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Great Content Marketing Doesn’t Feel Like Marketing.

“You have more chance of summiting
Mount Everest than getting someone
to click on a banner ad.”
—Jonathan Perelman
VP at Buzzfeed

Getting the word out about your products and services can feel a bit like an Everest expedition.

You and I know that traditional advertising doesn’t work anymore. We’ve known from as far back as 2005 that the return on investment from advertising could be as little as 4%. Then along came a new marketing ‘secret sauce’, a way to attract customers and gain their loyalty—all we had to do was create content.

It’s tempting to think that we can use content in the way that we once used traditional advertising to attract the most people. The best content though, goes beyond simply being advertorial and appealing to everyone. Why do you return to your favourite blogs? What makes you share the content you choose to share?

The Secrets of great content marketing

1. Great content changes how people feel by being either useful, entertaining or inspiring.
Think about how you want your readers to feel as they read the last line of your article.
What do you want them to do next? That doesn’t mean getting them to click on a ‘BUY NOW’ link every time.

2. Your products and services help clients and customers to be better versions of themselves every day, your content should be designed to do that too.
Building trust and connection to you and your brand over time, rather than promotion, is the point. Great content doesn’t feel like marketing—it feels like a gift.

3. Just as your marketing isn’t something that’s separate from the work that you do, content marketing should be an extension of it too.
Authentically bake it into your business, don’t just slap it on as an afterthought to fill white space and create noise. Use content to help people to understand more about who you are and what your business stands for.

4. Don’t see your content as a big old sales funnel.
Treat it more like a flame, a campfire that people want to come back to. Intention is everything. People can sense yours, they know when you’re in it for the right reasons.

5. Practice patience.
The reason we got into this fix was by trying to take the shortcut to mattering to our customers. An advert that could blast hundreds of thousands of people felt like a bargain. It turns out it was a Trojan horse that destroyed our relationships with our customers. The people, brands and businesses that have the traction you’re craving have been creating content and providing value to their audiences for years. There’s nothing to stop you doing that too.

Plant your flag. Bring people with you.

Image by Brigitte Djajasasmita.