your readers and offer them a scenario in which they can actually picture themselves if you’re interested in making the most out of your efforts. And what better face to present to them than your own?
Stories are extremely powerful – they put everything into context and helps us digest certain information on a more personal level. Naked data cannot do that. Stories dig deep into our being and trigger those emotions and memories that inspire us to take certain actions.
But not all stories. What kind of stories help people truly relate with what’s being laid down in front of them? – Those that have real, colorful and likable protagonists.
Putting Your Audience In Your Own Shoes
People best learn by example. That’s a fact. That’s why we need to keep producing all sorts of different case studies that present our targeted audience with real life success scenarios.
Case studies are content marketer’s best friend. When you build something that works, take it apart, and put it back together in front of your audiences eyes – your value and worth instantly becomes undeniable. Nothing really influences your audience to go on and try your service like a detailed record of certain practices and principles used to reach real life goals.
However, content writers often find themselves in situations where they cannot disclose certain information or company metrics, and yet, their (my) job still demands that they keep up coming up with new material that will continue to grow their brand’s audience, stimulate engagement, and keep those conversions piling up.
Back in the day when I was still new to this content marketing game, this sort of thing often stressed me out. There was a lot of pressure on me to generate some serious results, even though I had basically nothing to work with.
But then I started thinking: What can I do to make my users recognize the value in my products and service? – Paint a picture with me, as a relatable protagonist in it, of course.
The “This Could Be You” Method
In order to go for something, people first need to see themselves in a certain story. They need to feel like your proposal is something that can surely work for them. A well-told story pulls people in and persuades them to go ahead and chase that sweet picture that you painted for them. In order to complete a certain action or pay for a specific product and service, they need to see the future, to even the tiniest of details and feel good about it. The only one who can help them do that is you.
Naturally, you cannot just write shameless suck up content, and expect from your targeted crowd to buy your story just because you’re giving them everything they want to hear. No. You need to humanize your story and show the struggle, as well.
That’s what I do, and so far – it’s been going great for me!
Even though most of my colleagues don’t really practice this sort of thing in their content, I focus on making my texts sound in my reader’s head like we actually met for a drink, and I opened my heart to him (or her). I share a lot of personal information in my writing and I think this sort of thing really helps my crowd sink into my words.
But, before you start to blab on and on about yourself in your content, you need to know that 90% of your readers don’t really care about you, as a person. Moderation is key here. Your audience only cares about themselves and how to get the most out of a certain deal. That’s it.
Sure, this isn’t something that most of us who work hard on sharing great stories want to hear, but hey – that’s how it is. And it’s ok. It keeps us grounded. Your role here is to serve as an avatar, with real problems, interest, and flaws, to help them connect the dots and see themselves as a person who can replicate your success. Nothing more, and nothing less. That’s why it’s of crucial importance to figure out how to keep your content concise, relevant, and personal and entertaining at the same time.
A little too much of anything can drag you down here. Allow people to meet the man behind the words, but make sure that you don’t turn your company blog into your diary. Stay on track, follow your goals, but remember that people buy stories, not products.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I hope it helped you breathe some new life into your content. If you have anything to add or ask – feel free to write your thoughts in the comments sections below.
This is where we part ways.
‘Till next time – take care!
Goran @ AltusHost B.V.