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The Struggle With Content is NOT real!

Do you also struggle with writing and marketing all things content?

Have you failed to strike a chord with your target audience?

Content is king, but unsure how to approach the king?

Keep on reading further to understand some basic rules which will help you sail your boat.

WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING?

Content marketing by definition in more technical terms is the strategic creation of text, imagery, audio or video, that delivers a relevant and interesting message to a customer who is on the lookout for the same message or similar.

WHAT IS AN AUDIENCE?

The first thing you need with content, for it to work, is it has to affect the audience in some ways.

An audience is made of people who are at a lot of different stages in how they are responding/ might respond to you.

It includes people who are prospects, leads, have some interest but are not ready to buy, existing customers and people who are not in the market for that product or service, but they know somebody who is.

WHY IS CONTENT MARKETING IMPORTANT?

You’re never entitled to the attention of your audience. You have to earn it everyday. This is why content marketing important. 

Every topic is interesting to the audience that is relevant for that content.

As we all know, the world has gone digital. And so has marketing. There’s nothing we can not achieve online. Even if it’s making a place in the audience’s heart and mind. 

Words are the way to a person’s brain just as food is the way to a man’s heart.

For that to happen, you have to use some skills as a writer. You have to use techniques like humor, or stories. Or use the frustration of your audience with problems that come up day in and day out in their topic.

Everything we do as human beings creates many stories. And you have to seek these out for your content.

Now, here’s the thing.

If your content isn’t successful, if it’s not getting audience attention or keeping that attention, you may be doing something wrong.

A piece of content is worth consuming if people consume it.

It’s worth consuming if people are reading it, listening to the audio, watching the video and sharing it, giving it exposure to a wider audience.

TIPS FOR CONTENT MARKETING

While there are many ways to attract traffic, in this blog, we’ll be focusing on the basics.

The first thing that good effect of content marketing normally will have is a headline that instantly commands attention.

This is actually one of the most important things you can do for your content.

Because of human nature, we base our decision to read or pay attention to something that causes a reaction in our brain.

Have you noticed about we pay attention to some captions on Instagram? Some really catch our eye, well that’s an art too. The psychology, but is the same. 

You have to use the headline to capture the attention in a fraction of a second..

And then, of course, after the headline, that first little bit of the content, the first few sentences need to pull the audience in.

You need to hook the audience with a story, some humor, some fascinating fact.

Something has to pull their attention in so that they stay.

Most effective content also has useful information that solves a problem the audience cares about.

If you think about the kind of content you read in magazines, you will be very close to the mark.

It’s the kind of thing people read, again, or watch or listen to, because they’re interested in the subject and they want to know more about it.

Effective content also will normally have a single focused point.

If you will, it’s a moral to the story that the content is trying to teach.

It could be objection, motivation or belief for a particular thing..

But remember the purpose behind every piece of content that you’re curating.

Remember the audience it is trying to reach.

Remember the topic you’re trying to educate the audience about..

Remember, you’re here to make their lives easier.

CONTENT MARKETING TECHNIQUES

Most effective content marketing uses proven writing technique like stories.

Metaphors, making things specific, concrete detail, and those could take the form of case studies or examples that illustrate a point.

And the final thing that effective content marketing will tend to have is a very clear specific call to action that explains to the audience simple how to take the next step.

Rule out assumptions if you want to tread down the path to content marketing.

Your audience is like kindergarten students who need to be handheld and then taken to the next step.

As a marketer, it’s your responsibility to make sure that there is a well-crafted call to action in that content, that spells out what you want that person in the audience to do next.

Content marketing is about getting in front of a customer or a potential customer even before they know your customer.

It’s about anticipating their needs even before they know what they want, and its about ensuring that they come back to you as a company or organization they can trust.

So the two elements that really lead to reader engagement, fantastic social media sharing, are meaning and fascination.

Meaning, is the informational aspect of your content that your regular readers, listeners or viewers come to you for.

Another way to think of the important aspect of meaning is relevance.

Content needs to be highly relevant to exist in your prospective audience.

If you’re not flowing with the trend, you will not be found.

And the second element that’s important is fascination.

The fascinating content is where the creativity comes in.

That’s the fun, shocking or entertaining aspect of your content that makes people pay attention and share it with your friends and colleagues.

So this might come from using an analogy a metaphor, to make an associated connection between something that’s cool and an important topic that might otherwise be kind of boring.

Not only does this attract and hold attention, but it also helps with comprehension and retention for your audience. Which in turn increases your authority with them because they actually learned something.

And one thing to keep in mind is that from post to post, it is possible that you will bond much more strongly with a small segment of the people you talked to.

So one article might speak strongly to some and another article might speak strongly to another and don’t let that worry you.

That is okay and normal, and really shows that you’re doing a good job of really making a very focused connection with a few selected individuals.

The point is to bond strongly with someone rather than boring everyone.

And the final point on this, if you have to explain your cleverness, your joke or reference, its not worth it.

Remember what I said before?

Kindergarten students.

Clarity matters more, no matter how cool you might think you are.

