Content marketing should be a cornerstone of your online marketing efforts, but many brands have a hard time finding success with it.
A big reason for this is likely that the content isn’t connecting with readers. Most marketers write content like it’s sales copy – because their primary purpose is to increase sales. But site visitors aren’t interested in reading sales copy. They usually don’t want to read it even when they are actively shopping.
To be more successful with your marketing, you need to create authentic content that resonates with readers. Here’s your guide to implementing authentic content marketing:
Research Your Audience
Before you can create content that resonates with your audience, you have to know what your audience wants. What they need. What they like and what they don’t like.
You must conduct thorough research to get the answers to these questions.
Your research should first narrowly define your audience, providing as many characteristics as possible. Your research should then seek to understand what values, interests, and challenges are common to those holding these characteristics.
Your audience is not a monolith, so it is important that you segment your audience. They may share general characteristics, but they will have other interests and values that will separate them out into subgroups. Define these audience segments as narrowly and specifically as you can.
Be a Mentor to Your Audience
Do not approach your copy like a salesman.
Forget about what your goals are for the copy. Think about what your audience wants to get from it.
If you are creating copy that your audience wants, you will meet your goals of creating brand awareness and eventually attracting more leads and sales. You will do this because you will better engage your audience and will encourage them to spend more time on your site and to become loyal to your brand.
Offer the audience information that they really need. Educate them with research-heavy copy that is full of facts, figures, and citations. Show them how to solve a problem with a step-by-step tutorial. Share case studies of others who have achieved a goal and talk about how they did it.
The more you can help your audience, the more they will respond to it. Offer real answers, not gimmicks, and you will have authentic content that resonates with your readers.
Find the Human Element
Even when you are creating content that informs and teaches, it can be easy to get caught up in formality and professionalism.
You might focus on the bare facts or the sterile figures, which will make your copy lifeless and dry.
If you want your copy to truly resonate, you have to focus on the human element. That can mean inspiring your audience with stories that are relevant to their lives. Or it might mean sharing stories of inspiring figures who have accomplished something they want to accomplish – and then sharing how they did it, of course.
You should also integrate customer stories into your copy. Make them the exemplars of the best results achieved with your product or service. Not only are you selling yourself, but you are also sharing a personal story that makes what you are saying more relatable.
Use Natural Language
Of course, you are going to speak differently to your friends than you do to your boss. You should be professional when writing to your audience, but you should also be relatable.
That means using natural language. Think of how you would tell a friend the same thing you want to tell your audience. Now remove some of the slang you might have used, and you’ve got a good example of how you should be presenting the information to your audience.
If you only post occasionally and only reach out on social media when you have a new post, your audience is going to think that your only interest is in promotion and they will stop listening.
If you want to create real conversation, you need to engage frequently. That means publishing quality, authentic content often, responding to comments thoughtfully, and posting often on social media.
When you create a conversation with your audience, readers will feel more engaged, and they will be more likely to act on the content they are reading and to return to your site. They will also be more likely to share your content or to become a brand ambassador.
Creating authentic content is crucial to the success of your online marketing efforts. You need to make your audience feel like they are partners – or at the very least that you actually care about them and their needs. Following these tips will help you create content that resonates with your audience and makes them feel like you truly care. That will help you go a long way with your marketing efforts, which will help you find your success.