If you can't answer these content marketing questions before you post about your company, you're probably wasting time and money. The idea that great content alone will drive traffic and customers to your business is a myth, which isn't to say that content marketing is dead — far from it. According to the Content Marketing Institute, some 200 million consumers have installed ad-blocking software on their computers. That means in many cases, if you're not taking advantage of content marketing, your message isn't reaching your audience. As this Marketing Land article shows, however, eyeballs alone don't drive results: Content alone isn't king, but content that drives engagement still reigns supreme.
So do yourself — and the internet — a favor. Before you publish another article, ask yourself these three content marketing questions:
1. Who's Your Audience?
Don't try to write for everyone or you'll end up writing for no one. Most often, your content will speak to a particular segment of your audience. If you're hosting a lunch-hour flash sale, it's unlikely you'll attract customers from out of town. That's perfectly fine so long as you make it clear to potential readers. Don't send word out to your entire email list — target by the appropriate ZIP code. Of course, anyone who follows you on Twitter will see your Tweet (you did remember to Tweet out your post, right?), but if the subject is clear before they click, they won't unfollow you if it turns out they're not interested.
2. Why Should Your Reader Care About This Particular Post?
If you run a gym and post about wellness, it might seem like everyone visiting your blog cares about their health. And while any given reader might care a great deal, he or she might not consider your post about stress management relevant to his or her particular weight-loss concerns. Going back to the first point, that's okay. So long as you know you have a readership that cares about stress management, you're OK. Part of consistent posting is reaching out to all segments of your audience so all readers feel their concerns are addressed.
3. What's the Reason for Your Post?
Any given post should:
- Solve a problem
- Start a conversation
- Teach something new
If your writing isn't doing one (or more) of the above, don't post it. While the digital age has brought far easier access to customers, it's also made marketers more aware of how those customers respond to content. Making use of this knowledge is crucial to running a successful business with the help of content marketing.