OK, there’s way too much content out there and it’s all competing for the scarcest commodity on earth: the attention of the busy people you need to reach.
Does that mean content marketing won’t work any more?
No. It doesn’t.
Does it mean content marketing will be way harder than it was even a year ago?
Yes, it does.
If all of your competitors are doing content about the issues your prospects care about, it will be harder to make yours jump out of the pack.
That means you need to work harder on your content.
The lazy stuff won’t cut it any more.
Your content needs to be more useful, more intelligent, more insightful and better-written than everything else out there on the topic. That’s a high bar.
Here are five techniques that will help.
1. Stay in your sweet spot
Your sweet spot is the zone where two circles overlap:
One circle is all the stuff you know most about. The stuff your company is an authority on.
The other circle is the stuff your prospects really care about.
In the intersection, is your sweet spot: the topics, themes and issues you have a unique perspective on and real authority in. Your best content will always come from here.
Too much about you-you-you and nobody cares.
Too far from your authority sphere and nobody wants to hear from you about it.
Stay in the sweet spot and good stuff happens.
2. Use psychographic targeting
Demographics are fine, but they just get you to the starting line.
If you understand the psychology of your target audience, you can’t write stuff that resonates with it.
If your prospect is fed up with the status quo and angry with all the vendors in the market, tap into that.
If your ideal prospect is a confident, champion type — send out pheromones that attract this kind of buyer (content with attitude and passion).
3. Harness emotion, not just facts
Building a case for someone to do something is important. But all the research into behavioral psychology agrees: people don’t decide based on rational appeals. Their heart decides and their heads are enlisted to rationalize the decision.
That means you need content that doesn’t only make people think something — it also has to make them feel something. Do both and you’re on to a winner.
Think about what it feels like to suffer from the problem your solutions address. Then think about how it feels to overcome these problems. Explore these feelings in your content. Cool things come out.
4. Practice Insane Honesty
Insane Honesty is an under-used tactic that’s amazingly powerful. It says: Take your worst points – and put them in the spotlight. Showcase them for all to see. Lead with them.
We just published a slideshare about this called Insane Honesty in Content Marketing. Check it out:
5. Create confident content
Confident content dramatically out-performs average content. It’s like a force multiplier. A budget multiplier.
Confident content signals two things:
“We’re great at this. We know what we’re talking about and we want to share it with you.”
“You’re going to enjoy this. We’re good at telling stories. This will be worth your time.”
For these two things to be convincing, they have to be TRUE.
That means creating content you know will help your prospects in their jobs and their lives.
It means firing your so-so writers and finding great ones.
It means hiring great designers and letting them do their jobs.
And it means aiming high, right from the brief. Let everyone on the project know that you’re aiming for a home run: the best piece of content on the web for this topic.
Confident content says less but with more belief. It doesn’t cram every feature and fact into every story.
Confident content comes when you realize you don’t have to ask everyone in the company to like a piece before you can release it.
Confident content grabs the reader by the lapels and doesn’t let go until you’re done with them.
And the namby-pamby, middle-of-the-road, me-too, vanilla, yadda-yadda content doesn’t stand a chance against it.
So go and do that
Make content with authority, based on real psychological insight.
Tap into emotion, not just logic.
Try Insane Honesty.
And, above all, make the main message of your content, “This is a confident company.”
Title image by MICHAEL