Advertising Is Not Content Marketing

dont talk down to your marketAnd Content Marketing is not Advertising.
It’s a hard thing to beat into a marketer’s head sometimes. Many brand marketers believe their goal in life is to write tasty copy that extolls the virtues of their products and nothing more. That content written by “amateurs” or worse yet “engineers” is not worthy of publication. We get it all the time. A company hires us to do influencer outreach and then has trouble with the way the blogger phases their review or post.

Here’s the thing. Most bloggers intimately know their market. And their market knows what to expect from them. They know the voice of that blogger, how they phrase things, the quirky ways they tell a story, the cutesy background any brand would feel a little squeamish about. In fact, they probably know more about their market than you do. Thats why they get so many readers. If you drop your “cut and paste” marketing piece on them and insist they use your phrasing it doesn’t ring true and the readers bounce. That hurts the credibility of the influencer as well as the brand. Lose-lose.

Now I’m not saying you should let just anyone carry your message. Far from it. What I am saying is you can learn quite a lot from top bloggers on how to create engaging content that attracts a following that returns and may even care about you and your product.

Take the time to get to know your market
If you’ve got an engaged social media presence start looking at who those people are. Why are they following you? What questions do they ask? Which posts really resonate with them and which fall flat? Ask questions to learn more about what they want. Pay attention to the jargon they use and how they phrase things. You want to join into the conversation, not drive it.

What if you can’t think of a thing to say?
OK, that pretty much never happens with marketers, but lets say you’ve got a bit of a writer’s block. Peter Shallard wrote a great post about just that on CopyBlogger called “How to Find More Content Ideas Than You’ll Ever Be Able To Create“. His post is all about thinking of what people really want to read about. Solve industry problems without selling. Be disruptive and ask and answer the hard questions. Look through your social media engagements for issues people are having and help them resolve the issue.

Content “marketing” today isn’t really marketing at all, it’s attracting people to your brand because you’re the answer girl. You have built trust with people because you gave them information they were looking for without asking for anything in return.

You listen to your market audience (remove the word market, it will make it easier) and what their needs are and you speak to them in their language instead of a press release.

I could go on and on here, but I’d rather have you come back for the next installment of this series. Which may or may not be on how to create a contnet marketing strategy. You’ll just have to wait and see.Engage Mexico

Learn more about content marketing
OR, you could join me in Mexico in November of Engage Mexico, a fantastic conference in sunny Puerta Vallarta where I’ll be speaking on Content Marketing among other things. You can even get some one on one coaching on this topic or pretty much anything related to digital marketing. This isn’t your ordinary talking head kind of conference. You have time to actively engage with the speakers, join breakout groups and workshops or just join us all for evening events and a morning power-walk. Pretty cool huh? Check out the schedule here and join us!.


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