I do it.
You do it.
(Or you’re thinking about doing it.)
Everybody’s doing it.
Content marketing, I mean.
But here’s the thing.
99.99% of what’s available isn’t worth the pixels it’s rendered from.
In the copywriting field, there are about 7 basic ideas that are being endlessly recycled. Here they are:
1 Headlines are really important. Starting with How… is a good idea.
2 Speak to one reader at a time by using “you”.
3 SEO copywriting is great but it must be natural.
4 Keep web copy short and readable.
5 You must do content marketing (a little bit self-referential, this one).
6 That David Ogilvy knew his stuff didn’t he?
7 Benefits are more important than features.
And the collective response is a big, SFW?
Is anyone even reading this content?
You might say it doesn’t matter, because it’s designed to attract search engines.
But here’s a heads-up: search engines aren’t going to buy from you, people are.
Don’t get me wrong. I think demonstrating your credentials in your trade is a good idea.
But might it not be true that case studies, testimonials and examples of your work would be more convincing than yet another blog post on the importance of Plain English?
If you ARE going to adopt a content marketing strategy then here are my recommendations.
1 Develop a distinctive tone of voice. That way, even if you are putting a familiar idea across, your attitude will be as interesting as your information. Direct response copywriter Peter Michaels does this particularly well.
2 Say something original. Do some research, or some thinking. Come up with a new formula for writing copy.
3 Make sure that you have ‘marketing’ in your strategy as well as ‘content’. A blog is OK, but it’s just free, open-access information. How are you going to monetize (hate that word) your blog traffic?
4 Create content that interests your customers, not your competitors. In other words, follow the money.
5 Do not rely solely on content marketing. The only people recommending this are CM consultants. If you want to sell to local companies, join your local networking groups: they’re all there.