 

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CAPTIVATE AND COMMUNICATE WITH STORYTELLING

 

 

 

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5W 1H

WHY MARKETING IS TOO IMPORTANT TO BE LEFT TO THE MARKETING DEPARTMENT

Are you tired of working hard on your marketing? Do you think the 4P’s are-  Please Please Please Please  Is this what you understand by marketing?  Then this article is for you.  By the end of it, you will have completely misunderstood Marketing, and that’s a guarantee.  This article will make marketing as easy as 1,2,3.. Let me start by telling you a story.  In 1912, Otto Fredrick Rohwedder invented a machine that could take a loaf of bread and slice it. The idea was brilliant. The machine was brilliant, it solved a problem. But it failed! Shocking, no? You’ll be surprised to know that the invention caught on 20 years later when a brand called WONDER came out with pre-sliced bread. And it can be safe to say that we haven’t looked back ever since.  So, we can say Marketing is a game of satisfying needs and wants. It starts before creating the product. It starts with understanding your customers and their problems so well that you create a product that fits.  So, you as a business owner should not outsource it.  You need to be a marketer yourself to prepare your game plan! It’s all about sending the right message to the right person at the right time.   A remarkable product that the right people seek will sell itself in the longer run.  

GOOD PRODUCT? CHECK

You know sometime back, I was reading this book called PURPLE COW by Seth Godin. He narrated an incident where he was driving through France.   

“We were enchanted by the hundreds of storybook cows grazing on picturesque pastures right next to the highway.

 For dozens of kilometres we all gazed out the window, marveling about how beautiful everything was. Then within twenty minutes, we started ignoring the cows. The new cows were just like old cows. What was once amazing was now common.BUT, a Purple Cow? Now, that would have been interesting” The essence of the purple cow is that it must be remarkable.  Something remarkable is worth talking about.  It is worth noticing.  We as consumers are desperate to find good stuff that solves our problems.   A great product, which ticks the right boxes, will sell itself.  

WHAT OTIS DID-

You can compare elevators to Delhi Metro. Brings back bad memories, yeah?  It stops five ten times on the way to your floor.  This is surely a hassle for you, but for the building these elevators are situated in, it’s an expensive problem.  Why? Because to calm down the frustrated customers, you need more elevators! What Otis Elevator Company did to solve this for CapGemini offices in Times Square, was, when you approach the elevators, you key in your floor on a centralised control panel. In return, the panel tells you which elevator will take you to your floor.  The result?  Buildings can be taller. The need for fewer elevators, and You need not wait for eternity to reach your floor!!!  Now, you might wonder why I’m telling you about what Otis did, because here comes in the concept of Branding.  You don’t need to be the number 1 in your niche/ category.  But,  The only one.  Deciding where to compete is half the success achieved. There isn’t a significant real estate developer who is unaware of Otis’ breakthrough.  If category leadership is not your thing, then you can aim for a sub- category leadership.  BMW positions itself as a driver’s car. Volvo positions itself as a safety car.  Once you build a strong brand and become #1 in that category, it makes it easier for people to remember it.  

JUST GOOGLE IT, BRO

  Google is an example of category leadership.  What started as a search engine has now become a verb. It has been moulded into our daily lives.  Its the relative we all like!!Unlike Bing, Safari etc. People remember only the No.1.  Every market becomes a two player market in the long run.  You dare to enter a competitive market?  Make sure to have a unique angle, which makes you a better alternative in the eyes of your customers.  That’s what Google did.  It learned from the mistakes made by its older peers, and made sure to not carry their baggage.  That’s what makes it a household name.  Now, now.  You might ask me if i make a product so good that it sells itself, why do i  need marketing?  

MARKETING THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS-

 The purpose of marketing is to build a brand and capture a position in the minds of consumers.  It’s not just about selling, contrary to the popular belief.  It’s a means to an end.  You do need a great product but marketing helps people discover and develop a good perception about it.  Marketing is the most valuable investment because it gives direct results.  It all depends on how well you communicate. Perceptions can only be created by humans.  Consider the new rendition of Volkswagen BEETLE. The car is a classic case study of why marketing is important. It garnered admirers because of the good reviews about its distinctive shape, the way it felt to drive.  Imagine a rucksack looking Beetle amongst a road full of boxy SUVs. That in itself was marketing.  Marketing, however, is an umbrella term. It encapsulates everything. Advertising, is a component of marketingCopywriting is a component of marketingSales is a also a component of marketing  But did you know, word of mouth is considered to be the best channel of marketing?   Oh wait, did i mention word of mouth?    Well, we live in a country where news travels fast, doesn’t it? In more professional terms or if i may call it Business terms, we call it Grapevine Communication. Confused?  Hold your horses, Explanation is Coming!  

THE TRIED, THE TESTED AND THE TRUSTED- 

 Notice how you have a fixed tailor.  Now, whenever someone says, “Wow, that is perfectly stitched”, you always indirectly end up applauding your tailor and referring him to the person complimenting you.    That’s word of mouth marketing. A great product turns your customers into brand ambassadors, and it works because people tend to believe you because:  

  • They know you
  • They trust your opinion. 

