The marketing landscape for every industry has evolved dramatically in the past decade. Traditional methods of marketing such as commercials, newspaper ads, even banner and display advertising are all but ignored by today’s consumer.
The next phase in marketing is content.
Why? Because content marketing involves the creation and promotion of valuable information that consumers actually want.
So, what exactly counts as content? Basically, content is anything you consume with your brain—think blog posts, videos, social media posts, podcasts, webinars, news articles etc.
The appeal is that by promoting branded content that will be of interest to your potential clients, you are attracting leads to you, rather than chasing after them. After all, people spend over 8 hours consuming media each day.
If some of your time isn’t spent creating content, you’re missing out on a major growth opportunity. In this post, we’ll take you through the do’s and don’ts of the poster child of content marketing—blogging.
Do: Start your own blog if you are confident you have the time and resources to maintain it.The signature debate in the world of content marketing is whether it is better to produce a high volume of content—think multiple blog posts per week or even day—or a high quality of content. Of course, the best scenario would be a high volume of high quality content, but that’s not possible for most businesses, let alone individual commercial real estate professionals. If you can’t commit to at least posting one quality blog post per week, consider guest blogging instead.
Don’t: Let not having the time to devote to your own blog stop you from content marketing.Guest blogging is an excellent way to assert yourself as a thought leader in your field, without worrying about the pressure of maintaining your own blog. In order to make this happen, simple reach out to known bloggers in your industry and ask if they accept guest posts. Free content is hard to come by so most will oblige, just make sure to provide high quality, non-self promotional content that their audience will find valuable.
Do: Find creative ways to source topic ideas your audience will find useful.The golden rule of content marketing is that you must produce content people actually want to consume. If your content is boring, poor quality, or blatantly self-promoting, then your efforts will fail.
So how do you source good ideas? Here are a few common methods:
- Keyword research - the simplest way to do keyword research, a common practice of SEO (search engine optimization) managers, is to type keywords your audience might search into Google. What are the top results? Can you create a better, more comprehensive version of these pieces using the same keywords or phrases?
- Search Quora for common questions and answer them - Quora is a goldmine of content ideas. Users ask questions on a variety of topics and others answer the questions. If you don’t have your own blog, consider simply creating a Quora account and answering questions related to your industry. If you do have a blog, pull questions from Quora and answer them on your own blog. After all, you already know people are searching for the answer.
- Document common questions or concerns you hear and address them - One of the best ways to figure out what your target audience needs is to simply listen! Next time you are on the phone with a client or prospect, document the questions you hear. Are there common themes? Do all new clients have the same two concerns? Look for common threads and address them with your blog.
Don’t: Be overly self-promotionalOne of the biggest mistakes business bloggers make is using their blog as a platform to shamelessly self promote. Why is this an issue? Because you know your service is valuable, but that’s probably not what drew someone to your blog. What they wanted was helpful information, not a sales pitch.
Make it easy for readers to get your sales pitch when they want it—make sure your contact information is easily accessible—but use the blog to add value, not pitch.
Do: Write content in a voice and tone that will resonate with your audience.Many people are intimidated by the thought of writing their own blog because they don’t think they are talented writers.
But want to know the biggest secret in blogging? You don’t need to be a great writer to be a great blogger. You just need to be able to explain concepts clearly in plain, relatable language.
When it comes to blogging, simplicity is key. Stuffing your paragraphs with overly long and complicated sentences will actually hurt your message.
Don’t: Write dense, jargony paragraphs that are difficult to get through.No one looks at a page of densely written text and thinks, “Oh, I can’t wait to read that!”
Just like no one stumbles over some jargony word or acronym and thinks, “Oh the person who wrote that must be really smart! I understand exactly what they’re saying.”
People want to read content that is well-structured, easy to read, and relatable. Review your blog posts through the lens of someone who knows very little about your industry, and ask yourself: would they still learn something?
Do: Learn additional blogging tips from the pros.
Another fear that stops many would-be bloggers from getting started is the notion that they can’t get into the game because they don’t actually know anything about marketing.
Ready for the second biggest secret in the world of blogging? Everything you need to learn about modern marketing, you can learn for free online.
Marketers like Neil Patel and the folks at Digital Marketer share a wealth of knowledge on how they became successful with content marketing every day. From how to conduct proper keyword research to how to write a killer headline, you can learn just about anything with a few Google searches.
Don’t: Feel intimidated! Everyone had to start somewhere.The fear of simply getting started stops many in their tracks.
It’s easy to look at the sites of seasoned bloggers like Allen Buchanan, who have been blogging for years and think, “How will I ever compete?” You won’t compete right away, but if you commit to producing one or two pieces per month at first, then slowly up your frequency as you get faster, you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish, one blog post at a time.