A common mistake in content marketing is a focus on the product, rather than on the audience. The primary goal of every content marketer is to make your target audience like you, sometimes at the expense of the wider population.
When you are creating content to sway the masses to your side, understanding your audience is far more important than understanding your product. Your goal is to build a relationship with your customer base. If you are selling guns, then there is a huge amount of useful content you could create to build a loyal fan base. Leave the shop talk to your salespeople, your job is to get attention and make people like you.
A gun retailer’s content marketing should be about 2nd Amendment Rights. Build a company blog tracking all local and national legislation about gun control and regulation. Make valuable resources available on your website for local hunters that include maps of local bird migration patterns, local hunting laws and regulations, an event calendar for local meetings and conventions, and lots of useful information about local gun laws. You need to build a reputation as a company that cares about the same things your customers care about.
You need your brand to be associated with the lifestyle that you are selling. Not as someone who profits from that lifestyle, but as someone who is at the heart of it.
This applies to any niche. A sports apparel company could very easily include a calendar of local road races, a health blog, and maybe a resource page that links to local gyms, soccer clubs, and yoga studios. Suddenly the visitors to your site will have a reason to come back. They will be more familiar with your brand as a result, and they will remember that your business is the one who takes exercise seriously.
Remember, nothing on your company blog should ever look like an advertisement. Leave the promotional talk for your product pages.
Marketing to businesses is quite a different animal. Businesses know that your bottom line is your bottom line. They care that your product will help them make more money, and your content marketing should be tailored to building a reputation as the firm that will do that.
Your company blog, for this reason, should be more technical. If you are a tech company, you need to show that you are on the cutting edge of your industry. Your representatives should be posting useful and authoritative articles and reviews that other members of your industry can rely on.
You can display your innovation by actually being on the cutting edge, coming up with new ideas about how your product or services could be applied in new ways, and write about it on your own, and other trusted blogs.
You need to be thinking about how the person reading your blog can share it with their boss, and how you can give them a good reason to do that. Usually, that means producing a perspective or an idea that they have not heard before.
Good content marketing is about putting in the effort to create the best content on the web, giving it away for free, and associating it with your brand.
Benjamin is a writer for Eloqua, an international online marketing firm that provides content marketing and asset management software. His professional insights are surpassed only by his rugged good looks, quick wit, and personal charm.