Every week I constantly come across people who want to discuss the power of social media and how they can make content marketing work for their business. I often chat to them about my favourite ingredients for content marketing and how video content can also drive success. While I don’t think content marketing has reached its tipping point and the formula for success isn’t found in the form of a cookie cutter, I am always open to chatting about how content and social media are changing the way we do business.
Through these conversations however, I have been quickly realizing that most businesses won’t succeed at content marketing. It’s not rocket science but here are the reasons why I think your business will fail in this regard:
Working in Silos
This isn’t just holding businesses back from great content marketing; it’s holding them back as a whole. Recently, I came across a post about the importance of having your sales team talk to your marketing team and it’s obvious yet often overlooked.
Organizations must knock down as many walls as possible and open up the internal channels for conversations. The social media team needs to fully understand the sales process and the sales team needs to help guide the content strategy. If a sales team will benefit more from providing their leads with links, then the marketing team needs to focus on generating blog content. If the sales team will benefit more from providing their leads with white-papers or ebooks, then this is the type of content they need to be delivering.
Content marketing can lead to sales but communication and collaboration is key.
Lack of Content Planning
Too often do businesses jump on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and start a blog without thinking about the types of content they’ll be sharing on each of these channels. Organizations need to commit to developing editorial calendars that will help guide their content approach for the year. In doing this, they will find a way to establish an ongoing relationship with their target audience through rich, relevant content without missing the boat at times when business as usual gets busier than usual.
Implementation of Reactive Storytelling
The key to finding success in deepening your relationship and maximizing your chances for going viral is often times related to your ability to react to opportunities. Some of these opportunities exist and can be specifically attributed to your brand while others can be more attributed to the interests of your target audience. At the end of the day you want to share content that isn’t boring and that is worth sharing on social media. This concept is what I call, Reactive Storytelling.
Organizations must establish and develop the processes and policies that will allow for agile content development. This requires ongoing social media monitoring and listening to recognize when an organization should react. You must be listening for the next world record sky-dive to create a viral video or the next hilarious tweet about your industry to provide an awesome reaction. All of these things will provide businesses with opportunities to excel.
Embracing Captivating Headlines
For some reason, brands ignore the importance of headlines and focus solely on the content within a post or ebook. Headlines are what capture our attention. If you can’t capture my attention then how do you expect someone to ever click on your link or download your ebook?
Do you have a difficult time writing headlines? No worries. I had the same problem for years. Then I came across simple advice that changed the way I write blog posts and the headlines that go along with them. It’s simple. Want to write great headlines and even better content?
Focusing on the WHAT instead of the WHY
One of my favourite TED Talks, is titled “How Great Leaders inspire Action” from Simon Sinek.
The most important point Simon makes is that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. Somewhere along the lines, many businesses stopped thinking this way and started focusing on the bells and whistles. They promoted the key benefits and ignored the value they provided society and the consumers on a more emotional level. One of the quotes that stuck with me from this video read:
“The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have, the goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”
If businesses thought this way, they would start with why instead of what and change how people think about their company and why they should do business with you. It’s an easy way to create an army of loyal ambassadors instead of a few customers who use your product simply because you do a few things that can simply be easily imitated.
What else is holding you back from great content marketing? Please leave the comment bellow!
This is a guest post by Ross Simmonds