Content Marketing: Figuring out You Versus Them

Serving what your audience wants is crucial to maintaining one
Serving what your audience wants is crucial to maintaining one

I went to a baby shower a while back. All of the dishes served had some form of nuts in them – almond string beans, peanut-encrusted chicken, carrot cake (with walnuts). You would’ve thought the momma-to-be loved nuts. Actually, she hated them but the hostess thought everything was better with nuts and people liked them.

The hostess, in this example, is an old-school marketer. She is serving up what she wants to serve, what she thinks should be served. She’s mistaking general popularity with what her guests want, when in reality, the guest of honor doesn’t even want it.

 

 

Are you Serving Content Only You are Interested In?

Ask yourself:

  • Am I (or my product or organization) the topic of most of my content?
  • Am I only using one form of content/media because that’s what I feel comfortable with?
  • Is the only thing I publish on our organization’s blog press releases, new feature descriptions and case studies?
  • Do I use customer questions as topics for my content?
  • Have I polled my audience about their preferences?Have I researched the industry (either through searches, question/answer sites and/or social media) to figure out what people shopping in my industry are looking for?

If you already know about content marketing you’ll quickly realize that the first three questions are old-school, brand-led marketing strategies. The organization has a mission and they won’t talk about anything that’s not on their agenda.

The second three, using your audience to discover topics for content, are great examples of content marketing — allowing your reputation for knowledge and helpful solutions to market for you. Content marketing is just a fancy term for saying you’re serving what those who mean most to you – your customers or members – want.

The first set is a bull horn, the second is a conversation.

The most meaningful exchanges occur when everyone is getting something from the conversation.

If you’re not giving this courtesy to your audience, they won’t continue to include you in the conversation. In today’s referral economy, it’s difficult to market, and thus sell, if you’re not included.

 

photo credit: on Flickr by tiff_ku1

 

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