The objective of content marketing is to establish your company as a major source of credible information and guidance for your customers. Therefore, the content you write needs to focus on the needs or desires of your target readers and not on your own company or other aspects that are not customer centric.
For instance, if you are a real estate agent and your target market is the 60+ demographic, then one good content idea for them could be along the lines of, “Is rental property a good investment once you have your superannuation?” The topic is something this age group thinks about and they would welcome some discussion and insight from an insider of the rental property market – a perfect content marketing opportunity.
Unfortunately, many content marketers will sabotage the opportunity by starting off their article or blog post by describing their own company. This a typical introduction: “Rental & Co has been helping our customers for the last 20 years, when our principal established the business from her garage …now with 50 staff, we can ….” Honestly, very few readers will get even halfway through an introduction like this and all the good guidance and thought leadership wisdom that may appear later in the article will never be read.
There is an argument to say that you need to quickly establish your credibility before providing advice. However, given that you also have to grab attention and interest in the first line of an article, it is probably better to rely on the author bi-line to establish credibility.
Perhaps the second most common way that people sabotage their content marketing efforts is to try to sell in the content. Thinly veiled sales messages are very easily identified by readers and the result is that the reader becomes suspicious of the rest of the good words in the article or blog. Instead of building credibility, by giving in to the temptation to sell in content, you could well damage your credibility.
Successful content marketing focuses on what the customer is actually interested in, as opposed to talking about your company and what you sell. You must write content using the customers lens, not your own.