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Hello, you epic writer!

Do you have your cup of jawa in your hand and your thinkpad on? This piece of blog would focus on the importance of content and its massive and measurable effect on your business – in the form of more leads, more business, more friends, and developing a terrific social and online personality.

Come to think of it: we live in such an informative and a digitized world where people constantly on-the-go, seizing opportunities to promote their business, striving to get to the top of the business game; but somehow fall short in the overall achievement of their objective. Sometimes the more we read, the less we know. (I know this sound like an oxymoron.) Because we all are so much in the content clutter, bombarding us from places we never knew. And this is the reason it is important to find your own self – your own identity – your personality and make that difference.

From your brand standpoint, make that value loud and clear and keep reiterating until it becomes second nature to you. String your words into a compelling story that keeps your brand alive and forever young. Your content needs to have a promise – with an end result/outcome. Your content culminates into a great brand and not vice-versa. And it is a slow-burn; however, it is worth every effort.

As Coke rightly puts it: if you want to be successful around the world, you have to have fat and fertile ideas at the core. The point I am trying to zone in on is that it is not the outward manifestation like the logo and the product design, but by the constant stream of meaningful words that demonstrate the difference of your brand. And by words I mean how you claim a difference and demonstrate it. So jumping back to the question: how to make your words sell in this cluttered world? Simple: follow these pointers.

Establish credibility and authority. I’d say, ‘start small, think big.’ I know this sounds really heavy to digest in the first place. But, face it: when you are looking to build a powerful business online, you definitely need to have an arsenal of impressive credentials in your field, proven expertise and a voice that influences your audience in a powerful way: that comes with ‘authority’. And you gradually develop that voice. Hints: by constantly giving advice (through business books, a radio channel, webinars, slideshow, articles or whitepapers, applications, video, games, blogging or through media broadcasting like Oprah Winfrey), helping others, and genuinely making someone’s life better. Take Kraft, for instance, it launched even before the term ‘content marketing’ became popular. And today, people turn to this online resource for recipes, food-related content and to interact with the Krafts community.

Strive for authenticity instead of popularity. Don’t over-embellish your words just to make them sound all mumbo-jumbo that just bounces over your audience’s head. Instead, have an authentic story that has a human voice to it. Make it come alive through disruptive thinking and free-writing. Do a pulse check: A competitive research to find the key words in your industry, which your audience connects with, goes a long way in converting your leads into customers.

Build your universe. You can gradually, through authority and authenticity, become a likeable expert on your subject of interest; as a result of which, you build your own cosmos. You can measure it through social media sharing, where your audience will tune-in and give their feedback, provide answers to your open-ended questions with some of the finest ideas they might have about your product. For all you know – they might become ‘evangelists’ by using the link of your write-up and recommending their respective circle to read it as well. In this context, how did Volvo become synonymous with safety? By third party validation communicated through third party content. The DNA of the brand was formed through what people perceived its value to be: safety.

Propel action: Make it happen. So what is the purpose of the above pointers from a content marketing strategy perspective? Yes, it’s time to launch that product. You need to subtly keep that product on the back-burner whilst conveying a message that ties back to your business objective. Encourage subscriptions of your e-newsletters, blogs, articles, recent market updates based on your industry and e-books. Focus on user-generated content that can pique your audience’s curiosity through varied channels of communication. Curate and create content in your field that resonates with your audiences’ passion points. Let’s take example of Emily Schuman’s Cupcakes and Cashmere. Starting her blog in 2008, she build her audience via sharing what they love – fashion, beauty, home decor, food, her personal musings, and the ‘links she loved’. She started sharing breath-talking and emotionally appealing images in her blog with perfect articulation of her audiences’ talking points. And she has also published her book on Cupcakes and Cashmere: A Guide for Defining Your Style, Reinventing Your Space, and Entertaining with Easeperfect example of launching her business via her blog!

Measure it. Manage it. Content analytics is the cornerstone for an intelligent content marketing strategy – be it lead generation, content creation, content distribution or social media outreach. Sears says it all – it’s multichannel program, Fitstudio, is a major content marketing initiative. Its ROI related metrics like measuring membership acquisition, engagement, page views, return visits, couple redemption or purchase feeds into a lifetime value of an engaged customer equation that ultimately determines ROI.

Accelerate your content. And, finally, I came across a new term ‘editorial alteration’ that means as your audience grows and your business develops/escalates, you need to repurpose your content based on industry dynamics. Case in point: Redbull’s content marketing discipline is a notch above than the catchy slogans: this company produces quality video content and tweaks it depending on the channel they are posting to. So build the momentum, and keep your audience hooked onto more engaging content that is informative, irresistible, and most significantly, sellable.

Though, of course, not trying to make it sound ubiquitous, or perhaps a bit ‘salesy,’ but let me know what steps are you taking in creating content that sells – one that has maximum impact on your audience, and drives engagement from the get-go!