Content Marketing Speaks, But Are People Still Listening?
I don’t know about you, but I love going on road trips. My family of four just returned from 10 days of driving and visiting family and friends who live in other parts of the country. There’s nothing quite like lengthy road trips for spending a lot of time together in close quarters. When you’re spending so many hours together, you have the chance to really talk and listen to your travelling companions – whether you like it or not. You can try your best and tune out the chatter, but it’s not so easy when you’re stuck in a small area together with nothing else to do…except maybe sing along to the radio. Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a small space and being forced to listen to the endless online content marketing chatter coming at you from all directions? If so, you’re not alone.
Content marketing proves to be one of the most effective ways for businesses to reach their potential and current clients. I see one major problem with content marketing, however – there is so much content currently available on the Internet, and more is being added all the time. As of July 10th, 2014, the Indexed Web contains at least 3.32 billion pages. I wrote an article for B Squared Online Media in April, 2014, and referenced the same source to find out how much content was available. Just a few short months ago, on April 12th, 2014, the number was at least 1.79 billion pages. Wow.
In other words, simply creating and sharing your content doesn’t mean that people are going to automatically listen to you. It’s just like sitting in the car together for hours on end…sometimes people are going to tune you out or simply lose interest. What to do? These are some ways your business can execute a content marketing strategy which encourages your audience to keep listening.
Answer the Questions Your Readers Are Asking
Mandy Edwards publishes a regular series, right here on this blog, titled, “Ask Mandy Q&A.” As part of this series, she encourages visitors to her website to submit their questions about social media, content marketing, blogging, etc. Mandy then tackles each question head-on and provides useful and relevant information for her readers in response.
A series such as Mandy’s carries a two-fold benefit for businesses that want to use this technique as part of their content marketing approach. For one thing, the blogger now has plenty of content to create relevant articles. Secondly, this type of open invitation allows readers to contribute directly their voices to the content, and helps them feel directly involved in the conversation. The more involved they feel, the more likely they are to tune in and keep listening to what your business is saying.
Include enticing visuals as a way to spice up your content marketing
By nature, most people are visual creatures. Incorporating captivating images and/or videos within your blog posts can make a significant difference to your reader.
Heidi Cohen recently wrote an article about the benefits of visual content marketing. In this article, she shares 5 facts, based on data from MDG Advertising, which help explain visual content’s success:
- 94% more total views on average are attracted by content containing compelling images than content without images.
- 67% of consumers consider clear, detailed images to be very important and carry even more weight than the product information, full description, and customer ratings.
- 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business whose images appear in local search results.
- 37% increase in engagement is experienced when Facebook posts include photographs. This is consistent with research by Dan Zarrella of Hubspot.
- 14% increase in pageviews are seen when press releases contain a photograph. (They climb to 48% when both photographs and videos are included.)
Sounds like good reasons for using visuals, don’t you think?
Run a contest or offer cool giveaways
Who doesn’t like winning contests or getting something for free? Including contests in your content marketing strategy helps your business win, too. Depending on what type of contest you choose to run, you may see benefits such as the following:
- Increased traffic to your website
- More followers (and eyeballs) for your blog
- More social media exposure and “free” advertising for your business
Successful contests require a lot of planning and patience. They should be fun for your participants without being overly complicated. If you’re interested in learning more about running contests, Yael Grauer provides an excellent resource in her recent article for Vertical Response titled, “12 Tips to Running a Winning Social Media Contest.”
Over to you
Are you using these or other techniques to help make your content marketing speak so people will keep listening? I’d love to hear your thoughts…please feel free to leave a comment!