 We humans tend to rely on “tried, tested and trusted”. As a marketer, your goal should be to build trust amongst your customers.  Pepper and Rogers, in THE ONE TO ONE FUTURE articulated the entire field of customer relationship management. He says that there are four types of customers-

  1. LOYAL
  2. EXISTING 
  3. PROSPECTS
  4. FORMER

Marketing is about keeping these loyal customers. For they will often be happy to spend more money with you.  

WHATS MORE DIFFICULT? KEEPING YOUR WIFE HAPPY OR YOUR CUSTOMERS?

 Good marketing is all about good communication.  It is in no way manipulation. You should be able to transfer your thoughts to your customers effectively, and for that you need to understand your target audience really well.  The key is to make it personal, and join a conversation they are perhaps already debating in their heads.  The secret ingredient- keep it simple.  

MARKETING- THEN and NOW

 TV commercials are the most effective selling medium ever devised.  Tv ads can reach millions at a low cost. 

FUN FACT THAT YOU DIDN’T ASK FOR-

 India has television sets in 197 million out of 298 million homes.  With an average of 4-5 members per household, imagine the number of eyeballs watching your commercial.  It is safe to say that TV has a reach of 800million-1 billion people. No wonder why Apple does TV commercials.  Television changed the way products were created and marketed.  But now, Tv is fading….  Not just TV, but any form of media that interrupts the activity of the consumer- be it newspaper, magazine anything.  Why?  Because there is a lack of personal touch.  

  • It’s generic.
  • It’s for all. 

 Digital marketing, the new way of marketing is on the rise.  

  • It’s new.
  • It’s fresh.
  • It’s personal.

 It is meant to reach the affluent english speaking population in India with spending power.  The big secret of Google ads is that they are relevant and presented to the type of person likely to respond to them.  You search for a term and moments later, a google ad pops up! Isn’t it amazing?  AT THE RIGHT TIME, WITH THE RIGHT MESSAGE  

DIRECT RESPONSE MARKETING

You see a gorgeous girl at a party, you go to her and say “hey I’m rich.. Marry me”- That’s direct response marketing.  Jokes apart, direct response marketing is designed to elicit an instant response by encouraging prospects to take a specific action.  Most people who run ads don’t know if the ads work or not or are running campaigns which do not yield measurable results.  With direct response marketing, you can track the results.  You can see how many people are signing up when your ad leads them to a landing page.  

A TRANSFORMER FOR YOUR BUSINESS

 Jack of all trades and master of none?  Doesn’t work with digital marketing.  You need to integrate them to form a machine, to make it work like a transformer.  A transformer for your business.  Let me explain it with the n^CATT funnel-  Today, the customers choose whether you should be listened to or ignored.   So, Wealth=n^CATT N- stands for NICHE. The category for which you will bring a solution. C- create useful CONTENT that attracts people from your niche- could be blogs, videos, lead magnets. A- drive ATTENTION to your content using SEO, social media, paid ads etc. T- Get your audience to TRUST you, use personalised communication, retargeting, marketing automation. T- lastly, you TRANSACT. After you have done all this, then you convert leads into customers with natural sales.   Mind you, Content is the king.  So it will always be in the centre.  Once you’ve created useful content, You drive attention to it using paid ads, social media, SEO etc.  You build trust with your customers using e-mail marketing.  Then you transact using sell and convert.  There you go, your transformer is ready to be launched! 

MY BRAND; MY RULES

 A wise man named DIGITAL DEEPAK once said, “The best known will always beat the best” People want to hear from people, humans, not brands.  Keep your story clear so that it’s easy to remember the 5 W and 1 H about you.  Consider a personal brand as the main capsule of the rocket.  It can give rise to many brands and can become both an influencer and a brand ambassador for the company they run.  The best part? They cannot be sold or invested in!! Now, how do you curate your personal brand? You use what my mentor calls it: THE MASS TRUST BLUEPRINTHow it works?  Step 1: LEARN A NEW SKILL    Upskilling oneself is very important in today’s time and age.  Step 2: WORK   You put your new found skills to work. Because how else will you remember?    So you go from practise to implementation Step 3: BLOG   Write about what you have learned and experienced. Think of it as a journal.              When you write, you understand it better.  Step 4: CONSULTThen you start consulting for other businesses, instead of working for them. Remember, people will pay for your advice.  Step 5: MENTORIf you do good, good will come to you. Inspire others who want to become like           you.  Step 6: START YOUR START-UP!Ignite the marketer inside of you and start your own product/service business with understanding that you have developed about the market, problems and skills.  Sounds easy, no? But, it is a never ending process, for learning is galore!    This brings us to the end of this manuscript, and I am sure you have had to unlearn and relearn everything you thought you understood about Marketing.  It is both a science and an art and as David Packard of HP said, “it is too important to be left to the marketing department.”  But before I take your leave, I want you to let me know which part you liked best and what are your favourite marketing campaigns.  Leave a comment, i would love to read them.   Also, do like, share and subscribe to my blog!More interesting things are coming up! If you wish to learn more, or rather Learn, Do, TeachJUST CLICK See you next time!