March Madness is here. And it’s not going away anytime soon. Kind of like content marketing.
Here are six reasons why content marketing is like March Madness. And no, it’s not because all marketers have gone mad. Although that may soon be the case.
1. Everyone is talking about the madness.
We may have not gone mad (yet) but content marketing itself is sheer madness. Especially what its become lately. It’s a sad state of affairs. Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe in content marketing. It works. But it’s become the latest buzzword (along with “thought leadership”). Cringe!
Link bait headlines are equivalent to that “big game” with star players scratched from the line-up. It’s one thing to write an awesome headline with quality content. It’s another to write an awesome headline just to get a click-through, with no substance behind the link.
Don’t go to extreme measures to get the all-important click-through. That’s like Chris Weber’s time out. It’s a bad way to get attention. And a good way to get loyal fans to lose faith. Especially when you have no time outs.
2. See the big-picture when making your picks.
Picking the right bracket starts with analyzing the players on each team. While eenie meenie miney mo is great for beginners, big picture strategy is what gets the best results.
The real wins come when knowledge is applied. This means that, as a content marketer, you must be sensitive to the behaviors and psychology of potential buyers.
One strategy is to pick the winning team first, and then work backwards. You can do this with your content marketing strategy by asking big-picture questions like:
• Who are your buyer personas? Are you creating content for a one-and-doner like Carmelo Anthony or for a seasoned vet like Christian Laettner? Creating content for someone who has no background on your industry will look much different than creating content for someone who’s an industry insider.
• What are you trying to get your buyer personas to do? Are you trying to recruit? Or are you focused on increasing search engine rankings? You can do both. But create two separate strategies so that you can more easily track the success of each campaign.
Don’t let one-off tactics impact the flow through the funnel. That’s like making picks based on team colors or mascots. It’s fun but it won’t get you far.
3. A balanced team is key.
Content marketing works best when you have a balanced team. You don’t want SEO doing all of the work. Because the focus isn’t just on one player. It’s about the team as a cohesive whole.
Look to these players to make up the core of your team:
a. Solid SEO: take the time to research keywords and understand the value of ranking high in search engine results.
b. Social media marketing: You can craft the most compelling copy. But if you’re not distributing the content, how will you win the game, much less score a few points? Post your content on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
c. Email marketing: include images and lots of links in your emails. Make sure its mobile friendly. Don’t overly promote yourself, and try to avoid blatantly selling anything.
A well-rounded team doesn’t have one or another. The team integrates SEO, social media, and email marketing. They all need to play hard to move the content down the court.
4. Research is required.
Keyword research, that is. There’s knowledge at your disposal with Google’s Keyword Tool and Google Trends. Use them for researching the words in your articles.
5. Attract and assist.
To attract potential customers you’ll need a well-designed, easy to navigate website. But that’s not all. You’ll also need to assist your customers by providing infographics, white papers, audio, or video content with loads of information.
6. One shining moment.
The shining moment is a short video of the best moments in the NCAA tournament. The concept is pretty cheesy, but it’s an important reminder to celebrate your highlights. Look at your analytics, social media shares, and comments each month. Figure out what works, and immediately stop what doesn’t. Rinse and repeat to determine where you shine the strongest.
How do you find content marketing to be like March Madness? Please comment below.