Here’s the big challenge with authentic content marketing today: It’s hard to get heard.
It’s a big, noisy world out there and for your content to rise above the fray and into the eyes (or ears, if you’re podcasting) of the right people, you need to do something worth paying attention to. That means list posts need to be a little more valuable, opinion pieces need to be a little more exciting, and humdrum articles need to kick it up a notch.
Sure, you’ve got important, valuable things to say. But if you’re not saying it in a way that gets people to notice, you’re losing.
The struggle is how to do this effectively.
Take a boring industry like pest control for example. There is no shortage of pest control companies clamoring to get your customer’s attention. To stand out when someone is ready to pick up the phone and call after seeing the umpteenth scorpion in their home, you need to have done something memorable.
In Tucson, where I live, that means driving a car that looks like a mouse like Truly Nolen. Or, it means posting regular “fun” facts about the pests that haunt our nightmares to give a glimmer of insight into this creepy world, like Bill’s Home Pest Control.
Both of these companies have the same exact service offering. Both have the same sort of menu on their website. Both use green treatments. Both work around your schedule. When it comes down to it, both are the same – except they’re remembered for different things.
Enter: Authentic Content Marketing
Authenticity is a huge buzz word in the marketing world these days. That’s because businesses know that in order to stand out, they need to have a voice and be authentic.
But what does authenticity look like? More importantly, how can you find your authentic appeal in a busy, noisy world? Remember your ABCs.
A: Act Like a Person
You’re a brand. You’re an entity. You’re not a solopreneur (or if you are, you might choose to not portray that image).
Still, people work with people. People buy from people. That’s why networking is such a big deal these days. People want to form real, human relationships with others so when it comes time to buy they feel comfortable opening their wallets and trust the result they’ll get.
In authentic content marketing, your content takes the place of networking. It’s impossible to meet everyone you can serve, but with your writing, podcasting, or videos, you can create long lasting connections that’ll eventually turn into sales.
But to do this effectively, your content must feel relatable. It must feel like the start to a conversation rather than a big brand preaching to a lowly human.
This isn’t easy to do. But, when you approach your content marketing from the angle of acting human, it’s highly effective.
Speak to your reader as if you’re talking to one person – not the thousands who will eventually land on your work. Make it feel human and the person on the other side of the screen will instantly relate to what you’re saying.
B: Be Compassionate
Harvey. Irma. Earthquakes. Politics. Terror. There’s a lot of bad happening in the world today. Turn on the news and you’re sure to hear about another tragedy or threat to our world as we know it. It’s devastating but it’s the reality we live in. You live in it. I do. And, your buyer does.
As a business, it’s up to you to show compassion for what’s happening around you. More importantly, it’s critical that you translate this care and compassion into everything you create.
Your customers are immersed in a world of constant struggle. What they crave (and what will make you remarkable) is a bright spot to push that aside. They want hope. They want excitement. They don’t want more negativity.
Don’t be afraid to get transparent about your core beliefs as a business. There’s enough fake news in the world today. Overcome your customer’s constant suspicions about businesses and organizations by showing compassion in a transparent, genuine way. This is authenticity.
C: Create Creative Content Consistently
I grew my Tucson marketing agency using content as my exclusive growth strategy. And because we focus specifically on delivering exceptional written content and copywriting, we basically practiced what we preached.
But even though we’re a content marketing agency, we saw our fair share of struggles. Our rankings plummeted with the launch of a new domain after my decision to change our name after five years. We’ve felt the growth struggles and have gone through the same challenges as our clients. The only remedy to these slumps? Keep posting consistently.
Creating exceptional content isn’t easy. It takes brainpower. It takes time. It takes creativity. If you want to be remarkable, you have to show up on a regular basis. That’s not an easy thing to do when you’re seeing a slow start to your results, or you’ve had a few bad experiences in the past.
Still, consistency is key.
Now, don’t mistake this for quantity over quality. You can create creative content consistently (don’t you love that alliteration?) without sacrificing the quality of your work. And if you want to be remarkable, you must create valuable content that people will love to read each and every time. Slip here and there and you’ll sacrifice your reputation.
Yes, it’s difficult. But yes, it’s also extremely effective – especially when it comes to carving your name in the minds of your audience.
Remember Your Authentic Content Marketing ABCs
If you’re wondering how to rise above the fray, remember this:
- Act like a person
- Be compassionate
- Create creative content consistently
Rinse and repeat this recipe day after day, week after week, and you’ll soon find that your business has wiggled its way into the hearts and minds of your audience. The end result? Growth.