Have you heard stories of how content marketing has done wonders for other businesses? Do you feel frustrated because you are not getting the same results they are getting? Do you feel that you are actually missing a piece of the puzzle?
If so, pay close attention here.
Many have said that this decade will be the grand year of Content Marketing with more and more businesses producing and relying on content to produce traffic and attract customers to their businesses.
If you don’t act quickly, chances are the time will pass and you’ll have done little in ensuring that your business is set to grow from the current digital wave.
The key to content marketing success is to keep getting your message out there.
However, there is so much conflicting advice given by many of those so-called experts that it’s almost impossible to figure out what’s necessary and what isn’t.
Yes, you’ll always hear the so-called experts claiming how they were able to produce 300% more revenue in less than 12 months with just 12 blog posts or how they were able to drive server-crashing traffic to their website with just one piece of content that went viral.
But you have to realize this – all of these stories are no more than a fad. While some companies may have enjoyed great success from content marketing, many of the stories you hear are just fads.
It’s no different from late night infomercials that claim that you can lose 30 pounds in 30 days if you try their latest exercise system or magic supplement (although it’s doable in rare cases, but very unhealthy).
If you’re looking for solid content marketing advice that will help attract more customers to your business not just this week or month but in the future as well, there are only 5 keys that you need.
Make sure that you are doing these 5 things on a continual basis and you’ll have your business setup for success for good.
With that said, here are the 5 keys to content marketing success…
1) Know your customer deeply
Your ability to clearly understand your customer and hone in on their wants, needs, pains and frustrations is by far the most important requirement to success with content marketing.
The internet is a digital medium that allows anyone to interact with anyone. Your content can be read by even the President of America or the neighbor’s gardener and both of them can become your customers.
It is a beautiful medium that has eliminated the bureaucracy that existed in the normal world. Anyone can sell anything as long as it’s legal and ethical and make money doing so.
To succeed in this digital and non-physical medium, you have to make sure that you clearly know who your customer is. By knowing who your customer is, you will be able to write content that reaches exactly to your customers, and not the generic population (the people you don’t want to be doing business with).
Create 2 – 3 customer avatars (or personas) of the type of people that you want to work with, service or deliver products to. Don’t try to target everybody. Clearly understand and identify who you can service the best with your product or service and look to attract just that.
Don’t worry about mass. If there are a sizeable number of people that you can help with your product or service, you’ll be able to attract them as long as you are very clear and specific.
Find out who your customer is and identify the conversation he has on his head and mirror your content marketing campaigns around the conversations that he has on his head.
Talk about his problems, issues, frustrations, wants, desires and pleasures in each of your content marketing campaigns and remind him how your product/brand can help him get what he wants (or move away from what he doesn’t want).
2) Study your competition clearly
Although there are some ways to make your content go viral and get a lot of exposure with very little work, it isn’t always the case. The only way to make your content go viral and achieve massive growth for your business is by going through a volume of work.
Just like how you are targeting your prospective customers with content, your competitors will most likely be doing the same as well.
Make sure that you are studying your competition clearly on a day in and day out basis. Find out what kinds of content are they creating and how much are they producing, where is it being promoted and so on.
Such kind of competitive intelligence is vital and crucial. Put on the hat of your ideal customer and try to see how your competition’s content stands out from all the noise out there and see what sticks.
The definitive key to content marketing success and making your content go viral is by knowing your customer deeply and going through a volume of work. But the volume of work you go through has to be greater than your competition.
Think of your content as a virtual sales force. The more virtual salesmen you plant, the higher the chances of you getting the sale. But if your competition has more virtual salesmen than you do, they have a higher chance of succeeding.
So make sure that the amount of content you are creating is regularly exceeding the amount produced by your competition by at least 2 – 3X times… because that’s how you can obliterate them and win the game in this competitive marketplace.
3) Work on an ass-itching hook
Now let me share with you the secret to making your content go viral most of the time – The hook.
Many people say that you have to hook your prospects by taking a different angle and stand out in order to make your content viral. But they don’t clearly define standing out.
A hook is a unique human element of the sales-story that excites your prospects and causes an adrenaline rush. That’s what standing out means. It has to make them want to scratch their asses to find out what’s in it.
Good hooks are essential to content marketing success… but you won’t be able to find a great hook for each and every piece of content that you put out there. So continually try to think in terms of your customer and try to come up with at least a decent hook that will reel them in to reading your content.
As you create one hook after another, your skills will become even more polished and you’ll be able to create that ONE great hook which will bring in the big monies. Like how John Carlton [Link 3 – John Carltons blog] puts it, “When you find a good one, you’ll know it… because the phone will ring for years”.
4) Get your message out
Just putting out tons of content on your blog or your social media pages does NOT mean that your message is being read by prospective customers.
You have to be willing to promote your business and the content that you create. While link building was the norm to promote content in the 2000s, the key to maximal content exposure in 2014 is paid traffic.
Whether it’s Facebook Ads, Media buying or Google Display network ads make sure that you are getting your message out to your ideal prospects on a continual basis. Use your best hooks in each and every one of your ads… because they will help increase CTR and bring costs down.
Set aside a certain amount as your budget for promoting your content pieces and continually ensure that you are getting maximal exposure with minimal spend by continually tracking ROI and generating leads with call to actions.
Once you begin generating leads with call to actions, make sure that you have mechanisms to quickly disqualify people that are not an ideal fit for your business by actively asking them to unsubscribe if they do not meet certain conditions.
Turning down prospects may have not been the norm in the past. But disqualification is what one needs to succeed in this digital age.
5) Systematize the process
Lastly, make sure that each and every step of your content marketing plan and process is documented and systematized in such a way that you can actually bring other people to your team and have them work on the plan for you.
You have to set things up in such a way that you can take off on a vacation for 3 months and come back to notice that your business has grown (with profits) by at least a significant percentage.
Don’t try to do all things by yourself. Delegate all the tasks that are not the best use of your time by documenting the processes. Hire people and train them.
That’s how you are going to become a highly successful entrepreneur – by having other people work for you, not by doing all the things on your own.