Why are we writing? Or, what are we writing?
I’ve talked to many content strategists, marketers and writers who get caught up in keyword analysis, promoting the next big product launch or following a seasonal content creation cycle.
The weather’s warming up; queue the spring content!
Although these processes create the foundation of a content marketing strategy, I’ve recently been reminded to directly connect with my audience to find out what they actually want to read.
I know I’m not alone in trying to figure out what content will resonate with the people who subscribe to my blogs or follow me on social media, so over the weekend I put myself out there.
Let’s Talk for a Moment
Like many people, I’ve felt the sting of the latest Facebook algorithm updates on my lifestyle blog’s Facebook Page. Although the metrics are holding steady on the back end, the flow of conversations have slowed to a trickle and some loyal readers are wondering why I’m not putting more posts in their feed.
Ugh. If only I had control over that organically.
On Sunday evening I posted to the Cupcakes and Yoga Pants Facebook Page and simply asked what readers hoped to see from me in their feeds.
The responses felt like I rolled out the red carpet.
Honest, insightful feedback filled my notification inbox. The post even sparked some offline conversations.
Sometimes we need to go old school and just talk directly with our audiences. Check-in. See what’s important to them right now and learn how you can bring those topics to them in the way they desire.
Remember: Content marketing only works if you have an attentive audience.
What Your Readers Want
Over the years, I have noticed a few recurring themes that seem to do well across pretty much any platform or business.
Break away from the business speak and be a person talking to a person. We all put on a job title or uniform and go to work, but when readers flock to social media or a blog, they’re ready for some authenticity and a look behind the curtain.
Audiences relate to empathetic and vulnerable posts. We’re all navigating the same problems, so let’s acknowledge them and help each other out. Sure, you might have the product or service to help them solve an issue, but leave the stats and flashy product shots for your advertising efforts.
Marketing is not advertising.
Instead, show your audience how you made the product or screenshots of you using the service. Complete an actual task. Introduce your readers to the people behind the thing you’re selling. Share helpful tips that go beyond the instructions on the package.
Marketing adds value to the buyer’s journey. You might as well give them what they want. Ask to find out what that is!
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