If your content marketing efforts are not producing the results you desire, it’s time to take a good, long look at the type of content you are creating.
Recently I read an article written by Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute on branded content versus content marketing and was intrigued by his stance. He was very passionate about making sure we recognized the difference between branded content – which is about positioning the product and/or brand – versus content marketing – which is focused on providing benefit to the reader. It made me think about all the times I’ve had clients become frustrated with their content marketing efforts because they “weren’t working.” The truth is they were not focused on the right things.
If you feel like your content marketing is not working, then it’s time to take a deep dive into the W’s – who, what, when, where and why. These often apply to journalism, but for content marketing they break down like this:
1. Who – obvious, yes. Who is your target?
And not just folks in a certain industry, but everyone who has input into the buying decision. For B2C, it is typically one to two people. For B2B, however, that can be anywhere from three on up. You need to know them all and then create solid personas to reflect their personalities.
2. What – what is the benefit to the target.
Not why your product or service is the best, but what is in it for the target audience. This requires understanding the pain points and your differentiators.
3. When – when do you say “what” you need to say?
In other words, what is the right sequence to walk your target through the benefits of your product or solution to come up as the clear choice to solve their problem?
4. Where – this is distribution. Where is your target audience?
Are you placing content that resonates with them on that platform? Or are you placing the same content on all social media channels and then wondering why it does not resonate?
5. Why – the most important question. Why does my target audience care?
When you read a blog post or review a video, have you answered why? If you have to force the why to fit into your idea of what they want, you have missed the point. Why means they should care what you have to say because it resonates with them, not because you had to explain that new product feature.
If your content is solely focused on your brand, your product, your service or why you are the best, then you have missed the major point of content. It’s about educating and improving the lives of the target audience so they see you as an authority. Your product or service should be the best solution to their issue.
Is it time to refocus your content efforts? Is it back to the drawing board for you?