First, it’s important that we get something out of the way.
I fucking hate the term content marketing.
Marketing is marketing. Content marketing makes it feel as though all of your content fits into this little category and because of that, most creators follow a templatized method of content creation.
It makes their content dull and unoriginal. It looks like the content you see everywhere else all because they feel they have to follow content marketing best practices.
Whatever the hell those are.
Here’s what I believe.
Your content is a representation of you. It’s who you are. It’s your voice.
When you hit the bar, club, or grocery store looking for your future partner, are the words coming out of your mouth marketing? I guess technically you could see them like that, but nobody does.
So why does your content need a term? That’s just how it is I guess, but I needed to let you know how I feel about that issue.
With that being said what is effective content marketing?
Well, I suppose we should tackle what is content marketing first to appease the SEO gods.
What Is Content Marketing?
It’s nothing more than content used to pull people to your offers.
YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Podcasts, TikTok, Newsletters, Blogs.
All of those things are content marketing. Its goal is singular.
Pull people one step closer to buying from you.
You might be saying that all of it shouldn’t be geared toward getting people to buy. That sounds like selling!
But I never said that all content marketing includes a pitch. I just said it pulls your people closer to buying.
In my 20s I was playing soccer when I went up for a header. I didn’t see the elbow that hit me but it knocked me out causing a severe gash on my face.
My teammates rushed me to the emergency room and then left me.
I called a number of people to come to the emergency room since I was out of it and didn’t want to be alone.
One person picked up the phone and came as quickly as she could. A woman I had been on a date or two with before but hadn’t talked to that much.
That woman became my wife.
Not everything you do will feel like you’re directly trying to pull your audience towards your offer, but everything you do either pulls them closer or pushes them away.
Notice how I used the two forces push and pull?
Push vs Pull Marketing
Bad content marketing feels like you’re being pushed towards something. Nobody likes to be pushed.
Great content marketing feels like you’re being pulled into a new world. Its gravity is inescapable but that’s a great thing for you because you’re drawn to it.
You can feel the difference between content that respects you versus content that simply wants you to take action. The great thing about today’s online marketing world is that the majority of brands use push marketing.
They try to strike fear in you. They want you to feel bad.
Because their thing is THE thing that will save you.
It definitely works and if that’s the kind of marketing you wish to do then this isn’t the place for you. I’m sure I could recommend some people to go to if you ask nicely enough.
And don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate that kind of marketing.
It’s just not the type that I build my brands around anymore. Am I leaving money on the table?
In the short-term most likely, but in the long-term I think I’ll make even more simply because pull marketing leads to Superfans and push marketing leads to churn.
An Effective Content Marketing Plan
So with all of that in mind, what is a good content marketing plan?
Well, no content marketing plan can start without understanding your audience.
To make it easier, who is the ONE person that you’re talking to right now?
You don’t get 2,000,000. You don’t even get 20 people.
You get ONE.
Who is that person? What do they want? Why do they want it? What’s preventing them from getting it?
If you can’t answer these questions well then your content marketing is going to struggle and I’ll explain why in a minute. It’s easy to tell the Creators that understand their audience and those that are struggling to find theirs.
Can everyone be your audience? Not really. Even content creators that are strictly entertainers can’t appeal to everyone.
So why is it important to nail this down to one person?
Too Many Voices In My Head
There are over 5,000 brands trying to get your attention every single day.
That’s not a small number. You’re competing with every single one. It doesn’t matter if they are in your niche or not.
In high school, I wasn’t competing against other boys for the attention of my girlfriend. I was competing against books.
If you don’t know who you are talking to then you won’t know exactly what to say and that’s important. It’s the messaging that makes you stand out from the crowd.
And the reason why is simple.
People want to feel heard.
When they come across you on social media, will they see a message that feels like it’s speaking directly to them or will it be the generic message meant for everyone?
Because if it’s the latter they’ll ignore it. There are enough creators already doing that. There doesn’t need to be another one.