Content Marketing In 2018
Content marketing is good. Yet a couple of Google searches will show that there’s a complex minefield out there of conflicting advice, different priorities and weird pseudo-laws about what you should and shouldn’t do.
There’s also plenty of terrible advice. I’m not entirely sure that a lot of it isn’t generated by robots.
So I’ve created a simple, three step system to clarify things.
Let’s start with the first and most obvious step.
The biggest pillar is always in creating value.
Now, I’m not sure what the average internet marketer takes it to mean, but I’ll define it pretty clearly.
Create unique content with a unique angle by using your own intelligence and insight.
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If you do the above, then you have a product in the form of content that cannot be replicated.
This is different from the typical leanings of internet business that seem to suggest that unique content is rewriting something, adding point eleven onto a ten point list or otherwise pushing out generic article after generic article.
The downside to my approach is that you have to put work in and probably be smarter than the average cookie, but if you compare the comments and emails I receive from you guys to the general level of comments on the internet, you’ll find that you’re all pretty smart guys (and occasional girls.)
So the first step to good content marketing is solve problems and market your unique insights with the world. Unless you consider “getting smart” the first step, but you do that by following the first step I just suggested anyway. Let’s move on.
Pick The Medium That’s Right For You (At First)
Some people are gifted with charisma, looks and a commanding visual presence.
If that’s you, then you might want to consider video diaries and YouTube spots.
Some people love podcasting and others love writing.
I’m going to recommend you step into all of them later, but I’d strongly suggest you pick the medium that’s most suited to you and stick with it.
Here’s the reason: It’s easy to put your finger in too many pies and not really build anything.
A guy with one blog post, four tweets, a YouTube video and a couple of pictures on Instagram is less likely to establish himself than someone with ten blog posts. Or ten videos.
This is about traction, but it’s not about audience traction per se.
It’s about picking a medium that allows the message you want to spread to come into existence.
If you’re more likely to write 100 posts than to ever bring yourself to speak in front of a camera, then don’t waste your time bullying yourself into becoming a YouTube star just because it’s a trend. Similarly, if you sit down at a keyboard and can’t type, but you can take hundreds of photos or speak into a microphone in a way that the thoughts just flow without pause, then do that instead.
You have insights, anecdotes and advice to share with the world. Do that in the form that’s most conducive to you actually doing that.
If you have nothing to share or no novel insight, solve problems and do stuff until you do. That’s always the first step. Then put it down.
Once You’ve Built The House, Invite People In
Every year internet business old-timers say to the new folk, “Spend more time creating content… then worry about making it big.”
Every year, you see wide-eyed newbies – a lot of them with great stuff to offer – who decide to write one blog post and then endlessly post to Twitter and Facebook and YouTube and wherever saying, “Hey, look at my blog post!”
Now… you might have the best blog post ever, but there’s nowhere to go and if you spend 90% of your time trying to get people to look at the one thing you’ve done, then that’s time wasted. You could be building your second thing.
Think of it as having a bakery.
You create one good cake. Let’s say it’s a chocolate cake. You then go outside and shout, “Hey, here’s my chocolate cake!”
99% of people don’t like chocolate cake. The ones that do come in, eat a slice and leave.
Instead of going out and shouting all day, you bake a lemon cake. Then some bread.
When you next go outside and shout, you have three products on offer. Not only do 1% try each product, but some of the people who liked your lemon cake try the chocolate cake.
This is why you build your house first. Create content, and it’s easier to sell, cross-sell and create a little ecosystem in which people stay as opposed to dart in and out.
Once you’ve built your house and you have good content… you want to start inviting people in.
Now, too many people think that they can just post the same thing everywhere and it’ll work. This isn’t true.
Yet on the other hand, people will say, “Create new content for every platform!” and people will think, “Jesus… I can’t write five blog posts, create five YouTube videos and run a podcast whilst managing my Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts! I don’t have the time!”
Whenever people think, “new content” they should think, “syndicate content.”
In other words, let’s say you write a blog. You want to move into videos because there’s a whole audience that doesn’t like reading on the internet.
What do you do?
You don’t start thinking of 100 new topics in order to be “fresh” to the viewers of your video.
Because you are fresh. They don’t read. Your new audience knows nothing about you.
So you take the blog posts you’ve already written and you put them in video format. This can literally be reading them out with a slideshow or your face, or it could be something different… but it’s all the same content in a different form.
Same with your Tweets and/or your pictures.
Your pictures reference the written word in visual form. Twitter is a short-form version of the long-form you’ve created. (Or, vice versa. A lot of guys start with short-form Twitters and then expound in longer blog articles.)
In all cases, the material stays the same. It’s regurgitating for you, but not for your audience because they’re a different audience.
Now obviously there are the people that’ll follow you anywhere who were your audience. Do you think they’ll mind that you’ve created more content?
Probably not, and if they do, they’re free to consume as and when they please. Most of your audience won’t mind and the ones that value all of your content are the hyper-targeted people that you want to attract the most.
The above works as a sort-of three step system for content marketing.
- You get the insight which becomes your brand and value proposition
- Then create a house full of good content in the form most conducive to you putting out good work
- You use that same content to syndicate to many platforms, drawing in different audiences and people from everywhere
This three-step framework will keep you on the right track while everyone around you is flailing around trying to become famous for simply existing.